[0001] Introduction to Digital Humanities


This first week is to give students a conceptional map of the Digital Humanities today including various areas of research, centers of excellence and an idea of how the field is evolving.  This will begin our journey to enable students to conceptualize, analyze and visualize the humanities through the lens of Digital Humanities. 

With each week, we introduce a pressing social issue wherein the Digital Humanities technology lies at the heart and helps shape the extent, direction and nature of the problem.  The first several weeks will have social issues very loosely coupled to specific technologies but the connection will become more explicit once we start building a foundation of Digital Humanities technologies.

This week we’ll look at the issue of predictive policing in particular and the growing use of data and technology to measure, quantify and predict human behavior and outcomes in a growing number of areas like college admissions, corporate hiring and financial risk.  Some of the same technologies used to analyze narrative or musical structure are used in these algorithms. 


Monday:  Digital Humanities Overview

The plural of anecdote is not data. – Marc Bekoff


Due:  Digital Humanities Readings


Due:  Blog Post on Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities is an expansive multi-disciplinary field that involves everything from design to statistics, programming to field research and data acquisition.  No one person can master all aspects involved in this area.  Make a personal assessment of your skills and interests and use them to develop a personal learning plan in the Digital Humanities.

Peruse the excellent blog on Digital Humanities at:  https://www.hastac.org/explore.  Find a blog post that speaks to your interests and comment upon it briefly.


Wednesday:  Free Will vs Data Determinism 

Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal. – Albert Einstein


Due:  Social Issue Readings


Due:  Blog Post on Social Issue

How far along the spectrum between Individual Free Will and Data Determinism should society go?  How accurate do algorithmic predictions have to become to permit legal discrimination?  In what areas would this be permitted and why?  Athletic recruiting, college admissions, job hiring, financial risk, etc.


Friday:  Lab

Explore the following websites for current research project in Digital Humanities.  Identify one paper of personal interest and be prepared to present it in depth to the class.  This would include not only the fields of study and technology but also the parties involved in the collaborative effort.



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