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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 course is an introduction to digital technology and culture that integrates interdisciplinary knowledge from literary studies, rhetoric and composition, art and design, business, and sociology to prepare students for the technical and cultural challenges of the 21st century. While this class is committed to introducing students to the history and culture of digital technology, it will also provide students with hands-on experiences with digital tools and delve into questions about what makes something digital and how we conceptualize our lives beyond the digital.

Original Instructor: Roger Whitson
Taught at Washington State University in Fall 2016
discipline: Digital Technologies and Culture
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

DTC 375 is an introduction to the historical relationships between technology, communication, and forms of writing. The course gives students an appreciation of the technological history of media, including hands-on encounters with the components, programs, and signals that create various technological effects: from sound to graphics to characters to tactile effects. Divided into the three unit s exploring the history of media that most directly impacted the development of the computer (sound, vision, and text), DTC 375 explores how these media transformed our senses and our techniques of interacting with the world.

Original Instructor: Roger Whitson
Taught at Washington State University in Fall 2017
discipline: Digital Technologies and Culture
conceptual difficulty: 3 technical difficulty: 4
Course Summary:

DTC 356 explores the cultural, aesthetic, and political roles of information and data. Beginning with library classification systems and the structures of Wikipedia, this course then turns to the technological and engineering aspects of data as it is disseminated worldwide, while also exploring how visualization techniques use art and metaphor to communicate complex data to multiple audiences. The course ends with a consideration of hackers and cyberwar, exploring the methods used to strike digital infrastructures and control global populations.

Original Instructor: Roger Whitson
Taught at Washington State University in Fall 2017
discipline: Digital Technologies and Culture
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

DTC 392 explores the cultural and historical impact of video games. We will learn about these issues by engaging in a semester-long project where we will prototype a video game. Video games are not just entertainment: they can be art, a form of political resistance, even a way to persuade other people. You’ll share your prototype with your fellow students, question each other’s assumptions, read research in game studies, and study gaming cultures.

Original Instructor: Roger Whitson
Taught at Washington State University in Spring 2019
discipline: Digital Technologies and Culture
conceptual difficulty: 1 technical difficulty: 2
Course Summary:

Catalog Description 475 [DIVR] Digital Diversity 3 Course Prerequisite: Junior standing. Cultural impact of digital media in cultural contexts; issues of race, class, gender, sexuality online. (Crosslisted course offered as AMER ST 475, DTC 475, ENGLISH 475). Course Description DTC 475 is a continuation of the issues explored in DTC 206, DIGITAL INCLUSION. This course takes as its starting hypothesis the idea that various intersections of oppression exist in the manufacture, programming, design, and disposal of digital technologies. While this course will also explore how, for instance, technology has enabled new methods for visualizing the Other and new forms of accessibility for the differently-abled, it will also argue that these successes are only half of the story. The course proceeds via a series of case studies, emphasizing themes of intersectionality, mindfulness, and access that inform the issues and oppressions we explore.

Original Instructor: Roger Whitson
Taught at Washington State University in Fall 2018
discipline: Digital Technologies and Culture, English, American Studies
conceptual difficulty: 3 technical difficulty: 4
Course Summary:

This semester 371 is an introduction to canonical works of Early Modern Spanish literature. We take a novel approach to the reading and interpretation of masterpieces of Spanish literature to revisit the notion of canon, and to challenge standard disciplinary approaches that constrain Spanish and Portuguese within the boundaries of national literary and cultural traditions. We do this by following the way to stardom of iconic literary characters like Don Quixote, or Don Juan, from their birth to today, through the theoretical framework of comparative cultural studies. As we read our texts we will discuss issues of transnationality, network dissemination, fragmentariness, fandom, material culture, etc. Students work in a Project Based Learning environment and collaborate on a digital studio suite to create and build experiential and educational resources on Early Modern literature and culture for use in schools, adult education programs, prisons, and other community centers. Using five main themes – canon, transnationality, transactionality, fragmentariness and fandom as the framework for our exploration we will read, analyze, and discuss five seminal works of the Spanish early modern period, from which we will tease out an interdisciplinary understanding of the cultural and aesthetic forces that shaped their critical interpretation and their international fame. In turn our approach will offer insights into the shaping of our own cultural and personal attitudes towards the role of literature and the arts in our lives. By focusing our attention on the challenged and changing meanings of literary fiction, this course aims to strengthen your skills of critical analysis. The course is organized in modules. Each module is composed of the same four blocks, respectively addressing a different dimension of the study of literature.

• Block 1 is a historical introduction to the work we are studying.
• Block 2 is an in-class close reading and textual analysis of selected excerpts from the work.
• Block 3 presents a critical essay by an expert in the field and asks the students to discuss it.
• Block 4 integrates the previous three by offering a panoptic view of the cultural influence that the work has had from the time of composition to today.

Within a module, each block exposes students to a different style of teaching and a different approach to studying humanities topics in general and Spanish literature in particular.

• Block 1 requires students to listen to a general introduction, usually -but not always!- via a PowerPoint. Information provided in block 1 can be found in any textbook or in Wikipedia.
• Block 2, the close reading, confronts students with understanding and interpreting excerpts of the original work. Preparatory reading of the assigned text is compulsory. All technology is forbidden in class.
• Block 3 works like a graduate seminar. Students will have read a critical essay in advance and will come to class prepared to discuss the critic’s interpretation. No technology.
• Block 4 opens our works to their context, and it heavily relies on internet search and the ability to integrate disparate information.

