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Would you like to see how instructors incorporate DH approaches into syllabi for courses taught across the humanistic disciplines?  Here you can search our exhaustive catalog of publicly available syllabi, pinpoint useful assignments, and identify tools and technologies to implement in your classroom.

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DH Theory & History



Structured Data

Public Archives

Course Summary:

This class examines the challenges of African American historical research given the biases of archives and collecting and uses digital collection strategies and often digital mapping in an effort to develop a more complete picture.

Original Instructor: Dr. Louis Nelson
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2021
Course Summary:

Fridays 1:00-3:30p.m. in CAM 108.

This digital humanities seminar combines archival research and close reading of texts with data visualization to explore new insights into two significant designed landscapes, Park Muskau, Germany and Central Park, New York.  We focus on how concurrent developments in technology and science, changing social practices as well as territorial networks of material and information exchange impacted the form and experience of these 19th century landscapes.

This seminar fulfills the UVA digital humanities certificate elective as well as landscape architecture elective. Open to students in the all schools of the university.

Original Instructor: Michael Lee, Original Instructor: Elizabeth K. Meyer
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2020
discipline: Digital Humanities, Landscape Architecture
Course Summary:

The sources for the history of our times are fragile. Joe Ricketts, the billionaire owner of DNAInfo and Gothamist, shut the local news publications down rather than tolerate a unionized workforce. For 11 minutes, Trump was kicked off Twitter. Ian Bogost sees in both episodes a symptom of a deeper problem: both are pulling on the same brittle levers that have made the contemporary social, economic, and political environment so lawless. As public historians, what are we to do about this? There are a lot of issues highlighted here, but let’s start at the most basic. It takes nothing to delete the record. The fragility of materials online is both a danger, and an opportunity, for us. Some scholars have “gone rogue” in trying to deal with this problem. That is to say, they neither sought nor obtained permission. They just scoped out a process, and did it. I initially called this class ‘guerrilla public digital history’ partly tongue in cheek. I imagined us doing some augmented reality type projects in public spaces. Reprogramming those public spaces. Using digital techs to surface hidden histories, and insert them into spaces where they didn’t ‘belong’. Counterprogramming. That was the ‘guerilla’ bit. I still want to do all that. But I think we’re going to have to do a bit more. Digital Public Historians have a role to play I suspect in countering the information power asymmetry. These ways are impromptu, without authorization. Rogue. Improvised. What is a ‘guerilla digital public history’? I don’t know. But we’re going to find out.

Original Instructor: Shawn Graham
Taught at Carleton University in Spring 2018
discipline: History
conceptual difficulty: 1 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

In this course you will learn to apply computational methods to create historical arguments. You will learn to work with historical data, including finding, gathering, manipulating, analyzing, visualizing, and arguing from data, with special attention to geospatial, textual, and network data. These methods will be taught primarily through scripting in the R programming language. While historical methods can be applied to many topics and time periods, they cannot be understood separate from how the discipline forms meaningful questions and interpretations, nor divorced from the particularities of the sources and histories of some specific topic. You will therefore work through a series of example problems using datasets from the history of the nineteenth-century U.S. religion, and you will apply these methods to a dataset in your own field of research.

Original Instructor: Lincoln Mullen
Taught at George Mason University in Spring 2018
discipline: History
conceptual difficulty: 3 technical difficulty: 4
Course Summary:

New York has played a crucial role in the history of media, and media have placed a crucial role in the history of New York. New York has been represented by media since Henry Hudson wrote his reports to the Dutch. Media institutions have contributed centrally to its economy and social fabric, while media geographies have shaped the experiences of city living. This course explores media representations, institutions, and geographies across time and is organized around the collaborative production of an online guidebook to the media history of the East Village. Concretely, we will be looking at media as networks with archæologies, sacrificing coverage for the opportunities to get dirty and trace spatiohistories from multiple vantage points. Our media history of New York, then, is an archæology of Downtown (south of 14th Street). We will first look to both the Astor Place Riot of 1849 and the Village Vanguard of the 1950s and 1960s before switching gears for the second half of the course to study the mediascape of the East Village and environs from the 1960s to today. The course culminates with producing a web-based exploration of that mediascape, “Downtown Archæologies,” through artifacts found and studied by students within either the Downtown Collection at the Fales Library or the Loisaida-specific collections at Centro, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

Original Instructor: Moacir P. de sa Pereira
Taught at New York University in Spring 2018
discipline: Media Culture and Communication
conceptual difficulty: 2 technical difficulty: 2
Course Summary:

How does the geography of New York City shape the literature of New York City? Does the literature shape the geography in return? In this course, we aim to understand the spatiotemporality of the Big Apple through novels of the 20th and 21st centuries that recreate and react to it. Not only will we read spatially, however, but we will also create spatially. Students will make maps that launch projects of geographical storytelling as a mode of literary analysis. More concretely, we will build online data repositories and exhibits (using JavaScript and HTML) that synthesize our reading and mapping practices. No previous programming knowledge is needed, but a curiosity and interest in puzzle solving is.

