Curriculum & Degree Information
Our curriculum introduces students to fundamental principles and methods of the digital humanities and includes specialization in one of three areas: digital textuality, data visualization and mapping, and digital pedagogy.
After the core curriculum, students are encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary study and research by taking advantage of the numerous course offerings in other disciplines at The Graduate Center and at partner schools. Through a number of interdisciplinary certificate programs, students may choose to continue their studies into a formal four-course sequence in an allied field.
The first core course, Introduction to Digital Humanities, will introduce students to the key ideas, theories, and debates in the field, providing them with an understanding of how digital humanities works in an institutional context and an appreciation for the cultural and interpretive issues that surround digital scholarship. The second core course, Software Design Lab, will provide hands-on experience with digital tools, giving students the technical know-how needed to build digital projects. Students will have the opportunity to apply these skills during summer internships, as well as to develop their own digital project in a humanities field of their choice as a final thesis or capstone project.
In addition to these core courses, students will choose courses drawn from three major areas in the digital humanities: Digital Textuality, Data Visualization and Mapping, and Digital Pedagogy. Each area will typically be addressed in three core courses, which will provide students with a thorough understanding not just of the tools that are used in these forms of scholarship, but also of the humanistic goals that underlie them — the recovery and critical analysis of textual evidence, the production of new cartographic forms to reflect new social and political situations, and the use of technology to bring students into an active role in humanistic inquiry. Students will discuss a selection of courses from among these areas with their advisors.
The curriculum also includes three electives, which students may choose to take in either technical fields that are related to their goals as project developers, or humanistic fields that are related to their research interests. These electives will allow students to build deeper understandings of multiple disciplines — technical and humanistic — preparing them for interdisciplinary work.
Areas of Study
Digital Textuality Area
The Digital Textuality area is intended for students interested in the ways that reading, publishing, and scholarship are changing given the widespread adoption of computers. The coursework will provide students with a broad range of theoretical, historical, and practical perspectives on the nature of text in the 21st century and its relation to technology, along with hands-on experience working with some of the new technologies that have emerged for the distribution, storage, and analysis of text. These courses will provide students with the skills and knowledge they need for capstone projects involving text analysis research, digital archiving, and the rethinking of publishing paradigms. Courses in this area will prepare students for careers working with text in archives, museums, research centers, and digital publishers, and for ongoing study in the humanities and library science.
Data Visualization and Mapping Area
The Data Visualization and Mapping area is intended for students interested in the wide variety of tools and methods that have arisen in recent years for the visual exploration of quantitative, textual, and cartographic data. Students will learn about the principles of statistical visualization and cartography and apply these theoretical approaches to the development of visual representations of data sets. Courses in the area will also cover some basic aspects of graphic design that are particularly relevant to visualization, including considerations of aesthetics, clarity and understandability, and visual storytelling. These courses will prepare students for careers in data visualization, cartography, and data-driven graphic design, both in digital humanities and in industry.
Digital Pedagogy Area
Courses in the Digital Pedagogy area are intended for students interested in expanding their teaching repertoire with pedagogical approaches and digital methodologies that enhance the classroom experience for both students and instructors. By engaging with the coursework in this area, students will expand their capabilities as teachers and contribute to the burgeoning field of digital pedagogy. Students will build their skills in the first two courses in the area, a process that will culminate in the Digital Pedagogy Practicum, a capstone course in which students create a teaching portfolio while developing their ability to incorporate digital methods into an effective classroom practice.