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Intro to Digital Humanities

ENGL 009.401
crosslisted as: COML 009, HIST 009
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12pm

Course Online: Synchronous Format

fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Artificial intelligence, big data, and the internet of things are rapidly changing every aspect of our lives.  Scholars in the humanities have been critically engaged with these shifts of the digital age.  In this course we will consider some of the ways humanists and artists are collaborating with scientists and engineers to solve the big problems facing our planet and our species. We’ll study how data science is changing museums and special collections.   We’ll learn how scholars of race and gender are combating algorithmic bias in search engines and how digital archivists are helping climate scientists save their data from politics. Students will gain hands-on experience with a range of approaches and methods of digital humanities research.  They will acquire basic facility with key digital tools like GitHub, relational databases, XML/HTML and TEI, useful text analysis and visualization tools, and online publishing platforms.  Our collective aim will be to establish a critical, historical framework for understanding the impact of digital technologies on our lives and the ways these technologies can be used in our humanistic research.  Absolutely no prior coding experience is required. We plan to conduct this course remotely, using both synchronous with asynchronous Zoom sessions, frequent breakout rooms and small-group meetings, one-on-one conferences, and shared folders and files on Canvas and Google.  Work for the course will include regular in-class exercises, short research findings and response papers, and a mid-sized digital project.

This will be a fun class!  You will learn how to use some powerful tools and platforms to study literature, art, history, and culture.  And you'll have lots of opportunities to work in pairs or small groups with your classmates instead of sitting through long Zoom lectures.  If you have any questions about the class, just send an email to Jim <jenglish@sas.upenn.edu>