School of Critical Studies Honours: Digital Humanities for Language and Literature (ENGLANG4007)

Digital humanities, and its sub-field literary and linguistic computing, is a relatively new field of research and teaching, concerned with the application of digital and computer technology to the study of literature and linguistics. This course examines the methods and techniques required to use computers to advance our knowledge of these fields. Glasgow is a world leader in this area – this course has been taught since 1990, and since then a long list of experienced scholars from across the School of Critical Studies have brought the latest research and knowledge in the digital humanities to the study of language, literature and text.

Good basic computing skills are needed, but absolutely no programming or advanced knowledge is required. If you are studying honours in any part of the School of Critical Studies, can use a word processor, email and the Web, and are interested in digital resources, then this course could be of interest to you.


  • What is Digital Humanities Anyway? The History of Literary and Linguistic Computing
  • Text in the Digital World: The Internet & the Web, Digital Editions, Hypertext Theory, Copyright in the Digital World
  • Corpus Studies: Corpus Linguistics, Corpus Stylistics, the eXtensible Mark-up Language, the Text Encoding Initiative, and Text Analysis
  • Databases in Linguistic and Literary Studies: Bibliographical Databases and Online Libraries, Using and Creating a Database, Dictionaries & Thesauri
  • Natural Language Processing: Introductions to Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems, Speech Synthesis and Recognition, and Text Processing

The full-year course runs every session, and is open to junior and senior Honours students of English Language, English Literature, Scottish Language and Literature, or Theology and Religious Studies.

The class has three meetings every week: one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour computer workshop.

Much of the material studied is online and freely available. The main textbook is A Companion to Digital Humanities, eds. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004, supported by the Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics.

For more information contact the Course Convener Dr Marc Alexander.

This course is administered through the English Language subject area.