Author Archives: Matthew K. Gold

Welcome to Intro to DH 2019!!

We’re delighted to welcome you to Introduction to Digital Humanities 2019! Here is our course description:

In this introduction to the digital humanities (DH), we will approach the field via a Caribbean Studies lens, exploring how an understanding of the digital based in the growing area of digital Caribbean studies might shape the larger field of DH.

The course aims to provide a landscape view of DH, paying attention to how its various approaches embody new ways of knowing and thinking, new epistemologies. What kinds of questions, for instance, does the practice of mapping pose to our research and teaching? How does the concept of mapping change when we begin from the Global South? When we attempt to share our work through social media, how is it changed and who do we imagine it reaches? How can we visually and ethically represent various forms of data and how does the data morph in the representation?

Over the course of this semester, we will explore these questions and others as we engage ongoing debates in the digital humanities, such as the problem of defining the digital humanities, the question of whether DH has (or needs) theoretical grounding, controversies over new models of peer review for digital scholarship, issues related to collaborative labor on digital projects, and the problematic questions surrounding research involving “big data.” The course will also emphasize the ways in which DH has helped transform the nature of academic teaching and pedagogy in the contemporary university with its emphasis on collaborative, student-centered and digital learning environments and approaches.

Central themes in the course will emerge from our focus on the Caribbean — in particular, how various technologies and technical approaches have been shaped by colonial practices; how archives might be decolonized and how absences in the archives might be accounted for; and how concepts like minimal computing might alter the projects we build.

Though no previous technical skills are required, students will be asked to experiment in introductory ways with DH tools and methods as a way of concretizing some of our readings and discussions. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions and online postings (including on our course blog) and to undertake a final project that can be either a conventional seminar paper or a proposal for a digital project. Students completing the course will gain broad knowledge about and understanding of the emerging role of the digital humanities across several academic disciplines and will begin to learn some of the fundamental skills used often in digital humanities projects.

Note: this course is part of an innovative “Digital Praxis Seminar,” a two-semester long introduction to digital tools and methods that will be open to all students in the Graduate Center. The goal of the course is to introduce graduate students to various ways in which they can incorporate digital research into their work.