Introduction to Digital Humanities
DHUM 70000 / IDS 81660 / MALS 75400
CUNY Graduate Center
Tuesdays 4:15pm--6:15pm - Room 6417
Dr. Stephen Brier
Office hours: T 3pm-4pm and by appointment Office location: room 7301.10 (through the Student Affairs office)
Patrick Smyth (MA in DH)
Office hours: M 5:30-6:30 Tu 3:00-4:00
Agustín Indaco (MS in Data Analysis/Vis)
Office hours: W 5:30-6:30 Th 5:00-6:00
"Introduction to Digital Humanities" is the first course in a year-long, two-course sequence of classes that aims to introduce students to the landscape of digital humanities tools and methods through readings and classroom and online discussions, lectures offered by prominent scholars and technologists, hands-on workshops, and collaborative projects. Students enrolled in the two-course sequence will complete their first year at the GC having been introduced to a broad range of ways to critically evaluate and incorporate digital technologies into their academic research and teaching. In addition, they will have explored both the general field and a particular area of digital scholarship and/or pedagogy of interest to them, produced a digital project in collaboration with fellow students, and learned how to present their digital work effectively.
The two connected three-credit courses will be offered during the Fall and Spring semesters DH classes for master's students and Interdisciplinary Studies courses for doctoral students. The Fall 2018 class will be co-taught by Professors Stephen Brier and Matthew K. Gold. The Spring course will be taught by Professor Andie Silva.
Students will become acquainted with the current landscape of the field of digital humanities.
Students will become conversant with a range of debates in the field of DH through readings and discussions.
Students will create a social media presence and begin to prepare their own digital portfolios.
Students will create a proposal for a digital project for possible development in the Spring.
- Students will become familiar with the resources available at the Graduate Center to support work on digital teaching and research projects.
Requirements and Structure:
Students in the course should complete the following work during the semester:
Reading and Discussion (Weekly)
Students should complete all weekly readings in advance of the class meeting and should take an active part in class discussions.
Blogging (6 posts)
Students are responsible for writing five blog posts on our shared course blog. These should be posted by Friday night so that peers have the weekend to respond before Tuesday's class.
two short responses to our weekly readings or in-class discussions;
one post about a workshop you have attended, with the goal of helping other students understand what they may have missed and/or what you found valuable about it;
two post about praxis assignments;
- one post about their final project.
Students who are not writing blog posts on a given week should comment on and respond to the posts of other students.
- Students are encouraged to live-tweet their readings, workshops, class discussions, or other events of interest to #dhintro18
Workshops (3 workshops)
- In connection with GC Digital Initiatives, we will be offering skills workshops throughout the semester (https://digitalfellows.commons.gc.cuny.edu/events/). Students are responsible for attending a minimum of three workshops over the course of the semester. You are free to go to as many as you'd like pending space limitations. To satisfy this requirement, students can also attend workshops offered by the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Program, the Teaching and Learning Center, the GC Library, and the Quantitative Research Center.
Praxis Assignments (2 Assignments)
During the semester, we will ask you to choose two of three praxis assignments to complete. These exercises are meant to be beginner-level; our interest in having you complete them lies in getting you to experiment with new tools. Your results do not have to be necessarily significant or meaningful; the important thing is to engage the activity and gain a better understanding of the kinds of choices one must make when undertaking such a project. We ask you to think, too, about both the strengths and the limitations of the tools you are trying out.
Our group on the CUNY Academic Commons includes an integration with the Dirt Directory (look for the Digital Tools link in the group), which can help lead you to new tools to try.
Text-Mining Assignment (Due Oct 9) Explore a text or set of texts with Voyant (easiest), Bookworm, MALLET, or another text-mining tool. Blog about your experiences.
Mapping Assignment (Due Oct 23) Create a map of a novel, an author's works, or some other data using Google Maps, CartoDB, ARCGIS StoryMaps, or another mapping platform. Blog about your project
- Network Analysis Assignment (Due Nov 6) Identify or create a dataset of interest and explore it using a network analysis tool such as Gephi or Palladio. Further resources may be found on the DH@Berkeley site and this page created by Miriam Posner.