The course leverages on the deep-learning principles promoted by inquiry-based, project-based and experiential education. Every Friday our lesson will be conducted as a “making Lab” where we will use digital tools to design and build learning resources on Spanish literature and culture. In addition, the lab will serve as a primer to introduce students to the the process of devising and carrying to completion a digital project. Class flow and materials have been carefully chosen to fit your level of understanding. Thus, students are expected to come prepared for class according to the block’s required format. In my role as instructor, I will provide you with background information to the readings, make connections, clarify difficult concepts and ideas. I will not summarize the texts, since this is part of your job. However, if you do feel that you have trouble understanding any section, let me know and we will work through it together. A large percentage of the final grade is based on in class participation. In addition, we will have five ‘module preparation responses’ (MPR) during the course of the semester that will allow me to follow each student’s individual progress. The third portion of your grade depends on your performance as part of a collaborative team and on the completion of your final individual portfolio. 

Original Instructor: Lucia Binotti
discipline: Spanish
conceptual difficulty: 1 technical difficulty: 1
Course Summary:

Course Summary: General Expectations Like all other Spanish courses, Span 260 is a lot of work! Moreover, a literature course requires a little more discipline than a language course. You will be reading literary texts, in their original language and form, and some of these might be challenging. Therefore, you are expected to work on the material on a daily basis and to schedule yourself so that you have time to read the complete text, assimilate the material and participate in class. However, it is worth the work because it will help you solidify the background you built in previous Spanish courses and it will prepare you for future Spanish courses. Span 260 will be very helpful when you take more advanced literature and culture courses at UNC. In addition, please read carefully: 1. This will be a course with a Project Based Learning Component (PBL). What that means in practice is that throughout the semester part of our work will be conducted collaboratively towards the creation of an end of semester project. 2. A good percentage of the course-work, inside and outside of class will entail peer review and assessment. For each one of our modules there will be a session in which you will edit and correct your work collaboratively. 3. This course takes a Design Thinking/Digital approach to learning. For each one of our modules there will be a Lab session where we will learn to "think" digitally and to "design" with an end user in mind. The course itself is designed to teach you about the methodologies of literary analysis via incremental iterations of the same exercises. 4. We will also use other digital tools, most prominently googledocs and native digital humanities tools TBD.

Original Instructor: Lucia Binotti
discipline: Spanish
conceptual difficulty: 1 technical difficulty: 1
Course Summary:

Spanish and Spanish American literary works will help us understand how the Spanish language changes overtime, and challenge us to find answers for the above questions and many others in relation to linguistic attitudes and the historical construction of linguistic identity. Have you ever thought about the language you speak? If the answer is yes, surely you might have wondered: Where does my language come from? How does it change? What are its relationships with other languages? How do its literary and cultural production reflect such evolution and connections? In this course we will approach classic works of Spanish literature within the methodological frame of linguistic historiography, and the reading and analysis of these texts will help us understand how the Spanish language changes overtime, and challenge us to find answers for the above questions and many others in relation to linguistic attitudes and the historical construction of linguistic identity. The class will be interactive in format: class participation and joint efforts are very important. We do not have a textbook but a series of readings in Sakai that work like a course pack. We will have four CPR (Class Preparation Response), and work on a digital project which final products include a group presentation and a research and assessment portfolio.

Original Instructor: Lucia Binotti
discipline: Spanish
conceptual difficulty: 1 technical difficulty: 2
Course Summary:

What is “digital humanities” and how does it impact and intersect with the field of public humanities? Digital humanities work involves new approaches to reading, writing, research, publication, and curation: digital tools help us examine digital and non-digital material in innovative ways, and digital modes of communication help us reach new and wider ranges of audiences. This course provides students with the opportunity to create digital projects and utilize digital tools to further their academic and professional interests. Key questions that this course will cover include: How can digital tools and resources make cultural objects more accessible, engaging, and relevant to the personal and professional lives of various publics? What can working with a particular team of collaborators (the great people at PPL Special Collections) teach us about the benefits and challenges of digital preservation, digital archives, and digital curation (and, more generally, about the ways the long history of non-digital approaches to archives, preservation, and curation inform digital archives and curation)? 2 What is digital humanities, and how can public humanities practitioners productively collaborate, critique, revise, and reimagine the shape of this field through the practice of digital public humanities? How can I do cool things with digital tools, resources, and publication platforms? Who is doing cool things already?

Original Instructor: Jim McGrath
Taught at Brown University in Fall 2017
discipline: American Studies, Digital Humanities
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

This course surveys the current state of digital storytelling, examining topics ranging from digital curation to data journalism to social media activism (and beyond). We will consider the narrative conventions, multimodal dimensions, and mechanics of a wide range of digital stories, carefully examining both the tools available to creators and the theoretical perspectives that motivate their authors. Students will determine best practices for digital storytelling projects through their engagement with course readings, their participation in in-class workshop sessions where we experiment with particular tools and publishing platforms, and their implementation of a digital storytelling project.

Original Instructor: Jim McGrath
Taught at Brown University in Spring 2017
discipline: Digital Humanities, English
conceptual difficulty: 3 technical difficulty: 4

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