Making democracy work in the 21st century requires that we understand computers themselves as readers. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to concepts and methods associated with distant reading. Distant reading refers to the practice of readers “inviting software” to participate in the meaning-making process. Participants will collect textual data sets, create data visualizations, and interpret the machine’s reading in ways that both open and close interpretative possibilities. Participants should have access to a laptop computer and Internet.