Course code: IM-UH 1111X-001 (24542) [formerly AHC AD 139]
Instructor: Dr. David Joseph Wrisley  @DJWrisley
Office: A6 1151
Office hours MW 230-330, or by appt
Course meeting time and place: 1150-105pm, C3 118

This course provides an introduction to, and critical engagement with, issues in the interdisciplinary research field known as “Digital Humanities.“ As we move between the overlapping worlds of the “digital” and the “humanities,” we will explore both the benefits, and limitations, of digital methods in research applied to texts and objects of the cultural record.

Key issues in the course include

  • how texts are digitized, encoded and collected in digital environments, as well as challenges of working in languages other than English;
  • how textual and spatial data relevant to the humanities might be collected, structured and visualized;
  • how computer languages and digital platforms might be used to analyze and represent our research materials;
  • how digital methods provide new perspectives, and new scales, for humanistic inquiry.

Themes/methods introduced in the course: the historical organization of humanities knowledge, text corpora, OCR, crowdsourcing, textual markup/markdown, distant reading, humanities data visualization, web mapping.

There is no final paper in this course, nor is there an exam.  Instead, students will build a digital course portfolio, consisting of a research blog, a mini digital project and a plan for a research project relevant to their interests.  In addition, all those in the course will contribute to a collective project of historical significance to the region of Arabia/Western Asia.

There are no prior technical skills required for this course. Most of the software and platforms used are free and user friendly. Curiosity and a willingness to engage with technology will be essential.