Digital Reading Practices for the Liberal Arts Classroom

3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT April 18, 2013

Stéfan Sinclair, co-director of TAPoR, leads this seminar on text analysis, including why and how to teach it. Dr. Sinclair will describe text analysis and share proven recipes for student assignments. (Times EDT)

From search engine indexing to sophisticated methods of literary analysis, the computer has become an indispensable tool in dealing with the massive influx of digitized textual data in our information age. Liberal arts students need to understand automated methods of text analysis because they underlie how we find, use, and share information today. Stéfan Sinclair, co-director of TAPoR, a gateway to the tools used in sophisticated text analysis and retrieval, will describe text analysis, lead a discussion of why and how to teach it, and share proven recipes for student assignments. Seminar participants will be able to identify potential applications of computer-assisted text analysis in the language, literature or other text-based discipline classroom, access easy tools and recipes for creating student text analysis assignments, and find resources for exploring text analysis further.

Suggested Reading

Stéfan Sinclair is an Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at McGill University whose primary area of research is the design, development, usage, and theorization of tools for the digital humanities, especially for text analysis and visualization. He has led or contributed significantly to projects such as Voyant Tools, the Text Analysis Portal for Research (TAPoR), the MONK Project, the Simulated Environment for Theatre, the Mandala Browser, and BonPatron. He also writes about research and teaching in the digital humanities. Dr. Sinclair holds a Ph.D. in French Literature from Queen’s University (2000).

Geoffrey Rockwell is a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta, Canada. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Haverford College, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and worked at the University of Toronto as a Senior Instructional Technology Specialist. From 1994 to 2008 he was at McMaster University where he was the Director of the Humanities Media and Computing Centre (1994 - 2004) and he led the development of an undergraduate Multimedia program funded through the Ontario Access To Opportunities Program. He has published and presented papers in the area of philosophical dialogue, textual visualization and analysis, humanities computing, instructional technology, computer games and multimedia. He is the project leader for the CFI (Canada Foundation for Innovation) funded project TAPoR, a Text Analysis Portal for Research, which has developed a text tool portal for researchers who work with electronic texts and he organized a SSHRC funded conference, The Face of Text in 2004. He has published a book “Defining Dialogue: From Socrates to the Internet” with Humanity Books.


Faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others from the NITLE Network interested in computer-assisted text analysis should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Tuesday, April 16, 2003. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics events is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Rebecca Davis at

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.