Original Instructor: Moacir P. de sa Pereira
Taught at New York University in Fall 2017
discipline: English
conceptual difficulty: 3 technical difficulty: 3
Course Summary:

Tuesdays from 3:30pm - 6:00pm in New Cabell 068.

Some undergraduate course offerings can count toward your elective requirement, but that depends on the department and professor. If you'd like to take this course, contact the professor to see if they would allow you to take it and what they would require of your work in the course to ensure it counts at the graduate level.

Public History is history that is delivered to a popular audience of non-scholars, often at historic sites, museums, and, more recently, via digital tools and websites. This course will introduce students to the issues and goals that have shaped public history as a scholarly discipline, but the focus of the course will be on the contemporary practice of public history, with a focus on the public history of slavery.

Field trips to local sites and a final class project involving field work in several Reconstruction-era African American cemeteries are major components of this course. Readings, assignments, and tours of local historic sites will investigate the range of scholarly issues most relevant to the practice of public history today. Those include the challenges of presenting slavery as public history; enlarging the scope of historic sites to include the less powerful, especially women and enslaved workers; and ongoing debates about the difference between history and heritage. Who is the “public” in public history? Whose history gets told, and how? Throughout the semester, students will work closely with the librarians and curators at Special Collections; the GIS specialists in Scholars’ Lab; and community members from Buckingham County to research and present hidden or erased histories of African American life in the nineteenth century.

Tours of local historic sites and museum exhibits are a key element of this class. This semester, students will visit Monticello; Montpelier; take the African American History Tour of UVA led by the University Guide Service; and do a self-guided audio tour of the Daughters of Zion Cemetery in downtown Charlottesville. 

In  spring 2020 the final project will likely focus on the African American history of the Union Hill and Union Grove communities in Buckingham County. (If not Buckingham County, then we will do a similar project in Louisa County or Albemarle County.) We will do fieldwork in several cemeteries there, using ArcGIS technology to geolocate information about cemeteries, and the Story Map software to create layered digital narratives about people (living and dead), events, and places. We will also hold a community event in Buckingham County. You will present your final project, a Story Map, at the final class. 

Original Instructor: Lisa Goff
Taught at University of Virginia in Spring 2020
discipline: American Studies
Course Summary:

Wednesdays 3:30-6:00 p.m. in Fayerweather Hall 215

This seminar explores the development of Byzantine cities in relation to Byzantium’s political and socio- economic structures (4th-15thc). It aims at examining cities as lived spaces, investigating their architecture and topography as well as a range of urban experiences from mundane daily deeds to public processions. Emphasis will also be placed on the different social groups responsible for the transformation of Byzantine urban spaces.

Course aims:

Byzantine cities are our point of departure but what the seminar is really about is people, people living in Byzantine cities. The main aim of the course is learning to reconstruct lived experiences in the Byzantine city by studying architecture, urban planning and byzantine monuments. The development of critical thinking in reading scholarly works and in exploring ideas in written essays is also a key aspect of the course. Another objective is to compare and contrast experiences in the Byzantine city with our own urban lives and modern cities, thus the course includes visits around the city of Charlottesville and an informal discourse on ancient and modern cities.

Original Instructor: Fotini Kondyli
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2019
discipline: Architectural History
Course Summary:

Thursdays 2:00-4:30 p.m. in New Cabell Hall 038

This workshop introduces advanced undergraduate and graduate students to a variety of methods and platforms for digital research featuring geospatial data.  Students will contribute to a series of common research projects as they learn geospatial visualization methods using using ArcMap, ArcGIS Online, Story Map, MapScholar, and VisualEyes.  We will read historical scholarship as well as primary sources with an eye firmly fixed on how to visualize spatial ideas and experiences and spend time debating the value of doing so.  We will also read about visualization more generally as we think creatively about how digital tools might enable us to make our own research more innovative and compelling.  This course counts as an elective for the Graduate Digital Humanities Certificate program.

Original Instructor: Max Edelson
Taught at University of Virginia in Fall 2019
discipline: History