Students may choose between a) writing a conventional seminar paper related to some aspect of our course readings; or b) crafting a formal proposal for a digital project that might be executed with a team of students during the spring semester. Guidelines for the proposal will be distributed later in the semester.
Regular participation in discussions across the range of our face-to-face and online course spaces is essential.
Participation and online assignments (30%)
- Final project (70%)
All students should register for accounts on the following sites: CUNY Academic Commons, Twitter, GitHub, and Zotero (the library staff offers several very good intro workshops on Zotero that you are encouraged to attend).
Remember that when you register for social-networking accounts, you do not have to use your full name or even your real name. One benefit of writing publicly under your real name is that you can begin to establish a public academic identity and to network with others in your field. However, keep in mind that search engines have extended the life of online work; if you are not sure that you want your work for this course to be part of your permanently searchable identity trail on the web, you should strongly consider creating a digital alias. Whether you engage social media under your real name or whether you construct a new online identity, please consider the ways in which social media can affect your career in both positive and negative ways.
Books to Purchase:
You are not required to purchase any books for this course -- all readings will be circulated via links on the web or via PDF. Should you wish to purchase some of the books we will spend significant amounts of time discussing, we encourage you to purchase books via this link, which costs you nothing but nets a 5 percent contribution to the Mina Rees Library for book and electronic resource purchases for the benefit of all GC students. Three such books are:
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy. New York: New York University Press, 2011.
Gold, Matthew K. Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2012. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012 -- available for free online at http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu
- Gold, Matthew K, and Lauren F. Klein. Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016 -- available for free online at http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu
Readings marked (PDF) will be made available via the Files section of our course group.
Academic Accommodations & Accessibility
Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable academic accommodations if determined eligible by the Graduate Center's Disability Services Office. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student’s eligibility from the DS Office, which is located in room 7301 at the GC and which can be reached by emailing email@example.com . It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the office and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.
Course Schedule (subject to change)
August 28 - Introductions
September 4 - Approaching the Digital Humanities
From the Debates in the Digital Humanities Series:
Introduction (Draft) (2019) (PDF)
Kirschenbaum, Matthew. "What Is Digital Humanities and What's It Doing in English Departments?"
Kirschenbaum, Matthew. "Digital Humanities As/Is a Tactical Term"
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. "The Humanities, Done Digitally"
Alvarado, Rafael. "The Digital Humanities Situation"
Burke, Timothy. "The Humane Digital"
- Ramsay, Stephen. "Humane Computation"
- Hockey, Susan. "The History of Humanities Computing" A Companion to Digital Humanities, edited by Susan Schreibman et al., Blackwell, 2004.
Gold, Matthew K. "Digital Humanities" The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media (PDF)
- Terras, Melissa, and Julianne Nyhan. "Father Busa's Female Punch Card Operatives" Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 57.
September 11 - No Class
September 18 - No Class
September 25 - Knowledge Models; Debates; Questions
Presner, Todd. "Critical Theory and The Mangle of Digital Humanities." Between Humanities and the Digital, edited by Patrik Svensson and David Goldberg, The MIT Press, 2015, pp. 55–68. (PDF)
Liu, Alan. "The Meaning of the Digital Humanities." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 2, 2013, pp. 409–23.
Ramsay, Stephen, and Geoffrey Rockwell. "Developing Things: Notes toward an Epistemology of Building in the Digital Humanities." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2012, edited by Matthew K. Gold. University of Minnesota Press, 2012, p. 11.
Gallon, Kim. "Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold. University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 55.
Scheinfeldt, Tom. "Where's the Beef? Does Digital Humanities Have to Answer Questions?" Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2012, edited by Matthew K. Gold. University of Minnesota Press, 2012, p. 18.
- Tenen, Dennis. “Blunt Instrumentalism: On Tools and Methods.” Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 60.
Posner, Miriam. "What's Next: The Radical, Unrealized Potential of Digital Humanities." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 54.
- Bethany Nowviskie, "On the Origin of 'Hack' and 'Yack.'" Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 58.
October 2 - Networks of Scholarly Communication
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy. New York University Press, 2011.(PDF)
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. “Academia, Not Edu.” Kfitz, 26 Sept. 2015.
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. “Networking the Field.” Kfitz, 10 Jan. 2012.
