Culture Magazine

Heart of Darkness is 16th Most Assigned Text Across a Collection of Seven Million Syllabi from Over 80 Countries

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
About the Open Syllabus Project:
The Open Syllabus Project (OSP) collects and analyzes millions of syllabi to support educational research and novel teaching and learning applications. The OSP helps instructors develop classes, libraries manage collections, and presses develop books. It supports students and lifelong learners in their exploration of topics and fields. It creates incentives for faculty to improve teaching materials and to use open licenses. It supports work on aligning higher education with job market needs and on making student mobility easier. It also challenges faculty and universities to work together to steward this important data resource.
The OSP currently has a corpus of seven million English-language syllabi from over 80 countries. It uses machine learning and other techniques to extract citations, dates, fields, and other metadata from these documents. The resulting data is made freely available via the Syllabus Explorer and in bulk for academic research.
The OSP is based at Open Syllabus, a non-profit research organization. The project was founded at The American Assembly, a public policy institute associated with Columbia University.
It obtains its syllabi by harvesting publicly-accessible websites.
Heart of Darkness is the 16th most popular text assigned in these syllabi. Here’s a list of the top 20:
  1. The Elements of Style, William Strunk: in 11,472 syllabi
  2. A Writer's Reference, Diana Hacker: 11,099
  3. Calculus, James Stewart: 8,024
  4. Human Anatomy and Physiology, Elaine Nicpon Marieb: 7,105
  5. Republic, Plato: 7,088
  6. The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx: 7,057
  7. A Pocket Style Manual, Diana Hacker: 6,976
  8. Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: 6,710
  9. Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle: 6,591
  10. Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes: 6,052
  11. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Cathy Birkenstein, Gerald Graff: 5,903
  12. Orientalism, Edward W. Said: 5,792
  13. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli: 5,230
  14. Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science, Judith Bell: 5,214
  15. Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer: 5,112
  16. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad: 5,086
  17. Letter From the Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King: 4,973
  18. Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes: 4,893
  19. Paradise Lost, John Milton: 4,745
  20. Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill: 4718
Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, and 14 are primarily pedagogical texts. The rest are primary texts.

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