This course is an introduction to the use of digital information and communication technologies in literary and humanistic study. We will survey the field of digital humanities, from electronic scholarly editing; to the computational analysis of style, theme, and structure; to considerations of the cultural impact of information technology on scholarly discourse, publishing, and the academy; to the study of virtuality and materiality of digital objects and their non-digital counterparts.
We will also study several specific technologies in detail, including eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and the Text Encoding Initiative. Students will be expected to generate critical work on subjects related to digital humanities and to perform some hands-on exercises using technologies common in digital humanities research.
|Assignment||Points (out of 1000)||Due|
|Data Set||100||Jan. 29, 5pm|
|Social Media Reporting||100||Jan. 17, 1pm: List of those you are following.
Mar. 28, 1pm: Report.
|Final Project||400||Apr. 25 (proposal due Feb. 21)|
For your own edification, for lab tasks we will do in class, and for raw material for your final project, you will assemble a dataset that is focused on a particular topic. The dataset should consist of at least the following.
- A digital text corpus of at least one million words. This may be a collection of novels, poems, historical documents, social media feeds, movie or television scripts, song lyrics, etc. Some sources for these texts include:
- An image collection of at least 100 digital images.
- A spreadsheet with 250 rows with columns for “event,” “date,” and geographic coordinates.
You may supplement these minimum requirements with other data: audio, video, etc.
For instance, a dataset might consist of the works (novels, short stories, and poems) of Thomas Hardy. One may be particularly interested in Hardy's long poem The Dynasts, an epic poem/drama about the Napoleonic wars. The images in the dataset might include paintings, illustrations, and maps related to the Napoleonic wars. The spreadsheet of dates/places/events might focus on a chronology of the wars.
During the fourth week of class (by Tuesday, January 29th at 5pm), you will write up a blog post that:
- Provides an overview of the topic of your dataset
- Explains your rationale for assembling the materials
- Discusses things you may have learned about the data through the process of finding and gathering the materials
- Discusses the sources of your materials
- Includes a link to a zip or tar archive of the data (which should be organized in some reasonable way and include a README file with an overview of the contents). Your data should be distributed in non-proprietary formats, e.g., (plain text, XML, TIFF, PNG, CSV, TSV, etc.).
The above blog post is in addition to the 10 required for the semester-long blogging assignment.
Should should keep track of the sources of your data (every text and image) so that you can credit these sources appropriately in your writing.
Social Media Reporting
Much of the scholarly discourse in the digital humanities occurs in social media fora such as blogs and Twitter. As part of our course, you are asked to follow and report on some of these conversations. Over the course of the semester you must follow at least three active blogs (one or more posts per month) and four active Twitter feeds (multiple tweets per day).
By the start of class on January 17th, you should have posted a list (with names and links) of the 3 blogs and 4 Twitter feeds you are following this semester, along with any remarks about how/why you chose this group. Post this list in the Oncourse forum “Social Media: Who's Following Whom
Later in the semester you will submit an 750-1000 word paper discussing what you've learned from following these social media fora and how they have influenced your thinking about the topics of our course.
During the course of the semester you must write 10 blog posts of at least 500 words. You must also also write at least 20 substantive comments on other students’ blog posts. You may write as many blog posts and comments as you wish each week, but you may only receive credit for 1 blog post and 2 comments per week. This means you cannot wait until the end of the semester and cram all 10 posts and 20 comments into one or two weeks. Your blog writing must be spread out over the course of the semester. Blog posts are due by Tuesday at 5pm to give us all time to read and comment on posts before class on Thursday.
Your blog posts should reflect on our readings, on our lab assignments, on the social media you are following, and on the development of your final project.
Students may already be active bloggers. Others are encouraged to start up their own personal blog. Or you may use the blog tool in Oncourse. If you use a non-Oncourse blog. Post links to your "real" blog in the Oncourse tool, so we can all access everything from a central place.
Of the 300 points assigned to blogging. To reach the 300 points, I assign 24 points to each blog post and 3 points to each blog comment, so 80% of the blogging grade is devoted to your posts and 20% to your comments.
Around the middle of the semester, we will have an open-book mid-term exam consisting of a few short questions and one longer essay question.
As part of this course you will develop a digital humanities project. Throughout the semester we will see many examples of the different types of projects done in digital humanities. Some possibilities include:
- A digital edition of a shorter text or collection of short texts.
- An visualization of humanities texts or data.
- A computational analysis of humanities texts or data.
- A software tool.
- An interpretive and analytical temporal and/or spatial exhibit.
- A well-documented data model for a particular type of humanities object, e.g., a new markup language or TEI extension for modeling and representing a class of documents that cannot easily be expressed with existing markup languages.
- An online thematic research collection, which might combine many of the above elements.
The project will be a collaborative group project, with students working in groups of three or four. The project will be hosted on the web and will include roughly 2000 words of text that provides an overview of the project, the motivations behind the project, and a discussion of the development process. By February 21st, you will submit a project proposal and plan. I've provided an example template for the proposal.