- Underwood, Ted. “New Methods Need a New Kind of Conversation.” The Stone and the Shell, 28 Feb. 2018.
October 9 - Experimentation - Text Mining
Underwood, Ted. "A Genealogy of Distant Reading." Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 2, 2017.
Goldstone, Andrew and Ted Underwood. "The Quiet Transformations of Literary Studies: What Thirteen Thousand Scholars Could Tell Us." New Literary History, vol. 45, no. 3, 2014, pp. 359–84.
Piper, Andrew. "Fictionality." Journal of Cultural Analytics, Dec. 2016.
Klein, Lauren F. “Distant Reading after Moretti.” Lklein, 2018.
McMillan Cottom, Tressie. "More Scale, More Questions: Observations from Sociology." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
- Bode, Katherine, "The Equivalence of"Close" and "Distant" Reading; or, Toward a New Object for Data-Rich Literary History." Modern Language Quarterly, vol. 78, no. 1, 2017, pp. 77-106.
PRAXIS ASSIGNMENT #1 (Text Mining) Due
October 16 - Exploration
Ramsay, Stephen. “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around; or What You Do with a Million Books.” Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology, edited by Kevin Kee, University of Michigan Press, 2014, pp. 111–20.
Drucker, Johanna. Speclab: Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing. University of Chicago Press, 2009.(Selections)
Ramsay, Stephen. Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism. University of Illinois Press, 2012. (selections)
Samuels, Lisa, and Jerome McGann. "Deformance and Interpretation." New Literary History, vol. 30, no. 1, 1999, pp. 25-56.
Witmore, Michael. "Text: A Massively Addressable Object." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2012, edited by Matthew K. Gold. University of Minnesota Press, 2012.
Piper, Andrew “Think Small: On Literary Modeling.” PMLA, vol. 132, no. 3, 2017, pp. 651–58.
- So, Richard Jean. "All Models are Wrong." PMLA, vol. 132, no. 3, May 2017, pp. 668-673.
- Gavin, Michael, et al. “Spaces of Meaning: Conceptual History, Vector Semantics, and Close Reading.” Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2019, edited by Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2019. (PDF)
October 23 - Mapping
Murrieta-Flores, Patricia, et al. “GIS and Literary History: Advancing Digital Humanities Research through the Spatial Analysis of Historical Travel Writing and Topographical Literature.” Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 1, 2017.
Presner, Todd S, David Shepard, and Yoh Kawano. Hypercities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities. Harvard University Press, 2014. (selections)
Monmonier, Mark S. How to Lie with Maps. University of Chicago Press, 1996. (selections)
- David J. Bodenhamer, John Corrigan, and Trevor M. Harris, editors. The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship. Indiana University Press, 2010. (selections)
Explore the following mapping projects:
- Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761
- Mapping Inequality
- Renewing Inequality
- Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States
PRAXIS ASSIGNMENT #2 (Mapping) Due
October 30 - Visualization
Micki Kaufman Class Visit
Klein, Lauren F. “The Image of Absence: Archival Silence, Data Visualization, and James Hemings.” American Literature, vol. 85, no. 4, 2013, pp. 661–88.
Klein, Lauren F. “Visualization as Argument.” Lklein, Dec. 2014.
Drucker, Johanna. “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display.” Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 5, no. 1, 2011.
Manovich, Lev. “What Is Visualization?” Manovich.Net, 2012.
- FlowingData: Guides - https://flowingdata.com/category/guides/ (look through a few guides that interest you)
Projects to Explore:
- On Broadway
- RateMyProf Project
- FlowingData best of lists
- Viral Texts project
November 6 - Pedagogy
Brier, Stephen. “Where’s the Pedagogy? The Role of Teaching and Learning in the Digital Humanities.” Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2012, edited by Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2012, p. 8.
Waltzer, Luke. “Digital Humanities and the ‘Ugly Stepchildren’ of American Higher Education.” Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2012, edited by Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2012, p. 33.
Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities (explore 3 keywords)
Gold, Matthew K. “Looking for Whitman: A Multi-Campus Experiment in Digital Pedagogy.” Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics, edited by Brett Hirsch, Open Book Publishers, 2014.
