Introduction to Digital Humanities


On 22 September 2014 I’ll lead an Introduction to the Digital Humanities seminar to graduate students in English 696 at the University of Calgary.

We’ll cover issues of professionalization and DH research methods, including:

    • Defining DH. Is it really the future of literary studies?
    • The Problem of Big Data / The Solution (?) of Distant Reading
    • Tools for Thought. Are we testing what we know, or our boundaries of knowledge?

  • Methodological Openness. Why take Blogs and Twitter seriously?
  • Other topics arising from students’ interests. (Feel free to add them in the comments, or to send me an e-mail.)

Here are the materials I’d like you to review in advance, to inform our discussion:721c2fb2ca8458be200dab93eab00a6f42fdb6d2e9842aea3d08af91ab2cb5b6

  1. To begin: “What is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” by Matthew Kirschenbaum.
  2. Thinking with tools: “A Telescope for the Mind?” by Willard McCarty.
  3. Research objects: “Text: A Massively Addressable Object” by Mike Witmore.
  4. Starting out: Lisa Spiro’s blog post “Getting Started in the Digital Humanities.”
  5. A journalist’s take on the phenomenon: Patricia Cohen’s “Humanities 2.0” series of New York Times articles (6), especially “Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities’ Riches.”
Feel free to send me any questions as you review these.

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