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Fall 2018

DHUM 70000 - Introduction to the Digital Humanities
Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Profs. Matthew Gold and Stephen Brier
Cross-listed with MALS 75400 and IDS 81660

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 the Digital Age: "Doing Things with Novels"
Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m, 3 credits, 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. We will use several novellas by Herman Melville as our jumping-off point for these projects. Those interested can get a fair sense of the course's shape from this site from a prior version of the course for undergraduates at Hunter College. 

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


DHUM 73000 - Visualization and Design: Fundamentals
Mondays, 4:15pm-6:15pm, 3 credits, Prof. Lev Manovich
Cross-listed with DATA 73000 and CSC 83060

Data visualization is increasingly important today in more and more fields. Its growing popularity in the early 21st century corresponds to important cultural and technological shifts in our societies – adoption of data-centric research methods in many new areas, the availability of  massive data sets, and use of interactive digital media and the web for dissemination of information and knowledge. Data visualization techniques allow people to use perception and cognition to see patterns in data, and form research hypotheses. During last 20 years data visualization has also become an important part of contemporary visual and data cultures, entering the worlds of art, visual communication, interactives and interface design.

In this course students learn the concepts and methods of data visualization. They practice these methods by completing four practical assignments and a final project. These assignments  will be discussed and analyzed in class.  In addition, the class covers the following four topics:

1) Learning about data visualization field, becoming familiar with most well-known designers and data artists, classic visualization projects, relevant organizations and available software.

2) Visualization can be understand as a part of a scientific paradigm for summarizing, analyzing and predicting data that also includes statistics, data science and AI. Accordingly, students will be introduced to selected concepts from these areas so they understand how data visualization interacts with these fields.

3) Alternatively, visualization can be seen as a part of modern culture that includes languages and techniques of visual art, design, architecture, cinema, interactive art, and data art. We will devote some time to considering these perspectives and links.

4) Another topic which we will also cover is the use of visualization in recently emerged fields devoted to analyzing big cultural data - digital humanities, computational social science, and cultural analytics.


DHUM 74000 - Digital Pedagogy 1: History, Theory, and Practice
Mondays, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Profs. Gallardo and Hernandez
Cross-listed with ITCP 70010

Core 1 is the first course in the ITP certificate sequence. This course examines the economic, social, and intellectual history of technological change over time, as well as technology and digital media design and use. A full description is available here: https://itpcp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/courses/

ITP is a 9 credit, 3 course certificate that provides intellectual opportunities and technical training that enable students to think creatively and critically about the uses of technology to improve teaching, learning, and research. Students learn praxis-oriented methodologies for digital research and pedagogy, and complete capstone projects under the mentorship of one of our faculty. Our students have won intramural and extramural grants for their research, and their skills and knowledge are in demand on the job market.

Learn more at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/itp and see examples of past capstone projects here: https://itpis.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

ITP courses meet Monday 4:15-6:15 with skills Lab directly following from 6:30-8:30. For more information about enrollment please contact Julie Fuller, Program Assistant (jfuller1@gradcenter.cuny.edu)