Past Courses


Graduate Courses

ENG 612/MLL 772. Digital Humanities and Media Studies: Humanities Data. Spring 2022.

Instructor: Lindsay Thomas

Course Description: This class will provide an introduction to data -- as a concept, as an object and method of study, and as a scholarly product -- and how it operates in the humanities today. We will focus not only on how humanists understand the concept and history of data, but also on how they go about collecting, organizing, and analyzing it. We will discuss the place of humanistic data analysis within what is more widely known as the digital humanities; what constitutes “data” in the humanities and how to go about collecting it; the relationship between data and archival collections; the logic, practice, and problems associated with quantification; methods of data analysis; and what it means to understand datasets as scholarship. This class will include a significant hands-on component: participants will learn to explore and analyze existing humanities datasets and, by the end of the semester, construct their own scholarly dataset. Assignments will include technical tutorials, a reflection on an existing scholarly dataset, and the creation of a scholarly dataset that reflects participants’ research interests and the semester’s critical discussions of humanities data.

The course is open to students across the humanities, although it will focus on literary and cultural studies. No experience in the digital humanities or with digital tools or methods is required. This course will count toward the completion of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities (it will count as the practicum course for those students who need to fulfill that requirement this year).

MLL 772. Media Studies: Technology, Environment, Method. Fall 2021.

Instructor: Allison Schifani

Course Description: This course is intended to provide graduate students with a survey of Media Studies as an academic discipline and discursive field. Students will approach a broad range of texts
in the field and outline both its historical development and contemporary debates, with a
particular focus on emerging theories and practices within Media Studies in the academy.
Students will be exposed to media objects as well as theoretical works approaching such
objects as infrastructure, environment, critical methods, production, and historical
developments. This course counts toward the Graduate Certificate in the Digital Humanities
and is open to graduate students across the College of Arts and Sciences.

MLL 773, SPA 711, FRE 711. Digital Medieval Studies. Spring 2021.

Susanna Allés-Torrent

ENG 682. Concepts in Humanities Data Analysis. Spring 2019.

Instructor: Lindsay Thomas

Course Description: This class will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of data analysis from a literary and cultural studies perspective. It will introduce central concepts in the field and some of its methods. We will focus throughout not only on how digital technologies and methods are changing research in literary and cultural studies, but also on what the value of such changes is (or isn’t). Major topics for discussion will include but are not limited to: the place of humanistic data analysis within what is more widely known as the digital humanities; what constitutes “data” in the humanities and how to go about collecting and analyzing it; the logic and practice of quantification; methods of data analysis themselves; and how to begin to design a computational research project. We will explore many different examples of computational research in the humanities over the course of the semester, but the main questions we will ask of every piece or project are, “How did they do that?” and, more importantly, “Why did they do that?”

MLL 774. Practicum in Digital Humanities. Fall 2018.

 Susanna Allés-Torrent, Allison Schifani, and Paige Morgan

Course Description: As part of our ongoing series of graduate seminars in the digital humanities, MLL will offer a Digital Humanities Practicum this Fall 2018. Join us to learn about computational approaches to scholarly work across the humanities. Build or expand your own DH project! Explore methods and tools across disciplines in digital scholarship and get credit toward a planned Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities.

MLL 621/ENG 695. Digital Humanities: Theory, Method, Critique. Spring 2017.

Allison Schifani and Lindsay Thomas

Course Description: This class provides an introduction to the theory and practice of the digital humanities from a literary and cultural studies perspective. It introduces major types of digital humanities work and central debates and concerns in the field. It also focuses on methodology, asking not only how digital technologies and techniques are changing research methods in literary studies and the humanities more broadly, but also on what the value of such changes is (or isn’t). Students will have significant input into the materials we read and discuss in the last half of the semester, but major topics for discussion include: points of intersection between the digital humanities, digital media studies, and science and technology studies; the relationship of the digital humanities to “theory;” what constitutes “data” in the humanities; the logic of quantification; methods of text analysis; and the digital humanities and academic labor. While the first half of the semester follows a more traditional seminar format, the second half centers on project development and hands-on work. Students will form small groups and develop a draft grant proposal for a digital humanities project (students can also work individually on this if they prefer). Readings in this half of the semester will be determined by individual student interest and the needs of the project.