10 January (week 1): Introductions
- Kirschenbaum, M. G. (2010). What is digital humanities and what’s it doing in English departments? ADE Bulletin 150, 55–61. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/WK6Qos
- Forster, C. (2010). I’m Chris. Where am I wrong. Retrieved from http://hastac.org/blogs/cforster/im-chris-where-am-i-wrong
- Terras, M. (2012). Infographic: Quantifying digital humanities. Retrieved from http://melissaterras.blogspot.com/2012/01/infographic-quanitifying-digital.html
- Svensson, P. (2010). The landscape of digital humanities. Digital Humanities Quarterly 4(1). Retrieved from http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/4/1/000080/000080.html
17 January (week 2): Perspectives on DH
- Busa, Roberto A. “Foreword: Perspectives on the Digital Humanities.” A Companion to Digital Humanities. Ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-1-2.
- Hockey, Susan. “The History of Humanities Computing.” A Companion to Digital Humanities. Ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-2-1.
- Ramsay, Stephen. “Who’s In and Who’s Out” and “On Building.” Read both posts and comments.
- Fish, Stanley. “The Digital Humanities and the Transcending of Mortality”.
- Burke, Timothy “The Author Is Human”.
24 January (week 3): Disciplines: Literary Studies
- Underwood, Ted and Andrew Goldstone. What can topic models of PMLA teach us about the history of literary scholarship?
- Rommel, Thomas. “Literary Studies.” A Companion to Digital Humanities. Ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-2-8
- Price, Kenneth M. “Electronic Scholarly Editions.” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Ed. Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405148641/9781405148641.xml&chunk.id=ss1-6-5.
- Price, Kenneth M. “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What’s in a Name?” Digital Humanities Quarterly. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/3/000053/000053.html.
- Ramsay, Stephen. “Algorithmic Criticism.” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Ed. Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405148641/9781405148641.xml&chunk.id=ss1-6-7.
- Rockwell, Geoffrey. The Digital Humanities and the Revenge of Authority.
31 January (week 4): Text Encoding (meets in 002)
- Sperberg-McQueen, Michael and Lou Burnard. “A Gentle Introduction to XML.” from the TEI Guidelines.
- Renear, Allen. “Text Encoding.” A Companion to Digital Humanities. London: Blackwell, 2004.
- XML in 10 Points.
- Cummings, James. “The Text Encoding Initiative and the Study of Literature.” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. London: Blackwell, 2007.
- Vanhoutte, Edward. An Introduction to the TEI and the TEI Consortium.
- Chapters 1–4 and 7 of the TEI Guidelines.
7 February (week 5): Text Analysis
- Jockers, Matthew. “On Distant Reading and Macroanalysis.”
- Jockers, Matthew. “The LDA Buffet is Now Open; or, Latent Dirichlet Allocation for English Majors.”
- Lohr, Steve. “Dickens, Austen and Twain, Through a Digital Lens.” New York Times 26 Jan. 2013.
- Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. The Remaking of Reading: Data Mining and the Digital Humanities.
- Sinclar, Stéfan. Introduction: Correcting Method.
- Sinclair, Stéfan. Now Analyze That: Comparing the discourse on race.
- Church, Kenneth Ward. “Unix for Poets.”
Ward's “Unix for Poets” is a fun tutorial with exercises that teach one how to do some interesting text processing with simple Unix tools. You don't need to "read" this for class, but I encourage you to test it out and try some of the exercises with your own data.
14 February (week 6): Materialities
- Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “Introduction: An Awareness of the Mechanism.” Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008. 1–23.
- Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “‘Every Contact Leaves a Trace’: Storage, Inscription, and Computer Forensics.” Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008. 25–71.
- Galey, Alan. “The Human Presence in Digital Artefacts.” Text and Genre Reconstruction: Effects of Digitization on Ideas, Behaviours, Products, and Institutions. Ed. Willard McCarty. Cambridge: OpenBook, 2010. 93–117.
21 February (week 7): Topic Modeling
- Underwood, Ted. Topic modeling made just simple enough.
- Graham, Shawn, Scott Weingart, and Ian Milligan. Getting Started with Topic Modeling and MALLET.
- Mimno, David. “The details: how we train big topic models on lots of text.”
- Schmidt, Ben. “When you have a MALLET, everything looks like a nail.”
- Nelson, Robert K. “Mining the Dispatch: Introduction.”
- Nelson, Robert K. “Mining the Dispatch: Topics.”
- Blevins, Cameron. “Topic Modeling Martha Ballard's Diary.”
Also check out the the topic modeling tool Mallet.
28 February (week 8): Spatial Humanities
- Bodenhamer, D. J. (2010). The Potential of Spatial Humanities. In D. J. Bodenhamer, J. Corrigan, & T. M. Harris (Eds.), The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship (pp. 14-25). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
- Cooper, D., & Gregory, I. N. (2011). Mapping the English Lake District: a literary GIS. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36(1), 89-108. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2010.00405.x
- Rumsay, David. Reading Historical Maps Digitally: How Spatial Technologies Can Enable Close, Distant and Dynamic Interpretations
- Rumsay, David. David Rumsay Map Collection.
