It seems clear to many of us that humanities research and pedagogy are becoming intimately entwined with the digital. As Lauren Klein and Matthew Gold write in the introduction to 2016 edition of Debates in the Digital Humanities, “the digital humanities, as a field, has arrived.” This course will serve as an introductory overview of the digital humanities (DH), its methods, theories, pedagogies, and practices. We will begin by looking at the various ways in which scholars are defining, or struggling to define the term “Digital Humanities.” We will look at the history of humanities computing, highlighting some of the institutional and intellectual challenges it has encountered along the way, and we will place special emphasis on examining the ongoing debates in this emerging field (e.g. How might theory relate to DH? What is the changing nature of peer review and scholarly publishing? What social concerns are raised in the practice of DH?). Finally, throughout the course we will consider the role of DH in the classroom and will look at some of the ways its emergence is changing how teachers teach, students learn, and classrooms are run. Students who are educators will leave this course with an array of tools and approaches that can be used in the classroom.
Students from all humanities disciplines will be able to pursue their particular interests as they relate to DH. They will gain a working knowledge of a vast array of existing DH projects, and they will begin to work with a number of existing digital tools that can be used to conduct humanities research, including text analysis and visualization tools, text encoding and archiving tools, and digital mapping tools. No programming experience is necessary or expected for this course. However, students will leave with a new understanding of how code works and how to communicate, as humanists, with computer programmers. They might even write some of their own programs.
This course is going to run concurrently with a graduate-level course in computer science in which students will be learning to write programs that can be used in humanities research and pedagogy. Students in this class will have a unique opportunity to work, in collaboration with these computer scientists, on DH projects that reflect their own scholarly and pedagogical interests .