Clemson University

Spring 2015

“Data” is often considered the domain of scientists and statisticians. But the proliferation of databases across nearly all aspects of daily life – from your Facebook profile to your SAT score to your most recent purchases at Target – has made data an everyday concern. This course explores the role of data and databases in contemporary culture by reading literary texts and digital media that engage formally and thematically with data. We will consider how these texts respond to, mediate, and critique things like data mining, big data, data visualization, and database art. We will also discuss “data-based” methods of literary study, like computer-assisted text analysis. Ethical and political considerations surrounding privacy, surveillance, and data collection and analysis will be at the forefront of our discussions throughout the semester.