MLL 621. Special Topics: Digital Humanities Theory and Methods. Spring 2016.

Instructors: Lillian Manzor and Paige Morgan

Undergraduate Courses

SPA 410/MLL 410. Digital Literacy Through Cultural and Literary Topics. Fall 2021.

Instructor: Dr. Susanna Allés-Torrent

Course Description: This course introduces and involves students actively into a full stack of digital methods and tools applied to literary and cultural studies, with special emphasis for Spanish. The course is conceived as a first hands-on approach to new methods and general tendencies within the humanities. Students will have the opportunity to deepen their digital literacy, surveying and gaining a general understanding of what is (or are) Digital Humanities and experiencing new ways of exploring digital textuality. They will become familiar with the basic principles of computing, as well as the fundamentals of some markup languages, such as XML-TEI, and techniques of text mining. The course looks towards the many dimensions of texts as data, and the many approaches available to collect, annotate, process, analyze and interpret them; thus, concepts such as textual corpus, semantic tagging, text mining, or topic modeling will be at the core of this course. At the end of the course students will present a digital project along with a long paper connected to the topic’s course and using the language of their choice.

ENG 395. Data & Society. Spring 2021.

Lindsay Thomas

Course Description: Data is often considered the domain of scientists and statisticians. But the proliferation of data and databases across nearly all aspects of daily life – powering everything from the targeted advertisements you see when you go online to the fake news circulating on Facebook to the next financial recession – has made the study and understanding of the concept of data a vital everyday concern. This course provides an introduction to the meaning, uses, and politics of data today. Readings are drawn from literary and cultural studies, media studies, science and technology studies, sociology, information science, and the digital humanities. We will focus in unit 1 on the concept of data, examining its definition, history and relationship to quantification itself. In unit 2, we will explore how researchers in the humanities use data to study culture, and we will analyze existing datasets and create our own. Finally, unit 3 will center on algorithmic processes and what data does in the world. You will complete an algorithm audit for your final project, which will ask you to select and investigate a specific algorithmic process (i.e., Google search autocompletes, or autocorrects in iOS, etc.) in order to understand how it functions conceptually, the data it uses (or might use, if that information is unavailable), and what you see as its most important social consequences.

SPA 322. Digital Lorca. Fall 2017.

Instructor: Susanna Allés-Torrent

Course Description:

This course is conceived from two different and complementary perspectives: an introduction to digital humanities practices, and the study of Federico García Lorca in its cultural context and his experience in Cuba. On one hand, the student faces multiple issues related to digital culture, and the different ways that technology and the Internet shape social interaction, thinking and communication. It puts special emphasis on the Digital in the Humanities. Cultural institutions and industries, libraries, academia, among many other sectors, have already faced a digital transformation that updates the outcomes of the cultural and humanistic artifacts. During the semester, students will gain both theoretical knowledge on multiple issues, like how the Internet works or how a digital identity is built, and practical experience. We will study in which ways the production of (literary) texts has changed, while analyzing new ways of publication and learning different encoding languages. Concepts such as close reading vs distant reading will give us the opportunity to use different electronic analytical tools. An inside collaboration with the Richter Library will allow students to understand how libraries handle digital collections and the role of metadata within their catalogs and repositories.

On the other hand, the course will delve into the figure of Federico García Lorca and his stay in Cuba. Taking advantage of the Richter Library collection “García Lorca’s Papers”, all students will collaborate in a digital project that involves digital edition, metadata, timelines, and mapping. García Lorca is one of the most relevant Spanish intellectuals at the beginning of the XXth century, and his transatlantic stays, both in New York City and Cuba, shaped him in a particular way. His literary production includes poetry, drama, and prose, and he was in contact with the intellectual and artistic élite of the time.