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DH@UVA, U.Va.
Your Portal to the Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

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Would you like to see how instructors incorporate DH approaches into syllabi for courses taught across the humanistic disciplines?  Here you can search our exhaustive catalog of publicly available syllabi, pinpoint useful assignments, and identify tools and technologies to implement in your classroom.

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Course Summary:

This is a core course that surveys key texts in Media Studies. The course takes a historical approach to the development of the field, but also surveys the various developments in the social sciences, the humanities, and film studies relevant to the interdisciplinary study of media.

Instructor: Lana Swartz

(Instructor permission required)

Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2021
Course Summary:

Computers are universal media. Our intimacy with computers shapes how we think about our communities, histories, cultures, society, and ourselves. Learn to program these "thinking machines" as an act of philosophical inquiry and personal expression, challenging your beliefs about creativity, intelligence, randomness, and communication. Students with no previous experience are especially welcome!

Original Instructor: Kevin Driscoll
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2021
Course Summary:

This class examines the challenges of African American historical research given the biases of archives and collecting and uses digital collection strategies and often digital mapping in an effort to develop a more complete picture.

Original Instructor: Dr. Louis Nelson
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2021
Course Summary:

This course is a graduate-level introduction to the history, theory, and methods of the digital humanities.  It is also a required course for the graduate certificate in digital humanities.  In it, we will cover a range of historical, disciplinary, technical, and contemporary issues in digital humanities.  It is focused on digital humanities in the context of literature and language, but it also considers more general cultural and epistemological issues, as well as pragmatics, such as how maps and other spatial and temporal perspectives are enabled by the digital.  This course is also designed to introduce students to areas of digital humanities activity at UVa.  Students should come away from the course with a solid understanding of the origin of digital humanities, the kinds of work done under that label, the opportunities to participate in DH research at UVa, the research insights offered by digital humanities methods, and the applicability of those methods to the student’s own research interests.

M/W 3:30-4:45

Original Instructor: John M. Unsworth
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2021
Course Summary:

Application of unsupervised machine learning methods to the linguistic, cultural, and sociological analysis of long form textual sources. Students will engage with DH theory, history, and methods, as well as large digitized text libraries, structured data (relational databases, linked data, etc.), and programming language. Knowledge of Python and familiarity with probability theory required.

T/TH 12:30-1:45

Original Instructor: Rafael Alvarado
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2021
Course Summary:

Digital tools have completely transformed the questions humanists ask, how they view the world and how they disseminate their scholarship. These new possibilities both open and close possible avenues of investigation. This course will introduce students to tools relevant to the analysis of visual culture and architecture as well as the process of how to learn to use digital tools – critical given the constantly changing array of options-  as well as how to develop a digital project. Together with experts from UVA’s Scholar’s Lab we will critically assess the role of digital humanities in art and architectural history through an analysis of selected digital projects as well as specific tools.  We will consider questions such as: What are the tools that have made this work possible? How have these same tools imposed limits on the project under examination? How can these tools advance on our own work and the dissemination of our scholarship? We will analyze what  these tools make possible in terms of our own research and learn how to apply them. We will work through the process of digital project development using Design Thinking Methods from selecting objects of study, to recording those objects, constructing a database to visualizing the data and finally representing it through a digital project using Storymap. This course has been developed in part in response to a Virginia Center for the Humanities panel of June 2021 which pointed out that fewer than 1% of historical markers in Virginia are for sites associated with people of color and women.  We will work with Albemarle County’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to develop  Storymap projects focused on untold narratives related to women and people of color in the county. This course is open to undergraduate and  graduate students from any discipline. No previous experience or familiarity with digital humanities work is required or assumed.

Learning Objectives

This course will introduce students to 

·         tools relevant to the analysis of visual culture and architecture 

·         the process of how to learn to use digital tools – critical given the constantly changing array of options-  

·         how to develop a digital project. 

·         critically assess the role of digital humanities in art and architectural history through an analysis of selected digital projects as well as specific tools. 

Tuesdays 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Original Instructor: Lisa Reilly
Taught at in Spring 2021
Course Summary:

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a rapidly developing field with broad applicability throughout the hard sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The ability to harness, employ and analyze linguistic and textual data effectively is a highly desirable skill for academic work, in government, and throughout the private sector. This course is intended as a theoretical and methodological introduction to a the most widely used and effective current techniques, strategies and toolkits for natural language processing, with a primary focus on those available in the Python programming language. We will also consider how harnessing large digital corpora and large-scale textual data sources has changed how scholars engage with and evaluate digital archives and textual sources, and what opportunities textual repositories offer for computational approaches to the study of literature, history and a variety of other fields, including law, medicine, business and the social sciences. In addition to evaluating new digital methodologies in the light of traditional approaches to philological analysis, students will gain extensive experience in using Python to conduct textual and linguistic analyses, and by the end of the course, will have developed their own individual projects, thereby gaining a practical understanding of natural language processing workflows along with specific tools and methods for evaluating the results achieved through NLP-based exploratory and analytical strategies.

Original Instructor: Jeffery Tharsen
Taught at University of Chicago in Fall 2020
Course Summary:

This is an undergraduate course for English majors (and other students) that introduces the basics of computer programming, text analysis, text encoding, and statistics as experimental methodologies that promote new kinds of reading and interpretation. The aim is to move from “computation into criticism.” We’ll work, primarily, with a Shakespeare play, poetry by William Blake, and a Jane Austen novel. Students will find these works at the bookstore alongside manuals on Learning Unix and Text Analysis with R. No prior familiarity with coding or the language R required: we’ll be moving slowly, covering the basics. Advanced Computer Science majors will not be turned away, but they will be required to recite poetry aloud in front of their peers and show an interest in Emma Woodhouse’s misprisions.

MW 2:00-3:15 pm

Original Instructor: Brad Pasanek
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2021
Course Summary:

Working with materials, tools, and data from Collective Biographies of Women (CBW), a Scholars’ Lab and IATH database project, we will branch out from the Jubilee volume of 1897: Women Novelists of Queen Victoria’s Reign, in which living women novelists write chapter-length biographical-critical notices of deceased novelists, excluding the Regency and earlier figures. A prevailing question in the course will be the force of identity- and periodization-politics, so to speak: the metadata categories that classify women writers of fiction (and their literary settings) who hale from various regions or nationalities (Irish, Scottish, etc.) as Victorian British. Students will be encouraged to design research projects on biographies of women of color, other genres of literature, other occupations than writers, and many variations on the career and gender narratives as indicated in CBW. Readings will include novels and other writings by some in the 1897 list (Brontes, Eliot, Gaskell, and lesser-known), some essays on literary periodization, cultural geographies, space, life writing, and digital humanities. No prior familiarity with digital methods is expected; we will learn some aspects of XML editing and working with data. This course can serve as an elective in the Graduate DH Certificate.

Tues/Thurs. 9:30-10:45 am

Original Instructor: Prof. Alison Booth
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2021
Course Summary:

This is the required course for the graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities. It entails participation in colloquia, sixty hours of experience participating in a research project uniting computation and humanities, and a portfolio.

Original Instructor: Professor Alison Booth
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2020

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