DIG 6178 (SPRING 2020)

TUESDAYS, 6:30-9:15pm
CPR 343
Professor Steven Jones
Office hours: T, 3:00-5:00pm, W, 12:30-2:30pm (and other times by appointment)
CPR 303

Digital Humanities (DH) is an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of digital technologies and humanities research and learning. It rose to prominence in the past decade or so, partly in response to widespread changes in technology and culture, including the advent of mobile platforms, the geospatial turn, the mass digitization of books and other objects, casual and mobile gaming, augmented reality applications, and large-scale data analysis—all of which have serious implications for society and for the humanities. There are now dedicated research centers, grants, journals, conferences, degree and certificate programs in the field and this seminar is an introduction to DH. We’ll explore contemporary issues and debates, including questions about technology and culture, race and gender, access and preservation, privacy and security. Readings will consider theories as well as specific DH tools, projects, and methods. In addition to readings and presentations, students will use digital platforms and tools to create and present a prototype of a DH project. Like all seminars, this class will be based on open discussion, but class periods will also involve student presentations, as well as some tinkering and experimentation.

This seminar serves as a contextually-framed introduction to Digital Humanities. The course will provide a practical, hands-on introduction to a range of specific DH tools and methods, for example:

  • digitization and the curation of archives
  • text markup and electronic editing
  • text mining, data analysis, and data visualization
  • maps and humanities-oriented geospatial techniques
  • game studies and multimodal new media from a DH perspective
  • the use of digital platforms for creative work, scholarly publication, and pedagogy

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand and engage with key debates, issues, and definitions of DH
  • formulate a DH research question
  • mark up sample text using simple Markdown, HTML and some TEI-XML encoding
  • gain a basic understanding of digitization and the uses of metadata
  • identify a basic textual corpus and use available tools to analyze it
  • use digital platforms to produce and study creative work
  • apply critical analysis to digital media and platforms, and to digital technology in historical and cultural contexts
  • organize and execute a prototype collaborative research project on a digital platform

See the following page for the university’s policies:

An Aura of Familiarity, Institute for the Future, 2013: http://www.iftf.org/fileadmin/user_upload/downloads/th/IFTF_SR-1590C__AnAuraOfFamiliarity.pdf
Electronic Literature Organization ELC3: http://eliterature.org
Gold, Matthew and Lauren Klein, eds., Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016:
Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, eds., A New Companion to Digital Humanities (2016): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605

To purchase:
Greenfield, Adam. Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life (Verso, 2018)

Voyant: https://voyant-tools.org
Juxta Commons: http://juxtacommons.org
Markdown: https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax
Mozilla Introduction to HTML: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Guide/HTML/Introduction
JS Bin online markup editor: http://jsbin.com/?html,output
Omeka: https://omeka.org
Processing: https://processing.org
The Programming Historian lessons: https://programminghistorian.org/en/lessons/
TEI: http://www.tei-c.org/index.xml
Scalar: https://scalar.me/anvc/scalar/
StoryMapJS: https://storymap.knightlab.com
TimelineJS: https://timeline.knightlab.com
Twine: http://twinery.org

In addition to the readings and discussion, requirements will include regular writing on a digital publishing platform; in-class presentations; and a final collaborative project on a digital platform addressing a DH question using appropriate tools. (Note: No knowledge of programming or other technological skills is prerequisite for the course. During the semester students will learn some basics of markup languages and become familiar—at the introductory level—with the basics of programming.) Grades will be distributed approximately as follows:

  • class participation ………………………………………………….……………10%
  • writing (project documentation)………………………..……15%
  • PechaKucha presentations with discussion………………………….………25%
  • Presentation/demo of digital project (in progress)………20%
  • Final digital project, including documentation………………………………30%


Core requirement for the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities
MA Lit cultural-critical studies
MA Lit elective
MA R/C 1-2 other electives
MFA elective (5 courses)
PhD Lit theory-rich course


Video lecture and interview, University of Luxembourg: https://www.c2dh.uni.lu/data/lecture-steven-e-jones-new-humanism-expo-58-roberto-busa-and-first-humanities-computing-center . (Come to Jan. 21 class with questions for discussion.)

Greenfield, Introduction: “Paris year zero;” chapter 1: “Smartphone: The networking of the self”
Jones, “Turning Practice Inside Out: Digital Humanities and the Eversion,” in Routledge Companion to Digital Studies and Digital Humanities, ed. Sayers, 2018: https://works.bepress.com/steven-jones/58/
Presner and Shepard, “Mapping the Geospatial Turn,” in Schreibman et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
StoryMap JS, Neatline

Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace: https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence
Wikipedia, “Digital humanities,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_humanities
DH Manifesto 2.0: http://www.humanitiesblast.com/manifesto/Manifesto_V2.pdf
Kirschenbaum, “What is the Digital Humanities?,” in Gold, Debates 2012:http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/38
Chun, et al., “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities,” in Gold and Klein, eds., Debates 2016: http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/89
Losh, et al., “Putting the Human back into the Digital Humanities,” in Gold and Klein, eds., Debates 2016: http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/61
Parham interview, LARB: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/digital-humanities-interview-marisa-parham/

