Introduction to Digital Humanities

Assignments

Course Requirements

Final course grades will be calculated as follows: 

20%- Hypothes.is Annotations 
50%- Workbook Assignments 
30%- Portfolio

Hypothes.is Annotations

During  the first 3 modules of the course, you will collaboratively annotate assigned readings and/or websites. Since this assignment is designed to prepare students for in-class discussions, you must post your annotations before class on Thursday and your annotations must demonstrate that you have critically engaged with the assigned texts.  

Workbook Assignments

Students will also complete one workbook assignment per week during the first 3 modules of the course. To receive full credit you must: 1) complete the entire assignment, 2) post your assignment before class on Tuesday, and 3) present your assignment to the class. Because workbook assignments are skill building exercises, you will be graded for your effort and receive feedback to encourage  continued learning.

Portfolio

During the last module you will have the opportunity to build on the skills that you have developed and the feedback that you have received to design your own Scalar book that contains an updated personal bio, two revised workbook assignments from module II, and one edited workbook assignment from module III. Your portfolio will be graded for your mastery of skills and the depth of your critical and creative engagement, so be sure to showcase your best work.

Prompts and Due Dates

Module I: Introductions

T Aug 20  Course Introduction

Topic 1: What is Digital Humanities? A Theoretical Introduction

R Aug 22  Annotation #1
T Aug 27  Assignment #1

Locate and carry out a formal academic review of a digital humanities project that is not listed on the "Resources" page. For tips on how to conduct and structure your review read The Public Historian Digital Project Review Guidelines and consult reviews that have been published in the journal. Post the review to your "Assignment #1" page of our Scalar workbook and be prepared to present your selected project to the class.

Topic 2: Exploring the Tool Box- An Experiential Introduction

R Aug 29 Annotation #2
T Sep 3  Assignment #2

Locate and carry out a formal academic review of a DH tool from Alan Liu's DH Toychest that is not listed on the "Resources" page. Be sure to select a tool that (1) is specifically designed to support digital humanities work, (2) doesn't require an extraordinary amount of effort to install, and (3) pushes you to try something you haven’t done before. Once you have selected your tool, learn how to use it and document your work each step of the way (via notes and screenshots).  As you explore the basic functionality of the tool, consider two broad questions: (1) What are the affordances of the tool? In other words, what does the tool allow or encourage you do? What does it make easy for you? (2) What are the constraints of the tool? In other words, how does the tool limit your ability to do things you want to do? What does it make difficult for you? Post the review to your "Assignment #2" page of our Scalar workbook and be prepared to present your selected tool to the class.

Topic 3: Creating Digital Identities- A Personal Introduction

R Sep 5 Annotation #3
T Sep 10 Assignment #3

Part I: Select four online bios of successful individuals in a field that interests you and discuss what they tell us about the academic or professional bio as a form. For a list of additional questions to consider, go here.  If you would like to focus on digital humanists, check out the collaborators section of dhcommons.org, an online hub that matches digital humanities projects seeking assistance with scholars interested in project collaboration. Post the assignment to your "Assignment #3" page of our Scalar workbook, and make sure to embed and/or include links to your selected bios. Part II: Using the insights you have gained from the readings and bio analysis exercise, construct an academic and/or professional bio for your home page in our Scalar workbook. 

Module II:  DH Methods

Topic 4: Constructing Data

R Sep 12 Annotation #4
T Sep 17  Assignment #4 (Adapted from Jentery Sayers)

In our Scalar workbook import one image and one video or audio file related to a topic of your choice. Assign the Dublin Core (DC) Metadata Element Set to each resource, and use the Scalar annotation tool to provide commentary and/or interpretive information about each resource. Address the following questions alongside your resources, which should be displayed with your metadata captions and annotations: When assigning metadata to your resources, what issues did you encounter? For instance, what decisions were difficult? Generally speaking, what have you learned about DC metadata and the practice of assigning it? How (if any) of that learning relates to our discussion of the assigned readings? How is annotating similar to and/or different from assigning DC metadata? Title your entry "Student's Name + Assignment #4," and follow the instructions on the "Assignment" page of our workbook to make sure that it shows up in the contents of your personal page and the "Assignment #4" page. 