- Sui, D. Z. (2004). GIS, cartography and the “third culture”: Geographic imaginations in the computer age. The Professional Geographer 56(1), 62-72.
Some example projects and resources
- A Handsome Atlas
- Neatline demos
- Exhibit demos
- Linguistic Geographies: The Gough Map of Great Britain
- Hand Drawn Map Association
7 March (week 9): Digital Humanities and Libraries
- Posner, Miriam. (2013). “No Half Measures: Overcoming Common Challenges to Doing Digital Humanities in the Libraries.” Journal of Library Administration. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01930826.2013.756694
- Vinopal, J. & McCormick, M. (2013). “Supporting Digital Scholarship in Research Libraries: Scalability and Sustainability.” Journal of Library Administration. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01930826.2013.756689
- Nowviskie, B. “A Skunk in the Library.”
- Vandegrift, M. “What id Digital Humanities and What's It Doing in the Library?”
- Muñoz, T. Digita humanities in the library isn't a service.”
14 March (spring break)
21 March (week 10): Critical Code Studies
- Marino, M. (2006). Critical code studies. Electronic Book Review. Retrieved from http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/electropoetics/codology
- Montfort, N., Baudoin, P., Bell, J., Bogost, I., Douglass, J., Marino, M. C., Mateas, M. … Vawter, N. 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Boston: MIT Press. Retrieved from http://trope-tank.mit.edu/10_PRINT_121114.pdf. Read through page 146.
28 March (week 11): Digital Medievalism
- Dot Porter, “Medievalists and the Scholarly Digital Edition.” http://www.scholarlyediting.org/2013/essays/essay.porter.html
- John Unsworth, “Medievalists as Early Adopters of Information Technology.” http://www.digitalmedievalist.org/journal/7/unsworth/
- Daniel Paul O’Donnell, “ Disciplinary Impact and Technological Obsolescence in Digital Medieval Studies” <>http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405148641/9781405148641.xml&chunk.id=ss1–4–2&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1–4–2&brand=9781405148641_brand>
- Alpo Honkapohja, ed. “The Trinity Seven Planets.” Read the intro at http://www.scholarlyediting.org/2013/editions/intro.sevenplanets.html and peruse the edition at http://www.scholarlyediting.org/2013/editions/sevenplanets.html
4 April (week 12): Design and Interface
- Galey, A., & Ruecker, S. (2010). How a prototype argues. Literary and Linguistic Computing 25(4), 405-424. Retreived from http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/4/405.full.pdf+html
- Drucker, J. (2013). Performative Materiality and Theoretical Approaches to Interface. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 7(1). Retrieved from http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/7/1/000143/000143.html
11 April (week 13): Gaming and DH
- Antley, J. (2012). Games and Historical Narratives. Journal of Digital Humanities 1(2). Retrieved from http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-2/games-and-historical-narratives-by-jeremy-antley/
- Chapman, A. (2012). Privileging form over content: Analysing historical videogames. Journal of Digital Humanities 1(2). Retrieved from http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-2/privileging-form-over-content-by-adam-chapman/
- McCall, J. (2012). Historical simulations as problem spaces: Criticism and classroom use. Journal of Digital Humanities 1(2). Retrieved from http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-2/historical-simulations-as-problem-spaces-by-jeremiah-mccall/
- Antley, J. (2012). Going beyond the textual in history. Journal of Digital Humanities 1(2). Retrieved from http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-2/going-beyond-the-textual-in-history-by-jeremy-antley/
- Owens, Trevor. “Video Game Preservation at Scale: An Interview with Henry Lowood.”
18 April (week 14): Scholarly Communication & Peer Review
- Fyfe, P. (2012). Electronic errata: Digital publishing, open review, and the futures of correction. In M.K. Gold (Ed.), Debates in the Digital Humanities. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Retrieved from http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/4
- Sample, M. (2012). When does service become scholarship? Retrieved from http://www.samplereality.com/2013/02/08/when-does-service-become-scholarship/
Read the Introduction and at least two other articles from the cluster below:
- Schreibman, S., Mandell, L., & Olsen, S. (2011). Introduction. Profession, 2011, pp.123–135. Retrieved from http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1632/prof.2011.2011.1.123
- Anderson, S., & McPherson, T. (2011). Profession, 2011, pp. 136–151. Retrieved from http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1632/prof.2011.2011.1.136
- Rockwell, G. (2011). On the evaluation of digital media as scholarship. Profession, 2011, pp. 152–167. Retrieved from http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1632/prof.2011.2011.1.152
- Nowviskie, B. (2011). Where credit is due: Preconditions for the evaluation of collaborative digital scholarship. Profession, 2011, pp. 169–181. Retrieved from http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1632/prof.2011.2011.1.169
- McGann, J. (2011). On creating a usable future. Profession, 2011, pp. 182–195. Retrieved from http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1632/prof.2011.2011.1.182
- Fitzpatrick, K. (2011). Peer review, judgment, and reading. Profession, 2011, pp. 196–201. Retrieved from http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1632/prof.2011.2011.1.196