Making the Humanities Digital

UNC School of Information and Library Science, INLS 890-186, Fall 2011

August 24

We’ll meet one another, talk about the plan for the class, and discuss how the digital humanities are being represented in the media (to the extent that they are being represented at all).

To read before this class:

  1. Powers, Richard. “Enquire Within Upon Everything.” In Switching Codes, edited by Thomas Bartscherer and Roderick Coover, 307–313. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. PDF.

August 29
The Humanities

Before we try to figure out what the digital humanities are, maybe we should start with the more basic question of what the humanities are.

To read before this class:

  1. Crane, Ronald. “The Idea of the Humanities.” In The Idea of the Humanities, and Other Essays Critical and Historical, 3–15. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967. PDF.

  2. Frye, Northrop. “Expanding Eyes.” Critical Inquiry 2, no. 2 (1975): 199–216.

  3. Finley, M. I.“Myth, Memory, and History.” History and Theory 4, no. 3 (1965): 281–302.

  4. Bruner, Jerome. “Possible Castles.” In Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, 44–54. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1986. PDF.

August 31
Why Bother?

Is there a “crisis” in the humanities? Do the humanities need defending? And if so, why bother?

To read before this class:

  1. Dames, Nicholas. “Why Bother?” n+1, no. 11 (April 13, 2011).

  2. Burke, Timothy. “Oh the Humanities.” Easily Distracted, February 25, 2009.

  3. Bogost, Ian. “Beyond the Elbow-Patched Playground, Part I: The Humanities in Public”, August 23, 2011.

  4. Davidson, Cathy N., and David Theo Goldberg. “A Manifesto for the Humanities in a Technological Age.” The Chronicle of Higher Education (n.d.): February 13, 2004.

  5. “Duke to Overhaul Humanities.” Duke Today, June 28, 2011.

September 5
Labor Day

No class.

September 7
Design Studio

To read before this class:

  1. Fallman, Daniel. “Design-oriented human-computer interaction.” 225. ACM Press, 2003.

  2. Sengers, Phoebe, Kirsten Boehner, Shay David, and Joseph “Jofish” Kaye. “Reflective design.” 49. ACM Press, 2005.

September 12
Historical Context

The digital humanities, though often promoted as the “new new thing,” are at least a half-century old.

To read before this class:

  1. Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, eds. A Companion to Digital Humanities. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

    Read “The History of Humanities Computing” (Hockney) and at least one of the other discipline-specific historical overviews in Part I (archaeology, art history, classics, history, lexicography, linguistics, literary studies, music, multimedia, performing arts, and philosophy/religion).

  2. Lieb, Irwin C. “The ACLS program for computer studies in the humanities: Notes on computers and the humanities.” Computers and the Humanities 1 (September 1966).

  3. Brewster, Kingman, Jr., Jacques Barzun, Robert P. Abelson, and Elting E. Morison. “A Panel Discussion.” In Computers for the Humanities?, 145–158. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965. PDF.

September 14
Design Studio

Assignment #1 Preliminary Reflection  due

September 19
Defining the Digital Humanities

What are the differences among “digital humanities,” “humanities computing,” “new media studies,” “rhetoric and technology,” etc. Are these differences that make a difference, or just symptoms of academic territory-marking?

To read before this class:

  1. Svensson, Patrik. “Humanities Computing as Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3, no. 3 (2009).

  2. Svensson, Patrik. “The Landscape of Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 4, no. 1 (2010).

  3. Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. “What Is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” ADE Bulletin, no. 150 (2010).

  4. Alvarado, Rafael. “The Digital Humanities Situation.” The Transducer, May 11, 2011.

  5. Gibbs, Fred. “Digital Humanities Definitions by Type.” Historyproef, September 5, 2011.

September 21
Design Studio

Assignment #2 Subject Research  due

Assignment #3 User Research  due

To read before this class:

  1. DiSalvo, Carl. “Design and the Construction of Publics.” Design Issues 25, no. 1 (2009): 48-63.

September 26
Gathering Evidence

How is the move to a digital research environment affecting the way humanists gather, treat, and think about evidence? Does digitization imply a move from scarcity to abundance of humanities “data”?

To read before this class:

  1. Rosenzweig, Roy. “Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era.” The American Historical Review 108, no. 3 (June 1, 2003): 735-762.

  2. O’Malley, Mike. “Evidence and Scarcity.” The Aporetic, October 2, 2010.

  3. Takats, Sean. “Evidence and Abundance.” The Quintessence of Ham, October 18, 2010.

  4. Burke, Timothy. “How I Talk About Searching, Discovery and Research in Courses.” Easily Distracted, May 9, 2011.

  5. Hitchcock, Tim. “Towards a New History Lab for the Digital Past.” Historyonics, April 1, 2011.

  6. Underwood, Ted. “For most literary scholars, text mining is going to be an exploratory tool.” The Stone and the Shell, August 15, 2011.

September 28
Design Studio

To read before this class:

  1. Greenberg, Saul, and Bill Buxton. “Usability evaluation considered harmful (some of the time).” 111. ACM Press, 2008.

  2. Löwgren, Jonas, and Erik Stolterman. “The Product and Its Use Qualities.” In Thoughtful Interaction Design, 101–140. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2004. PDF.

  3. Bardzell, Jeffrey, and Shaowen Bardzell. “Interaction criticism.” 2463. ACM Press, 2008.

October 3
Text Encoding

One of the most venerable forms of digital humanities work is the preparation of scholarly digital editions through a process known as text encoding.

