I’m delighted to welcome you to Introduction to Digital Humanities 2020! Here is our course description:
What are the digital humanities, and how can they help us think in new ways? This course offers an introduction to the landscape of digital humanities (DH) work, paying attention to how its various approaches embody new ways of knowing and thinking. What kinds of questions, for instance, does the practice of mapping pose to our research and teaching? When we attempt to share our work through social media, how is it changed? How can we read “distantly,” and how does “distant reading” alter our sense of what reading is?
Over the course of this semester, we will explore these questions and others as we engaging ongoing debates in the digital humanities, such as the problem of defining the digital humanities, the question of whether DH has (or needs) theoretical grounding, controversies over new models of peer review for digital scholarship, issues related to collaborative labor on digital projects, and the problematic questions surrounding research involving “big data.” The course will also emphasize the ways in which DH has helped transform the nature of academic teaching and pedagogy in the contemporary university with its emphasis on collaborative, student-centered and digital learning environments and approaches.
Among the themes and approaches we will explore are evidence, scale, representation, genre, quantification, visualization, and data. We will also discuss broad social, legal and ethical questions and concerns surrounding digital media and contemporary culture, including privacy, intellectual property, and open/public access to knowledge and scholarship.
Though no previous technical skills are required, students will be asked to experiment in introductory ways with DH tools and methods as a way of concretizing some of our readings and discussions. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions and online postings (including on our course blog) and to undertake a final project that can be either a conventional seminar paper or a proposal for a digital project. Students completing the course will gain broad knowledge about and understanding of the emerging role of the digital humanities across several academic disciplines and will begin to learn some of the fundamental skills used often in digital humanities projects.
Note: this course is part of an innovative “Digital Praxis Seminar,” a two-semester long introduction to digital tools and methods that will be open to all students in the Graduate Center. The goal of the course is to introduce graduate students to various ways in which they can incorporate digital research into their work.