Welcome to the DH100 course website. Course policies and the course schedule are both available under the syllabus tab. Links to all readings and assignments will be made available on the course schedule page. Examples of assignments will be available on the gallery page, and descriptions of assignments will be available on the blog page. I hope you enjoy the course!
What is Digital Humanities?
“Digital humanities” is a broad term that can describe many different activities in a variety of scholarly disciplines, but generally refers to work that exists at the intersection of the humanities and computing. Work in the digital humanities is always inherently interdisciplinary and is typically collaborative. Some activities that can be described as digital humanities work include:
- Preserving and sharing cultural heritage materials with digital technologies. This can include scanning books, artworks, and papers; making 3D images of cultural artifacts; and creating digital collections or digital editions of books or other works.
- Analyzing digital culture. This can include scholarly criticism of “born-digital” cultural artifacts like websites, video games, and multimedia artworks. It can also include the field of digital rhetoric, the study of how people communicate through digital media.
- Using digital methods of scholarly communication. This can include both publishing on digital platforms, which allow for greater use of multimedia and different ways of organizing information, and teaching with digital technologies, either online or in the classroom.
- Studying literature, history, and culture with digital tools. This can include a variety of resources for quantitative research, such as software for text analysis, network analysis, and data mining, as well as applications for mapping and various forms of data visualization.
This class introduces the major themes and ideas in the digital humanities. Students will become familiar with the digital humanities by way of a semester-long research project on a topic of their choosing. We will begin with an introduction to digital publishing, in which students will create and design their project websites. We will then read some example academic papers to evaluate the claims being made and the evidence being used to support those claims, and to develop ideas for students’ research questions. From there we will consider the sources available to answer their research questions, including digital libraries and archives. By using a variety of digital humanities research tools to analyze these sources, students will not only develop answers to their questions but also will gain a better understanding of many of the core concepts in the field, including metadata, text analysis, and data visualization. By the end of the semester students will publish the results of their investigation in a polished version of their website that will communicate their findings both verbally, in the form of a short paper, and visually, in the form of several graphs, trees, and/or maps.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Define many of the concepts, methods, and terms that are important in digital humanities research.
- Describe the insights into literature, history, art, and culture that someone can get from digital humanities research, as well as the limitations of and potential problems with those insights.
- Evaluate the claims, methods, and evidence presented in academic papers in the digital humanities.
- Demonstrate familiarity with some commonly used digital humanities tools.
- Analyze literature, history, art, and culture using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods.
- Construct an academic argument both verbally and visually using digital media.
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