Question in the thread title: could you teach literary or film criticism to a computer? I'm not talking about any currently existing machine; consider instead whether a computer that wasn't subjected to our current technological limitations could perform the exercise. Another way of wording the question could be by asking if a literary or film criticism could be reduced to an algorithmic operation (albeit one of great complexity). In assuming that most of you will be refuting the idea, I'll be taking the position that yes, a very complex and powerful computer could be capable of such an activity, as all such criticisms take the form of an evaluation of the text, x, based on a set of criteria, y. So if I were to evaluate, for example, gothic imagery in "The Fall of the House of Usher," I would simply identify a set of criteria that constitutes "gothic imagery" and program the computer to identify such criteria and produce an evaluation of the text accordingly. Note two things here: (i) the evaluation doesn't necessarily have to be one of "quality" ie. how well the text does this, it could be how similar the text is to this, how (not how well) it fits into this set of literature etc. and (ii) the computer would have the task of evaluating a specific work, and would not necessarily have to be capable of examining every work with the same programming. I'm not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to textual analysis or computer programming, so it would be cool if people familiar with either activity could weigh in with their thoughts.