Digital Humanities: Introduction to the Field

Course Number: ENGL 238
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 238
Quarter: Winter 2017
Instructor: Liu, Alan
Day(s): T
Time: 12:30pm - 3:00pm
Location: SH 2509
Description:

In recent years, the digital humanities field ("DH") has reached a critical mass of participants, publications, conferences, institutional programs, job calls, critical discourse, and general visibility.  This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the field. The course introduces major types of digital humanities work and central topics and controversies.  It asks students to develop project ideas and public visibility in their intended professional field in its relation to the digital humanities. Major topics include: the emergence of the digital humanities and the relation of DH to the humanities; the logic of text encoding (with some attention to relational databases); methods of text analysis (including quantitative analysis, topic modeling, and social network analysis); mapping in the digital humanities; digital humanities temporality (timelines, archival theory, and media archaeology); and the emerging area of "critical infrastructure studies."

A key aspect of the course is the balance it seeks between ideas and technology.  Far-reaching ideas from both the human past and present are reexamined from a technological perspective, and, just as important, vice versa.

Assignments in the course train graduate students in the digital humanities (Practicums); immerse them in the digital-humanities research community (Follow DH Community on Twitter); develop their professional profile in their intended research field (Blog Posts on Your Field in its Relation to Digital Humanities); and incubate a "mock grant proposal" for a digital-humanities project (Mock Project Prospectus).  (Due to the constraints of a 10-week quarter, the project need not be implemented but could provide the basis for the student's future research and professional development.)