Fyfe, Paul. “Mid-Sized Digital Pedagogy.” Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 62.
Cordell, Ryan "How Not to Teach Digital Humanities." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
- Andrew Goldstone. "Teaching Quantitative Methods: What Makes It Hard (in Literary Studies)." Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2019, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press. (forthcoming).
- Singer, Kate. “Digital Close Reading: TEI for Teaching Poetic Vocabularies.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, no. 3, May 2013.
PRAXIS ASSIGNMENT #3 (Network Analysis) Due
November 13 - History and the Archive
Jenny Furlong class visit
Brier, Stephen. ["Why the History of CUNY Matters: Using the CUNY Digital History Archive to Teach CUNY's Past."]( https://radicalteacher.library.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/radicalteacher/article/view/357) Radical Teacher, vol. 108, 2017.
Cohen, Daniel J., and Roy Rosenzweig. [“Introduction.”] Digital History: A Guide To Gathering, Preserving, And Presenting The Past On The Web.
Robertson, Stephen. The Differences between Digital History and Digital Humanities. 23 May 2014.
Blevins, Cameron. “Digital History’s Perpetual Future Tense.” Debates in the Digital Humanities: 2016, edited by Lauren F. Klein and Matthew K. Gold, University of Minnesota Press, 2016, p. 77.
- From Nawrotzki, Kristen, and Jack Dougherty, editors. “Part 2. The Wisdom of Crowds(Ourcing).” Writing History in the Digital Age, University of Michigan Press, 2013.
- Madsen-Brooks, Leslie. "'I nevertheless am a historian': Digital Historical Practice and Malpractice around Black Confederate Soldiers"
- Wolff, Robert. "Beyond the Historical Profession: The Historian's Craft, Popular Memory, and the Wikipedia"
Projects to Explore:
- CUNY Digital History Archive
- Virtual Jamestown
- September 11 Digital Archive
- Bracero History Archive
- Roaring Twenties
- Voyages - The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
- Walt Whitman Archive
November 20 - Infrastructure and Materiality
Mattern, Shannon. “Scaffolding, Hard and Soft – Infrastructures as Critical and Generative Structures.” Spheres: Journal For Digital Culture, no. 3, June 2016.
Larkin, Brian. “The Politics and Poetics of Infrastructure.” Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 42, 2013, pp. 327–43.
Star, Susan Leigh. “The Ethnography of Infrastructure.” American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 43, no. 3, Nov. 1999, pp. 377–91.
Alan Liu, "Drafts for Against the Cultural Singularity (book in progress)." Alan Liu, 2 May 2016.
Bratton, Benjamin. The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty. The MIT Press. (selections)
Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. The MIT Press, 2012. (selections)
Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “Books After The Death Of The Book.” Public Books, 31 Mar. 2017.
Jackson, Steven. “Rethinking Repair.” Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality and Society, edited by Tarleton Gillespie and Pablo Boczkowski, The MIT Press, 2014.
- Miriam Posner, "See No Evil." Logic, no. 4, 2018.
November 27 - Race and Inequality in Algorithmic Cultures
Noble, Safiya. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York University Press, 2018. (selections - PDF)
Eubanks, Virginia. Automating Inequality. St. Martin’s Press, 2018. (selections - PDF)
Browne, Simone. Race and Surveillance. Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies, Eds Ball, Kirstie, Kevin D. Haggerty, and David Lyon. 2014.
Seaver, Nick. 2013. “Knowing Algorithms.” In Media in Transition 8. Cambridge, MA. http://nickseaver.net/s/seaverMiT8.pdf
Blas, Zach. "Face Cages" http://www.zachblas.info/works/face-cages/ and Facial Weaponization Suite http://www.zachblas.info/works/facial-weaponization-suite/
- Nakamura, Lisa. "Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture." American Quarterly, vol. 66 no. 4, 2014, pp. 919-941. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/aq.2014.0070 (PDF)
Resources and Projects to Explore:
- Black Digital Humanities Projects and Resources
- Critical Algorithm Studies: A Reading List
- Data & Society: Research
FINAL PROJECT PROPOSAL DUE
December 4 - Student presentations (Andie Silva visit)
December 11 - Student presentations
December 18 Final projects due