Show The Graduate Center Menu


APPLY NOW



Faculty Books and Projects

 
 
 

Courses

FALL 2020

 
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
4:15 - 6:15 PM

 

Methods of Text Analysis, Prof. Lisa Rhody Introduction to Digital Humanities, Prof. Matt Gold  
6:30 - 8:30 PM Digital Pedagogy 1, Prof. Andie Silva     "Doing Things with Novels," Prof. Jeff Allred
 

DHUM 70000 - Introduction to Digital Humanities #62096
Wednesday, 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM, 3 Credits. Rm. TBA, Prof. Matt Gold

What are the digital humanities, and how can they help us think in new ways? This course offers an introduction to the landscape of digital humanities (DH) work, paying attention to how its various approaches embody new ways of knowing and thinking. What kinds of questions, for instance, does the practice of mapping pose to our research and teaching? When we attempt to share our work through social media, how is it changed? How can we read “distantly,” and how does “distant reading” alter our sense of what reading is?

Over the course of this semester, we will explore these questions and others as we engaging 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.

Among the themes and approaches we will explore are evidence, scale, representation, genre, quantification, visualization, and data. We will also discuss broad social, legal and ethical questions and concerns surrounding digital media and contemporary culture, including privacy, intellectual property, and open/public access to knowledge and scholarship.

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.

DHUM 72000 - Textual Studies in a Digital Age: "Doing Things with Novels" #62097
Thursay, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Rm. TBA, Prof Jeff Allred

The novel, whose very name is associated with the new, is starting to look a bit antiquated. It demands of us long, uninterrupted stretches of time; it projects a world hermetically sealed from the buzzing data flows that travel in our pockets and around our desks; it resolutely resists—the Kindle notwithstanding—being ripped from between printed covers and scattered in the cloud(s). This course will examine the past and future of the novel genre, attempting to link the history of what William Warner calls the dominant entertainment platform of the
nineteenth century to the present moment, in which an increasing share of our “serious” reading and “light” entertainments alike unfold on networked screens of all kinds.

We will examine this dynamic along two axes. First, we will read classic and recent work on the history and theory of the novel, with a particular emphasis on reading practices and cultural technologies. Second, we will do things with novels other than simply read them, exploring new possibilities for engaging the genre via the affordances of digital technology. For example, we will remediate a printed novel by creating a DIY audiobook; we will transform a novel by “playing” it as a role-playing-game; we will annotate a novel, creating a new
edition to orient lay readers to its cultural historical underpinnings. Those interested can get a fair sense of the course's shape from this site from a prior version of the course:
https://allred720fa18.commons.gc.cuny.edu.

Requirements: rigorous reading, informal writing (on a course blog), enthusiastic participation, participation in collaborative digital projects and a final essay or project.

DHUM 72500 - Methods of Text Analysis #62099
Tuesday, 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Rm. TBA, Prof Lisa Rhody

This course takes as its guiding questions: "Can there be such a thing as a feminist text analysis?" and "What does it mean to do computational text analysis in a humanities context?" Through reading and practice we will examine the degree to which problematic racist, sexist, colonialist, corporate, and gender-normative assumptions that activate algorithmic methods impact humanistic inquiry through text analysis, and how the humanist can formulate effective research questions to explore through methods of text analysis. 

Taking a completely different approach to the topic "methods of text analysis," this couse will consider what it means to "analyze" a "text" with computers within a humanistic context, with an emphasis on shaping effective research questions over programming mastery. How does the language of analysis draw on Western traditions of empiricism in which "the text" occupies a position of authority over other forms of representation? What is the difference between "text analysis" and "philology"? What is being "analyzed" when we count, tokenize, measure, and classify texts with computers? And, importantly, how do the questions we are asking align with the methods we are using?

The course will be organized according to the stages of the research proces as articulated in our fist week reading, to be completed in advance of our first meeting: "How we do things with words: Analyzing text as social and cultural data," which can be dowloaded here. While students will receive materials to help them learn Python and to develop their own text analysis projects, this will not be the objective of the course or the source of evaluation. However, students will be required to develop a literacy in Python and packages frequently used to perform text analysis. Students will be required to complete weekly Jupyter notebook assignments that have significant portions of text analysis activities already completed. Supplementary information about programming and text analysis will be provided to complete in a self directed way using a free DataCamp account. Final projects will include a portfolio of 14 completed Jupyter notebook assignments, an in-class debate, and a five to eight page position paper. 

Exploring terms such as "non-consumptive" and "black box algorithms," this course takes up the affordances and costs of computationally enabled modeling, representation, querying, and interpretation of texts. We will ask questions such as, "Can you 'lead a feminist life' (Ahmed) that is heavily mediated by methods of text analysis?" Readings will include articles by Sarah Ahmed, Mary Beard, Meredith Broussard, Lauren Klein, Wendy Chun, Tanya Clement, Miriam Posner, Liz Losh, Tara MacPherson, Johanna Drucker, Andrew Goldstone, Safiya Noble, Bethany Nowviskie, Andrew Piper, Steve Ramsay, Laura Mandell, Susan Brown, Richard Jean So, and Ted Underwood.

DHUM 74000 - Digital Pedagogy 1: History, Theory, and Practice #62098
Monday, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Rm. TBA, Prof. Andie Silva

Students will examine the economic, social, and intellectual history of the design and use of technology. This course will focus particularly on the power of digital pedagogy as feminist praxis, which aims to centralize race, gender, class, and queer perspectives in academic debates. Readings in the course will focus on the history and development of the uses of technology in the classroom and academia alongside current attempts to critique how technology can reproduce structures of power and systems of oppression. We will also explore the unique ways digital humanities has transformed the classroom, and collaborate in defining clear goals for using and teaching new technologies, from engaging students in digital project analyses to teaching code and markup languages. Assignments for this course will include the development of shared resources for teaching and learning with technology, evaluations of projects with pedagogical components, as well as forays into project-based learning within fields such as digital editing, preservation and curation, and gaming.