Reading and Writing Electronic Text
This course introduces the Python programming language as a tool for reading and writing digital text. This course is specifically geared to serve as a general-purpose introduction to programming in Python, but will be of special interest to students interested in poetics, language, creative writing and text analysis. Weekly programming exercises work toward a midterm project and culminate in a final project. Poetics/text analysis topics covered include: the history of computer-generated writing in arts and literature; plain text transcription and character encodings; ethics and authorship in the context of computer-mediated language; poetic structure and sound symbolism; performance and publishing. Programming topics covered include: data structures (lists, sets, dictionaries); strategies for making code reusable (functions and modules); natural language processing; grammar-based text generation; predictive models of text (Markov chains and recurrent neural networks); and working with structured data and text corpora.