To read before this class:

  1. TEI Consortium. “About These Guidelines.” In P5: Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange, 2010.

    An overview of and introduction to the TEI P5 guidelines. Also take a look at some of the other sections of the manual, just to get a sense of what TEI provides. For example, the tags for encoding verse structure, transcriptions of speech, or names, dates, people, and places.

  2. Robinson, Peter. “What text really is not, and why editors have to learn to swim.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 24, no. 1 (April 1, 2009): 41 -52.

  3. Bauman, Syd. “Interchange vs. Interoperability.” In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011. Vol. 7. Montréal, 2011.

  4. Mueller, Martin. Letter. “Letter to members of the TEI-C Board and Council”, August 4, 2011.

October 5
Design Studio

October 10
ASIS&T Annual Meeting

No class.

October 12
University Day

No class.

October 17

To read before this class:

  1. Drucker, Johanna. “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 5, no. 1 (2011).

  2. York, Christopher. Digital Humanities Timelining Status Report. MIT Hyperstudio, n.d. PDF.

  3. Manovich, Lev. “Style Space: How to compare image sets and follow their evolution.” Software Studies Initiative, 2011.

    Note that this is a series of three blog posts: 1, 2, 3.

    While you are reading these posts, explore the ImagePlot visualization software by browsing the documentation, visualizations gallery, and demo videos. Download the software and example image collections (you’ll probably want to do this on-campus or someplace with a fast Internet connection), and try it out yourself.

October 19
Design Studio

Assignment #5 Envisioning  due

To read before this class:

  1. Pruitt, John, and Jonathan Grudin. “Personas.” In Proceedings of the 2003 conference on Designing for User Experiences, 1. ACM Press, 2003.

  2. Carrol, J. M.“Five reasons for scenario-based design.” In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 1999. HICSS-32. Vol. 3. IEEE, 1999.

  3. Nielsen, Lene. “From user to character.” In Proceedings of the 4th conference on Designing Interactive Systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques, 99. ACM Press, 2002.

October 24
Distant Reading

To read before this class:

  1. Moretti, Franco. “Conjectures on World Literature.” New Left Review, no. 1 (January–February 2000): 54-68.

  2. Moretti, Franco. “Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History—1.” New Left Review, no. 24 (November–December 2003): 67-93.

  3. Allison, Sarah, Ryan Heuser, Matthew Jockers, Franco Moretti, and Michael Witmore. Quantitative Formalism: an Experiment. Literary Lab Pamphlet Series. Stanford, CA: Stanford Literary Lab, 2011.

October 26
Design Studio

Assignment #6 Strategizing  due

To read before this class:

  1. Buxton, Bill. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 2007. PDF.

October 31

To read before this class:

  1. Michel, Jean-Baptiste, Yuan Kui Shen, Aviva Presser Aiden, Adrian Veres, Matthew K. Gray, The Google Books Team, Joseph P. Pickett, et al. “Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books.” Science 331, no. 6014 (January 14, 2011): 176 -182.

    Be sure to also read the supporting online material in addition to the main text.

November 2
Design Studio

Assignment #7 Sketching  due

November 7
The Spatial Turn

To read before this class:

  1. Guldi, Joanna. What is the Spatial Turn? Spatial Humanities. Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship: University of Virginia, 2011.

  2. White, Richard. What is Spatial History? Spatial History Lab: Stanford University, 2010.

  3. Jenstad, Janelle. “Using early modern maps in literary studies.” In GeoHumanities, edited by Michael Dear, Jim Ketchum, Sarah Luria, and Douglas Richardson, 112-119. New York: Routledge, 2011. PDF.

  4. Dear, Michael. “Historical moments in the rise of the geohumanities.” In GeoHumanities, edited by Michael Dear, Jim Ketchum, Sarah Luria, and Douglas Richardson, 309-314. New York: Routledge, 2011. PDF.

November 9
Design Studio

Assignment #8 Reflecting, Revisiting, Refining  due

To read before this class:

  1. Wolf, Tracee Vetting, Jennifer A. Rode, Jeremy Sussman, and Wendy A. Kellogg. “Dispelling ‘design’ as the black art of CHI.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, 521–530. CHI  ’06. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2006.

  2. Snodgrass, Adrian, and Richard Coyne. “Playing by the rules.” In Interpretation in Architecture, 59-68. New York: Routledge, 2006. PDF.

November 14
Critique Session I

Assignment #9 Analysis & Critique  due

To read before this class:

  1. Tohidi, Maryam, William Buxton, Ronald Baecker, and Abigail Sellen. “User sketches: a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to elicit more reflective user feedback.” In Proceedings of the 4th Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction: changing roles, 105–114. NordiCHI  ’06. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 2006.

  2. Snodgrass, Adrian, and Richard Coyne. “Design assessment.” In Interpretation in Architecture, 119-130. New York: Routledge, 2006. PDF.

November 16
Critique Session II

November 21
Critique Session III

November 23
Thanksgiving Recess

No class.

November 28
jiscGEO Meeting

No class.

November 30
jiscGEO Meeting

No class.

December 5
Multidisciplinary Work

To read before this class:

  1. Beer, Gillian. “The Challenges of Interdisciplinarity” presented at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, 2006.

  2. Fish, Stanley. “Being Interdisciplinary Is so Very Hard to Do.” Profession (January 1, 1989): 15-22.

  3. Liu, Alan. “The Interdisciplinary War Machine.” In Local Transcendence, 167-185. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, n.d. PDF.

December 7
Class Wrap-up

December 9
Final Assignments Due

Assignment #10 Design Project  due

Assignment #11 Final Reflective Essay  due