Topics in English and American Literature


Algorithms that predict the "success" of books are now commonly used in publishing (and also privately by writers and agents). The aim of the class is to use these tools to explore trends in fiction writing and publishing while also thinking critically about the limitations of implementing these tools in the literary marketplace (e.g. does it encourage homogeneity). We will use Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers' The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel as our guide through this topic. We will close-read novels that both adhere to and depart from trends among bestsellers (including Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson). Students will also gain a working familiarity with concepts in natural language processing and the programming language R. No previous programming experience is required. This course counts towards the Publishing Concentration.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EL TC; EL GML

Section 01

Topics in English and American Literature
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View Course Listing - FL2024