This course will give an overview of digital humanities scholarship. It begins by tracing how computational techniques entered humanities disciplines and how these led up to contemporary big data approaches. Using digital tools and data challenges the very nature of the objects under investigation by putting them into new spatial, ontological and materialized forms. The course will examine how this happens in several areas of digital research, including the large-scale analysis of text in literature, the visualization of intellectual and creative networks, and the use of the Web to document historical patterns. The course will also chart transformations in scholarly practices, including crowdsourcing and the creation of data infrastructures and digital archives. Finally, it will put digital research into the context of debates about the future of the humanities and about the relations between disciplines.
This option provides MSc Social Science of the Internet students (from any disciplinary background) with the opportunity to understand and work with humanities data and research, and to learn more about the ways in which technology is shaping our understanding of the book, the library, the museum, and academic practice. This option will prepare students for potential research projects on digital humanities topics using social science methods and approaches.
Outcomes: At the end of the course, students will
- Have a solid grasp of the emergence of digital humanities scholarship and of current debates
- Understand the gains and limitations of digital research
- Be able to evaluate digital materials and scholarly practices and how they contribute to different humanities disciplines
- Be able to frame research on topics related to digital humanities