DIG 6585 (FALL 2019)


Fall 2017
Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:15pm, CPR 343
Professor Steven Jones
CPR 303
Office hours, W, 3:00-5:00; TH, 12:30-2:30
(and other times by appointment)

Digital Humanities research projects, which are often collaborative and interdisciplinary, can take many different forms: digital collections or archive of texts, images, video, sound files, or other digital media; analyses of large corpora of texts, often with visualizations; data-rich maps; creative works, such as born-digital electronic literature, or digital + physical Alternate Reality Games; and so on. In each case, the DH researcher or team of researchers builds something—usually a framework for organizing a collection of digital assets of some kind and making them available to users—thereby addressing a research question or providing a platform for further research and learning. In some cases, researchers may develop new software. In other cases, they may use existing “off the shelf” software and platforms. Either approach can result in an effective DH project.

In this seminar/workshop we’ll focus on the conception, planning, proposal, and development of DH projects. We’ll consider the nature of the project as a genre and a methodology, and we’ll look at issues of data, digital assets, infrastructure, platform, intended user base, and interface, as well as funding, collaboration (often interdisciplinary), publication, assessment, and sustainability. The workshop environment is meant to foster the sharing of ideas, research questions, tools, and prototypes. We’ll also learn about interdisciplinary DH work already taking place at USF and elsewhere. The chief outcome of the course will be a completed project proposal. The final requirement for the semester will be to present that proposal in a demo pitch.

Some students may begin the semester with a project already underway. Others may come with only a research topic. In any case, the semester’s work will help them develop a completed proposal, including some limited digital prototypes, wireframes, or mock-ups. The developing research interests and specific needs of the class will shape the shared content of the workshop.

This course will provide a cumulative overview of the development process in stages, from research question to full proposal, in a collaborative space that supports creative development. The larger objectives are: (1) a theoretical and critical understanding of the affordances and constraints of the DH project as a genre and a methodology, including assumptions and interdisciplinary practices that frame DH projects; and (2) the ability to design, propose, and present a DH project that addresses an important research topic or set of questions in the humanities.

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

  • Understand the theory and history of the DH project as a genre and a methodology
  • Formulate an effective DH research question
  • Develop a detailed plan and timetable for a project
  • Critically evaluate and determine appropriate platforms and tools
  • Understand and apply appropriate technical standards, such as TEI, etc.
  • Design a project architecture, from back-end to interface
  • Write a hypothetical budget tailored to real-world funding sources
  • Produce a data-management plan
  • Imagine and produce effective use-cases
  • Plan for assessment and long-term sustainability
  • Put together a complete written proposal, including abstract, narrative, schedule, budget, supporting media, figures, tables, etc.
  • Present the proposal in a demo at an end-of-semester showcase event

Please adhere to the USF Graduate Student Policy, found here: http://www.grad.usf.edu/plagiarism.php.

USF Policy is that students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination, in accordance with this Policy. Students absent for religious reasons, as noticed to the instructor at the beginning of each academic term, will be given reasonable opportunities to make up any work missed.

Students with disabilities are responsible for registering with Students with Disabilities Services (SDS) in order to receive academic accommodations. SDS encourages students to notify instructors of accommodation needs at least 5 business days prior to needing the accommodation. A letter from SDS must accompany this request.

USF is committed to providing an environment free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence (USF System Policy 0-004). The USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention is a confidential resource where you can talk about incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. This confidential resource can help you without having to report your situation to either the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSSR) or the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity (DIEO), unless you request that they make a report. Please be aware that in compliance with Title IX and under the USF System Policy, educators must report incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. If you disclose any of these situations in class, in papers, or to me personally, I am required to report it to OSSR or DIEO for investigation. The USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention can be reached at (813) 974-5757.

READINGS (all open access)
Brown, Susan, Patricia Clements, Isobel Grundy, Stan Ruecker, Jeffery Antoniuk, and Sharon Balazs. “Published Yet Never Done: The Tension Between Projection and Completion in Digital Humanities Research.” DHQ 3.2 (2009): http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/2/000040/000040.html.

Burdick, Anne, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, Jeffrey Schnapp, MIT Press, 2012, pp. 121–136: A Short Guide to the Digital_Humanities(“Questions and Answers and Specifications”): http://jeffreyschnapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/D_H_ShortGuide.pdf.

Collaborators’ Bill of Rights. Collectively authored at symposium, “Off the Tracks: Laying new Lines for Digital Humanities Scholars.” Directed by Tanya Clement. January 20-21, 2011: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/offthetracks/part-one-models-for-collaboration-career-paths-acquiring-institutional-support-and-transformation-in-the-field/a-collaboration/collaborators’-bill-of-rights/.

Croxall, Brian. “12 Basic Principles of Project Management.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. ProfHacker, March 3, 2011: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/12-basic-principles-of-project-management/31421.

Drucker, Johanna and David Kim. UCLA Center for DH Intro to Digital Humanities Coursebook, 2013: http://dh101.humanities.ucla.edu; including esp. Drucker, “Analysis of DH Projects”: http://dh101.humanities.ucla.edu/?page_id=15.

NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grants:

Nowviskie, Bethany. “On the Origin of ‘Hack’ and ‘Yack.” In Gold, Matthew K. and Lauren Klein, ed. Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016: http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/58.

Nowviskie, Bethany. “Ten Rules for Humanities Scholars New to Project Management.” Author’s website. November 2011: http://nowviskie.org/handouts/DH/10rules.pdf.

Posner, Miriam. “How Did They Make That? Reverse Engineering Digital Projects.” Video, April 17, 2014: https://archive.org/details/howdidtheymakethat.

Sayers, Jentery. “Before You Make a Thing,” course materials: https://jentery.github.io/ts200v2/notes.html.

Sayers, Jentery, ed.  The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities (selected open-access chapters): https://github.com/jentery/routledgeCompanionMSDH/blob/master/toc.md.

Siemens, Lynne. “Project Management.” In Davis, Rebecca Frost, et al., ed. Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities. MLA Commons: Concepts, Models, and Experiments: https://digitalpedagogy.mla.hcommons.org/keywords/project-management/.

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
Minimal Computing: http://go-dh.github.io/mincomp/
Omeka: https://omeka.org
Processing: https://processing.org
The Programming Historian lessons: https://programminghistorian.org/en/lessons/
Reviews in DH: https://reviewsindh.pubpub.org
TEI: http://www.tei-c.org/index.xml
Reclaim Hosting: https://reclaimhosting.com
Scalar: https://scalar.me/anvc/scalar/
StoryMapJS: https://storymap.knightlab.com
TimelineJS: https://timeline.knightlab.com
Twine: http://twinery.org
Wax: https://minicomp.github.io/wax/

Grades will be distributed approximately as follows:

Class participation, including test-demos ………… approx. 20%
Written project proposal, in stages ……….…….… approx. 40%
Final pitch …………………………..……………..……… approx. 40%

Core requirement for the new 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

(We’ll put this together as a group on August 28, based on the needs of the seminar and drawing on the suggested readings and materials listed above.)