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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 introduces students to book history and scholarly editing through the frameworks of media studies and digital humanities. In this course, we will:

• learn basic bibliography;
• study literary texts as material documents, examining the relationship between form and meaning;
• trace the development of textual studies;
• challenge our expectations of both print and digital media;
• critically analyze a variety of digital humanities projects;
• explore remediation and other key concepts in media studies;
• and, of course, edit and curate literary texts!

Class sessions will consist of discussions of the assigned readings, collaborative analysis of sample projects, and workshops on various tools and technologies used to remediate literary texts in digital spaces.

Original Instructor: Whitney Trietten
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 3 technical difficulty: 4
Course Summary:

For as long as anyone can remember, novelists like Gore Vidal and Phillip Roth have been sounding the death knell of narrative, killed off (we hear) by the rise of screen-based digital media. While it’s true that the sale of printed novels has declined, other forms of interactive storytelling – from video games to “netprov” and virtual reality fiction – have demonstrated how narrative persists , even prospers, in new media. In fact, in Japan, SMS technology has breathed new life into the novel through “cell phone literature,” a popular genre written and distributed in text-message-sized snippets. This course considers what it means to tell stories in an age of digital media. We’ll begin by writing a traditional short story (fiction or creative non-fiction), focusing on plot and structure. We’ll then experiment with “translating” this narrative into a variety of new media forms. How does your story change when told as an interactive fiction? as a video game? as a hypertext novel? or on different platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or Second Life? With each “translation,” we’ll read relevant texts on narratology and media theory as a way of giving us a shared vocabulary for discussing these new genres, and we’ll explore some of the best examples of creative writing in them. This course will be run as a workshop. While there will be a significant amount of reading (or playing, or watching, or listening) each week, emphasis will be on 1) learning some basic skills necessary to work within new media genres and 2) playfully, creatively experimenting with these skills. You’ll leave this course with a deeper understanding of the architecture of new media, including the World Wide Web and audiovisual forms like digital film and video games, as well as with a suite of basic technical literacies applicable across all disciplines.

Original Instructor: Whitney Trietten
Taught at Duke University in Spring 2013
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 1 technical difficulty: 2
Course Summary:

We tend to imagine writing as mysterious and opaque – a gift of the Muses, that descends upon us in manic bursts of creative energy. As a result, we spend much of the time that we may have to write not writing but rather waiting to write: waiting for just the right mood, just the right place, just the right lighting, noise, or level of caffeination, in the hopes that inspiration may strike. (We’re all guilty of it!) It is the goal of this course to rid us of these beliefs and habits. Writing is, as any productive writer will tell you, not a lightning bolt of clarity but a slow and steady process of composition, a word that literally means bringing together and arranging. It’s like building a house, or weaving a tapestry, requiring much planning and the steady assemblage of different pieces. In this class, we’ll be practicing this process of assemblage in networked digital spaces. Accordingly, this course is built around six key practices of digital composition: CONTRIBUTE, COLLECT, CURATE, COMPOSE, COMMUNICATE, and CUT-UP. Think of these verbs as prompts – as actions, moves, and compositional gestures – that we will be rehearsing and performing together at each stage of the semester. Practiced together in class and through small-scale exercises, they will provide a suite of skills that will help you frame and structure your own multimodal project.

Original Instructor: Whitney Trietten
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

The book’s role and significance within literary culture is being scrutinized today with an intensity unseen for five centuries. Nowhere is this questioning more acute, sophisticated, and nuanced than in the burgeoning field of the book arts, an umbrella term encompassing artists’ books, book sculpture, zines, and print-oriented forms of electronic poetry. This is an inherently collaborative and interdisciplinary field. Its practitioners skirt the thresholds between visual art and literature, technology and philosophy, producing uniquely bookish artifacts that defy easy categorization. These are artworks made not for the white walls of a gallery, but to be read and used; they are works of literature that engage the visual, tactile, and even olfactory senses. Difficult to reproduce in print editions or literary anthologies, they challenge our expectations of the codex as a platform for delivering and consuming textual information. Despite the diversity of the book arts, what brings these practices together is a shared interest in the potential of the book to model radical new forms of creativity, subjectivity, and political engagement. “if i can sing through my mouth with a book,” writes El Lissitzky in a treatise on book design, ”i can show myself in various guises.” Working directly with the Sloane Art Library’s extensive collection of artists’ books, this course will trace the book arts from their emergence as a semi-coherent set of avantgarde practices at the beginning of the twentieth century to their resurgence today with digital technologies. Because the book arts have not developed along a straightforward chronology, our route through time will not be linear. Rather, we will proceed by navigating the various social, political, and formal vectors that book artists have explored. Understanding how each artist situates her/himself along these vectors, and 2 what that placement can teach us about her/his aesthetic affiliations, will be the task of this course. When relevant, we will also be reading short stories, poems, and novels that address similar themes. By the end of the course, these vectors will together form a map detailing where the book has been, what it means to literary culture today, and the directions it is headed in the near future.

