George Taubman

Teaching Digital Texts


Digital Texts & New Literacies

& the Web

Teaching Lit in Virtual Worlds

Literary Worlds

Exceeding Common Core Standards

Introductory Literature

Western Literature

African Literature

Middle Eastern Literature

Multicultural Literature

Postcolonial Literature

#Occupy Literature!

English Job Advice

Library of Babel

Civil Rights Online









































































































































































































































































Teaching Ideas

1. Foster individual or group extended reading. Example: after reading a Greek or Shakespearian play, or Wordsworth poem, or Twain novel as a class, have everyone read a play / poem / novel on their own. Create reading circles focused on works from an historical period, particular writer, or genre.

2. Create your own literature anthologies and/or textbooks. These can be annotated in many ways, with specific information about authors, movements, traditions. A good group project. Can lead to reflection on how anthologies are created in the first place. (Actually print them at!)

3. Examine original manuscripts and compare modern versions. Study history of manuscripts. Example: on-line versions of the Canterbury Tales in Middle and Modern English, or the first printed Caxton version, or the original Ellesmere Manuscript.

4. Read texts with on-line glossaries or with original / translations in line by line format. Examples: Canterbury Tales, Beowulf with old English & modern line by line, Odyssey with glossing links to places and persons.

5. Compare different translations of classic works, have students make their own translation via a process of interpolation. Example: The Odyssey, many translations are available on line from different authors and historical periods. George Chapman, Samuel Cowper, Alexander Pope, Samuel Butler, etc. (MIT Classics)

6. Examine texts and original illustrations, write about the relationship of illustrations and text. Examples: Blake or Rosetti Archive. Original illustrations of Huck Finn. Alice in Wonderland. Dickens Illustrations.

7. Search in etexts for specific characters, terms, or key words to write analysis papers. For example, find every occurance of the word "sin" in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, or "hell" in Dante's Divine Comedy."

8. Have students share commentary on books on line. Could use or Goodreads.

-- Digital Textual Interventions --

9. Cut and paste and gloss texts with students making comments in different colors to indicate thoughts of characters, adding to descriptions of settings, make commentaries on specific words / characters / ideas or issues, etc. Students can write about what they tried to accomplish & what they learned.

10. Cut and paste into a word processor and add to or change the text making specific interventions, and elaborating throughout the text in descriptions and dialog. Rewrite passages to explore specific effects: change a character's gender, social class, race, or age; add voices otherwise unheard or oppressed characters; or, change the setting or time period. Students can write about what they tried to accomplish & what they learned.

11. Climate change interventions allow students to explore issues of climate change using traditional literary works as they rewrite/reimagine works from the past set into a climate changed future or climate change brought to the past and characters react. Specific suggestions.

12. Reorder texts to explore plot. Put the Odyssey or some other work in chronological order, or jumble the order of a work to make its reading more interesting. Students can write about what they tried to accomplish & what they learned.

13. Cut and paste text and change genres, turn poetry into prose or vice versa. Students can write about what they tried to accomplish & what they learned.

14. Cut and paste text and then cut and paste pictures to create an illustrated work. Do this in sections and create a class text. Great with visually strong pieces such as the Odyssey. Combine this with the site Literary Locales. Students can write about what they tried to accomplish & what they learned.

15. Collapse texts and use the word quarry to create their own poems or works, analyze vocabulary, grammar, and meaning. Students can write about what they tried to accomplish & what they learned.

Literature Archives

Google Books is available in over 35 languages, from Japanese to Czech to Finnish. Over 10,000 publishers and authors from 100+ countries participate in the Book Search Partner Program. The Library Project includes digitizing texts at 28 major research libraries in America and abroad.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.

The MIT Library: On Line Literature page provids a list of useful links according to genre and period. One place to start researching sites.

American Literature Archive link to resources organized by author, period, genre and criticism. It also has a gallery of photos links to some full-text resource. contains full online texts by many well know authors.

Project Gutenberg has over 25,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog and over 100,000 titles.

Bibliomania over 2000 classic texts.

Internet Classics Archive allows you to "Select from a list of 441 works of classical literature by 59 different authors… Mainly Greco-Roman works (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation."

Perseus Digital Library collections on this site include ancient Greece and Rome; Non-literary papyri, Greek and Latin, from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods; English Renaissance literature; history of London; books on California; Upper Midwest; Chesapeake Bay and Washington, D.C., ca. 1600-1925.

Language of the Land partners photos and drawings of places with excerpts from famous pieces of literature about them.

Yellow Pages list of etext sites.

Digital Books Index search for online authors and texts. publishes literature, reference books and verse free of charge.

Modern American Poetry is a companion to the Anthology of Modern Poetry published by Oxford University Press but it works well on it own for finding information and links for contemporary poets. .

Additional Poetry Archives: Academy of American Poets, American Verse Project, Library of Congress Poetry Resources, University of Toronto Poetry On-Line, Contemporary Poets, British and Irish Poetry, Poetry Magazine, Poets House.

Short Story Archives: Short Story Archive, Nice, SciFishorts, Short, Abilogic, Short Stories.

Teen Links and resources for teen readers.

Teen Writing: Teen Ink, Scholastic, Pongo Publishing, NaNoWriMo.

Storytellers: Native American Authors Online information authors and their works.

American Rhetoric indexes 5000+ full text, audio and video(streaming) versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and well-known speeches.

Internet Sacred Text Archive is the largest freely available archive of online books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric on the Internet.

Voice of the Shuttle Literature in English page has annotated links to literary resources

Goodreads: social media for readers. Contemporary Literature Page (with extensive links to contemporary literature, arts, etc.) & "Classic" Literature Page allow you to search works by authors, and provide review, book recommendations and blog archive.

Hathia Trust provides a search engine for online text.

University of Toronto English Library contains an electronic version of "Representative Poetry" and various renaissance texts.

Electronic Poetry Center contains E-poetry, sound poetry and blog lists.

The Oxford Text Archive develops, collects, catalogues and preserves electronic literary and linguistic resources.

PAL: Perspectives in American Literaturebibliographies of secondary sources, chronologies, lists of themes, issues, study questions organized around authors and periods.

EServer collections online diverse topics.

Fun for those interested in literary theory (including trading cards for theorists like Foucalt and Said).

Encyclopedia Mythica tries to provide a basic reference for mythologies, folktales and legends of the entire world. Very easy to use, more comprehensive than some but not exhaustive. Can browse or search by continent, culture, bestiary or genealogy tables. Very nice gallery section as well.

Mythography gives basic overviews of Greek, Roman and Celtic gods and myths, but despite the easy layout, most of the text isn't anything new. What makes it a useful site is its extensive art gallery: they've collected images of famous sculptures, paintings, etc. and organized them according to the mythical character or story they reference.

Aesop's Fables Online has multiple translations of the fables, has an index, and is searchable.

History Archives

Making of America (MoA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.

American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection has both historical and current maps for regions and countries around the world.

Created by:
Revised Date: 11/16