Greenfield, chapter 2: “The internet of things: A planetary mesh of perception and response”
Sayers, et al., “Between Bits and Atoms,” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Jorgenson, “The Internet of Things” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Sterling, Shaping Things, chapters 1, 2: http://wtf.tw/ref/sterling_shaping_things.pdf
The Aura of Familiarity, “III. Lich-House,”“IV. Water”

Greenfield, chapter 3: “Augmented reality: An interactive overlay on the world”
The Aura of Familiarity, “VI. From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter,”“VII. By His Things Will You Know Him”
[6:30-7:30 visit to the AVC]
[7:45-9:15 reconvene in DHLabs]

Greenfield, chapter 4: “Digital Fabrication: Towards a political economy of matter”
Sayers, “Before You Make a Thing” (Guide for Technology and Society course, fall 2018): https://jentery.github.io/ts200v2/notes.html?fbclid=IwAR2i-Q6CqgcPptgqiej7tOXa2l-c2x9JwpHnm3iFRhynK7s5zttnAJmESbc
Sayers, “Kits for Cultural History,” Hyperrhiz 13: http://hyperrhiz.io/hyperrhiz13/workshops-kits/early-wearables-essay.html
Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com

Greenfield, chapter 5: “Cryptocurrency: The computational guarantee of value;” chapter 6: “Blockchain beyond Bitcoin: a trellis for posthuman institutions”
Bruce Schneier, “There’s no Good Treason to Trust Blockchain Technology”: https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2019/02/theres_no_good_reaso.html
Sterling, “Stop Saying Smart Cities”: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/stupid-cities/553052/
The Aura of Familiarity, “II. Apricot Lane”

Greenfield, chapter 7: “Automation: The annihilation of work;” chapter 8: “Machine learning: The algorithmic production of knowledge”
Greenspan, “Are Digital Humanities Utopian?” in Gold and Klein, eds., Debates 2016: http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/84
Underwood, “Why an Age of Machine Learning Needs the Humanities”: https://www.publicbooks.org/why-an-age-of-machine-learning-needs-the-humanities/
The Aura of Familiarity, “V. Social Services”

Greenfield, chapter 9: “Artificial intelligence: The eclipse of human discretion;” chapter 10: “Radical technologies: The design of everyday life;” Conclusion: “Of tetrapods and tactics”
Tufekci, “We’re Building A Dystopia” (TED talk): https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads?language=en
Sam Lavigne, “The New Organs”: https://vimeo.com/301298867


Bogost and Montfort, “Platform Studies: Levels”: http://platformstudies.com/levels.html
Weingart, et al., Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook (Carnegie Mellon U.): https://cmu-lib.github.io/dhlg/
Posner, “How Did They Make That? Reverse Engineering Digital Projects” (Video, April 17, 2014): https://archive.org/details/howdidtheymakethat.
Reviews In DH: https://reviewsindh.pubpub.org/v1-n2

Jockers and Underwood, “Text Mining the Humanities,” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Rockwell and Sinclair, “Text Analysis and Visualization,” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Nowviskie, “What Do Girls Dig?”: https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/read/untitled-88c11800-9446-469b-a3be-3fdb36bfbd1e/section/76729465-02aa-4abb-8f14-90af33e5c340#p3b2
Rhody, “Why I Dig,” in Gold and Klein, eds., Debates 2016: http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/97
Drucker, “Graphical Approaches to the Digital Humanities,” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Underwood, et al., “The Transformation of Gender in English-Language Fiction,” Journal of Cultural Analytics (February 13, 2018): https://culturalanalytics.org/article/11035-the-transformation-of-gender-in-english-language-fiction .

Jones and Fraistat, “Electronic Textual Editing: The Poem and The Network”: https://ecommons.luc.edu/english_facpubs/20/
Price, “Social Scholarly Editing,” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Markdown editor: https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax
Minimal Computing (GO::DH): http://go-dh.github.io/mincomp/resources/; Ed.: http://elotroalex.github.io/ed/
Mozilla Introduction to HTML: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Guide/HTML/Introduction
Juxta Commons
Frankenstein in Juxta Commons: http://juxtacommons.org/shares/Nme50n

Borsuk, “The Book as Recombinant Structure,” http://thewritingplatform.com/2018/10/book-recombinant-structure-century-art-experimental-books/
Stauffer, “My Old Sweethearts: On Digitization and the Future of the Print Record,” in Gold and Klein, eds., Debates 2016: http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/70
Borsuk and Bouse, Between Page and Screen: https://www.betweenpageandscreen.com
The Agrippa Files: http://agrippa.english.ucsb.edu

Rettberg, “Electronic Literature as Digital Humanities,” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Electronic Literature Organization, ELC3: http://eliterature.org
Jones, “New Media and Modeling” in Schreibman, et al., A New Companion to Digital Humanities: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781118680605
Twine, Processing

Final project demos