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Class 1 Notes

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 5 years, 10 months ago


Preliminary Class Business


1. Course Concept


  • Course is a graduate-level introduction to the "digital humanities" ("DH").  The antecedents of DH include: "humanities computing" in allegiance with archival/curatorial/editorial/linguistic work.  Antecedents also, to various degrees:
    • revisionary textual editing,
    • hypertext theory and literature,
    • new media studies,
    • media archaeology.


  • In the last 5-10 years, DH has become both a self-aware field and a field that the humanities at large is aware of.
  • Propaedeutic definition of DH:
    • DH uses digital and networked information technology to curate and study humanities subjects such as literature, history, art, etc.
    • DH uses information technology to study the humanities in new ways not previously possible.
    • But DH also makes information technology itself an object of study from a humanities perspective.
    • DH is both theoretical and practical ("yack" and "hack"). 
    • DH links the contemporary study of literature, history, art, etc., with scientific and social-science disciplines that share an interest in information technology and often use the same kinds of digital tools.
    • But DH is also (or can be) uniquely and deeply humanistic.


2. Course Structure


  • Topics (see Schedule)
  • Structure of readings/tasks for each class:
    • Focal Question
    • Focal Readings
    • Other Readings
    • Practicums
  • Course assignments (see Assignments)
    • Practicums
    • Follow DH community on Twitter
    • Blog posts on your field in its relation to DH
    • Mock Project Prospectus (in form of a hypothetical grant proposal)
  • DH Resources
  • DH News and Events
  • Student Work site


3. Class Member Introductions



4. Digital Humanities and the Humanities


  • Focal Question What kind of "human" subject do the digital humanities speak from, to, for?



  • A ladder of questions:


    • What is the relation of media to being human? (with variant questions that can be asked by substituting "information," "communication," "computation," and "technology" for "media")
      • What is the "human-ness" of media?
      • What is the media of the human?


    • Can animals have media?


    • What kind of human is the digital humanities for?


5. Preview of Next Class





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