[Humanist] 28.200 toward a better curriculum?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jul 15 16:09:11 CEST 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 200.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:21:51 +0200
        From: Tara Andrews <chrysaphi at gmail.com>
        Subject: Questions toward a better DH curriculum

Dear Humanist,

I write to pick your collective brains a little on the subject of digital
humanities curriculum. I am in the process of setting up a teaching program
in DH at the university of Bern, catering to a mix of undergraduates,
masters' students, and Ph.D. candidates. At the moment they all come from
various departments in the humanities, but I hope to attract some computer
scientists in the near future as well. As yet there is no degree program,
and my mission is to serve students throughout the humanities more or less
equally - classes should hold relevance for musicologists and art
historians just as they do for philologists and linguists.

After a year of trying things out with mixed results, I have two questions
for those who have taught, or those who have thought about teaching,
general courses on digital humanities:

1) What do you expect the students to have learned, and how do you assess
it? I'm equally interested in answers for theory-based and practice-based
courses, though the latter strike me as more of a practical problem - how
good can I expect a student to get, over the course of a term, in a skill
like XML or Javascript? And if I shy away from teaching actual programming,
what should I expect them to be good at after 12 weeks of experimentation
with tools like Neatline, Oxygen, Gephi, or what have you?

2) Formalisation and modelling in the humanities is turning into something
of a hobby horse of mine - I think this is possibly the most important
thing that DH could teach, and ideally I would like to devote an entire
class to it. I have a couple of nebulous ideas of my own, but I ask here
for good old brainstorming help - if you have taught, or would teach, such
a class, what would you teach and what toolkits (if any) would you use?
And, just because I sometimes like stirring up a hornet's nest, I'll impose
an additional constraint - what would you teach *apart from XML/TEI*?

Many thanks in advance for answers, advice, experience, etc.!

Best wishes,

Prof. Dr. Tara L Andrews
Digital Humanities, Universität Bern

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