Original Instructor: Whitney Trietten
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

This course has two complementary goals. The first is to introduce the history of technologies used to produce and circulate literature, from the parchment upon which Beowulf is written to the social media platforms exploited by netprov artists. This history provides a broad overview of the material conditions of possibility for the emergence of literary form and genre in the Anglophone tradition. The second goal is to examine how digital media are transforming scholarly publishing and communication by reflecting upon our own writing practices and their attendant technologies. By pursuing these two goals in tandem, this course places current trends, like digital humanities, within a much longer history of technological transformation and textual production. To keep things manageable, we are ditching strict chronology in favor of topic clusters. Each week, we’ll explore a new technical threshold or “interface” (in Alex Galloway’s sense of the term — we’ll get to that!) where matter meets meaning. It is my hope that this approach will enable us to engage in comparative, cross-historical analysis without undermining the historicist impulse that motivates the course. Because you really do need to experience many of these technologies for yourself, we’ll also be spending the last hour of most classes in Wilson Library, looking at everything from medieval parchment and hard disk drives to phonographic cylinders and Civil War scrapbooks. This is a unique opportunity, and we are extraordinarily lucky that the awesome staff at Wilson are letting us spend so much time with the materials.

Original Instructor: Whitney Trietten
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 4
Course Summary:

Perhaps no single activity defines college more than reading. We read textbooks and text messages, perform “close readings” of literature and “read between the lines” of course descriptions. Some readings are dense, and we struggle to discern their meaning; other texts are skimmed quickly. We take our literacy for granted, giving barely a thought to the complex neurological processes that enable us to interpret these lines. In an age of artificial intelligences, even machines “read.” In this seminar, we explore the histories, sciences, and technologies of reading. Guest lectures and visits to libraries and labs introduce different disciplinary approaches, as we ask: How did people read in the past? How do novelists, poets, and book artists conceptualize the act of reading? What happens in the brain when we read? And how do machines read differently from humans? Our investigations culminate in a multimodal exhibit, produced collaboratively.

 

 

Original Instructor: Whitney Trietten
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

How do you measure a book? Can machines read? Do we read prose texts now the way people read them in 1919 or in 1819? We are swimming in textual data that could change our understanding of the written word - if you have the right tools and know how to access and work with it. What could you learn to do with all these different forms of textuality, with all this data? Can you find connections between your current interests in literature and the perspectives that technology opens up, or the goals of your career? This course is meant to give you practice with a variety of methods and real-world scenarios to help you participate in digital projects, using both prepared materials and your own. The course fulfills an elective in the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities (DH). We want to introduce you to literary computational methods as part of digital humanities, no matter what previous familiarity you might have. You will find any of your previous studies of literature highly relevant and useful for participating in this course. No one needs to be or to become a programmer. You will begin with your own interests and skills and help us encounter, together, specific methods of digital reading or ways to analyze and visualize the data of texts, including topic modeling and XML markup. There is room in our plans for us to consider how our methods could be applied for selected writers or literary works or genres that you want to write about or work on, or that you have encountered in other courses or personal reading. A focus on literary DH in this course doesn’t cover the entire spectrum of possibilities for digital research. We hope you will be interested to inquire further, and follow your paths with different tools and methods beyond this course.

Original Instructor: Alison Booth, Original Instructor: Brandon Walsh
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2019
discipline: English, Digital Humanities
conceptual difficulty: 4 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am - 10:45am in Ruffner 175.

Some undergraduate course offerings can count toward your elective requirement, but that depends on the department and professor. If you'd like to take this course, contact the professor to see if they would allow you to take it and what they would require of your work in the course to ensure it counts at the graduate level.

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 programming experience are especially welcome!

Original Instructor: Kevin Driscoll
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2020
discipline: Media Studies
Course Summary:

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:45 a.m. in Minor Hall

Today, nearly every adult in the U.S. uses the internet. Wireless signals silently fill our public and private spaces. In this course, you will learn how computer networks became a medium for interpersonal communication and community. We will “reverse engineer” the technologies and technical cultures that gave rise to the global information infrastructure. Along the way, you will explore unfinished systems, abandoned experiments, and other historical “dead ends.” This course takes a hands-on approach to media history and you will become familiar with the technical concepts that make the internet possible

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Original Instructor: Kevin Driscoll
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2019
discipline: Media Studies
Course Summary:

Thursdays from 2:00pm - 4:30pm in Bryan Hall 332.

This course will explore all aspects of conceptualizing, planning for, and creating a scholarly digital edition. It provides a basic introduction to the various types of digital editions, the practice of editing in the digital age, and a survey of the many digital tools available to serve project goals. 

Original Instructor: Jennifer Stertzer
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2020
discipline: History

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