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Teaching Tut

The no-prerequisite digital humanities class offers students the opportunity to learn how to work with a variety of digital tools and platforms to explore contemporary history and newspaper reporting. Topics include Tutankhamun’s role in the history of Ancient Egypt, and archaeology in Egypt during the so-called ‘Golden Age’ in the early 20th century, in the years running up to the famous discovery of Tut’s tomb.

Students work with text and image data including personal archives, newspapers and archaeological publications, some of which is previously unpublished. Students learn how to build datasets of archival material, analyze their data using qualitative and qualitative methods, and build a digital project for online presentation. 

The two student exhibits from class are linked from the 'Exhibits' page: 'Egyptomania' and 'The Pharaoh's Curse'. 

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

Students 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


The instructor, Dr. Sarah Ketchley, would like to acknowledge with gratitude the support offered by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Professor Naomi Sokoloff, Professor Selim Kuru and administrator-extraordinaire Patrick Gibbs. Also thanks to the Digital Scholarship librarians at University of Washington Libraries, especially to Verletta Kern who has long been an advocate for offering institutionally-supported digital tools and platforms for classroom and research use.