Increasingly, we access, share, and create information in digital forms. How does — or how should — that change the way we do scholarly work?

Digital humanities investigates how digital formats and tools are changing the way we share knowledge in the humanities. This class is an introduction to some of these formats and tools, along with a lot of critical reflection and discussion.

Our key problem is this: The humanities is a discipline that values subtlety, nuance, conflicting ideas, and even paradox. When you’re working with computers, on the other hand, you have to format information precisely and rigidly. So how do you use a computer to do humanities work? Should we stick to word-processing, or is there a way to take advantage of newer tools, like digital maps and data visualization, for humanities work?

We’ll look at these tools together, with a focus on applications for structured data. You’ll emerge from this class with the ability to:

  • work with structured data;
  • create digital maps;
  • create data visualizations;
  • create network graphs;
  • create websites and use content-management systems;
  • undertake sophisticated humanities research;
  • speak, think, and write critically about the epistemological biases and affordances of all of these methods and tools;
  • imagine other possibilities for humanities scholarship.