Topic 5: Working with Big Data

R Sep 19 Annotation #5
T Sep 24  Assignment #5

At home, complete Seth Van Hooland, Ruben Verborgh, and Max De Wilde's tutorial "Cleaning Data with OpenRefine," The Programming Historian 2 (2013),  https://programminghistorian.org/en/lessons/cleaning-data-with-openrefine. When you are done, export and save your cleaned dataset so that you can use it in next week's assignment. Then, reflect on the tutorial on your "Assignment #5"  page. In addition to documenting your experiences, examine the relationship between our discussions of constructing data and working with big data, especially in light of Sch√∂ch's call for the creation of "smart big data." Be sure to follow the instructions on the "Assignment" page of our workbook to make sure that it shows up in the contents of your personal page and the "Assignment #5" page. 

Topic 6: Data Visualization

R Sep 26 Annotation #6
T Oct 1  Assignment #6 

Use the dataset that you cleaned in the last assignment from the Powerhouse Museum to build a simple data visualization with TableauRaw Graphs, or Morph doing your best to adhere to the principles Nathan Yau lays out in Data Points.  Embed your visualization on your "Assignment #6" page and discuss what your visualization tells you that you couldn’t see from the data itself, and why you selected a particular visualization tool. Be sure to follow the instructions on the "Assignment" page of our workbook to make sure that it shows up in the contents of your personal page and the "Assignment #6" page. 

Topic 7: Mapping

R Oct 3 Annotation #7
T Oct 8 Assignment #7

Use Scalar to create an interactive map with 6 entries on a topic of your choosing. To make a map, first create a page for each entry in our Scalar workbook. Each of these pages must contain a title, a description, a key image or media url, and Metadata that specifies the location (either dcterms: spatial or dcterms: coverage). After you have created a page for each of your entries,  "gather" them via the Scalar Map Widget  (directions here) or the Scalar Google Map Layout (directions here) on your "Assignment #7" page.  Be sure to follow the instructions on the "Assignment" page of our workbook to make sure that it shows up in the contents of your personal page and the "Assignment #7" page. 

Topic 8: Distant Reading

R Oct 10 Annotation #8
T Oct 15 Assignment #8

Drawing on the insights you have gained from the assigned readings, use Voyant to analyze a demo corpora from Alan Liu's Data Collections and Datasets.  After you have selected your corpus and uploaded it into Voyant, use The Practical Guide to Text Analysis with Voyant Tools to help you interpret the resulting visualizations.  Embed your visualizations via iframe and/or the Voyant export function in your "Assignment #7" page of our workbook with a discussion of how you draw meaning from the visualizations (be specific). What do they tell you about your corpus? Could you have arrived at that interpretation via close-reading, why or why not? Be sure to follow the instructions on the "Assignment" page of our workbook to make sure that it shows up in the contents of your personal page and the "Assignment #8" page. 

Topic 9: Network Analysis

R Oct 17 Annotation #9
T Oct 22 Assignment #9

Complete Miriam Posner's cytoscape tutorial to create a basic Cytoscape networklearn to work with node attributeslearn to select parts of a network, and learn how to convert a bimodal edge list into a unimodal edge list. When you have completed the tutorial, export a static image of your network and upload it to your "Assignment #9" page of our workbook with a discussion of how you draw meaning from the visualization. Be sure to follow the instructions on the "Assignment" page of our workbook to make sure that it shows up in the contents of your personal page and the "Assignment #9" page.

Module III: Critical Perspectives in Digital Humanities

Topic 10: Critical Platform Studies 

R Oct 24 Annotation #10
T Oct 29 Assignment #10

Draw on the assigned readings, and some outside research, to write a critical essay about a digital platform of your choosing. Your essay can be written in the form of a policy proposal, op-ed, interactive blog post, or creative work. When you present your essay to the class, be prepared to discuss your selected platform and form. How did your form help you communicate your ideas about the platform and engage your intended audience?

Topic 11: Postcolonial Digital Humanities

R Oct 31 Annotation #11

Begin revising your DH project or tool review (Assignments # 1 or 2) from a postcolonial perspective.

Topic 12: Intersectional Digital Humanities

Nov 5 Annotation # 12
R Nov 7 Assignment #11/12

Draw on the readings and discussions from the last two class sessions to finish revising your DH project or tool review (Assignments # 1 or 2) incorporating postcolonial and intersectional perspectives. 

Module IV: Creative Expressions

Topic 13: Portfolio

T Nov 12 Assignment Revisions
R Nov 14 Assignment Revisions 

T Nov 19 Portfolio Design
R Nov 21 Portfolio Design

T Dec 3  Portfolio Presentations
R Dec 5  Portfolio Presentations

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