This undergraduate class explores current digital humanities projects, methods, tools, and debates. The syllabus covers broad theoretical considerations for building a sustainable digital project, before incorporating hands-on experience gathering datasets of primary source material, curating, cleaning, and analyzing it using a range of quantitative and qualitative digital tools. The class balances collaborative working practices with individual responsibility in digital project-building.

Class Learning Objectives

  • Learn the basic vocabulary of concepts and tools in digital humanities and become acquainted with a range of projects, best practices and resources in the field.
  • Engage with open source digital tools or methods useful to broad humanities disciplines, and to make informed choices about tools best suited to answer or visualize research questions.
  • Develop an understanding of the nature of algorithms underpinning digital tools, and to evaluate the level of bias they bring to any analysis. To develop an understanding of the role the scholar plays in interpreting qualitative analysis.
  • Explore the value and purpose of primary sources in developing an active practice towards digital literacy and citizenry, and to develop an understanding of the use cases for archives, their attributes and their uses within digital humanities.
  • Understand the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of digital media, including copyright, ownership, licensing, and use of proprietary content or software.
  • Examine how the source and its transfer to digital impact the reliability and validity of content in digital format.
  • Develop an awareness of the components of a sustainable, engaging and well-documented DH project.
Digital Tools

We use a range of digital tools in class for gathering, preparing and analyzing data:

Gale Digital Scholar Lab
Google My Maps
Esri Storymaps
Programming Historian tutorials
Vader sentiment analysis

Header photo by Jack B on Unsplash