ANG6092 Readings in Contemporary Theory
Summer 2018

Love and Algorithms

Across the centuries, many conceptions of love have been formulated. Love has been considered a mystery, irrational, random, but also rational, necessary, and dependent on destiny. In this balance between chance and the necessity of love, two extremely opposite approaches can be identified: love as a random thing, occurring without reason, or love as a necessary thing, wherein the person one loves is the only possible object of love, as if it were the fulfillment of some sort of destiny. And yet, in this context, what is interesting is to look at what love is nowadays, in our digitalized world. Because, if on one side it is essential to consider how we have interpreted this very ancient notion in our culture, it has, on the other, become fundamental to analyze how the concept of love changes in a culture that is getting more and more digitalized. Since digital technologies are affecting our thinking processes, as well as how we interpret the world in which we live, it is natural that most of our ideas are also affected by digital culture: the idea of space, time, but also of friendship, or even of privacy.

This intensive summer course will offer a mix of theoretical readings on cultural studies and digital humanities (especially on algorithms), with some novels that deal with love and technology. [Please note that class meetings will take place between 10am and 2pm, and that the theoretical reading must be done ahead of the first class.]



  • Two 20′ / 2,800 words (10 pages, double-spaced, excluding notes and works cited) in-class presentations on one of the works studied: 40% (20% each) [Final versions of the presentations must be emailed to the instructor no later than 6pm the night before.] Presentations should be on any aspect of the work under consideration on the day selected by the students. Students should bear in mind that the grade will be based on the written essay, not on the oral delivery;
  • One 3,360-4,200 words essay (12-15-pages, double-spaced, excluding notes and works cited): 20%. This is a revised and expanded version of one of the two in-class presentations due on June 18th;
  • Three 300-500 words reports on the lectures (to be submitted no later than May 11th): 30%;
  • Two critical questions (emailed to the instructor no later than 6pm the night before): 10%.


  • Wednesday 2 May 2018: The Theory of Digital Humanities and Algorithms (Clement, Vitali-Rosati, Wilkens)
  • Monday 14 May 2018: Ansari and Klinenberg
  • Tuesday 5 May: Séminaire Editorialisation, 11.30am-1.30pm on UdeM campus, or remotely by videoconference
  • Wednesday 16 May 2018: Palmer
  • Monday 28 May 2018: de Botton
  • Wednesday 30 May 2018: Hutchins

This content has been updated on January 4, 2020 at 21 h 41 min.