Course: STAT 36711=CHSS 32011, DIGS 30016, ENGL 32011, HIPS 22011, KNOW 22011, KNOW 32011, PPHA 32011, SCTH 32011, SOCI 20518, SOCI 30518
Title: Data: History and Literature
Teaching Assistant(s): TBA
Class Schedule: Sec 01: TR 4:20 PM-5:40 PM (Blended)
Description: Data is a notion that seems to characterize our contemporary world. Digital revolutions, artificial intelligence, and new forms of management and governance all claim to be data-driven. This course traces the origins of these trends to the nineteenth century, when new statistical knowledge and literary traditions emerged. Moving across disciplinary boundaries, we will analyze the ways in which practices of observation and calculation produced data on populations, crime, and economies. Likewise, the literature of this period reflected the ways that data shaped subjective experience and cultural life: the rise of the detective novel transformed the world into a set of signs and data points to interpret, while Balzac's Human Comedy classified individuals into types. Drawing on these historical and humanistic perspectives, students will have the opportunity to measure and analyze their own lives in terms of data—as well as think critically about the effects of these knowledge practices.