Mining History: Digital Practices in Humanities Research

Course Description: 

This course aims to introduce students to the basic debates and methodologies of the digital humanities (DH), and to think through how these approaches and methods might best be applied in their respective (historical or other humanities) projects and disciplines. After tracing how this interdisciplinary field has developed and some of its challenges and limitations, four of the main methodologies featured in DH will be discussed: text analysis, network analysis, mapping, and topic modeling. During these weeks of exploring the various approaches, students will also be working individually or in small groups, experimenting with their own datasets and areas of research. By the end of the course, each group will present and submit a DH research or project proposal, incorporating at least one methodology with a selected discipline and area of research.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

●      identify the major areas of practice in the digital humanities

●      critically engage the role of DH in the future of the humanities

●      navigate more easily among DH methodologies and debates

●      envision a DH project that would enhance their own area of research

●      locate the relevant resources at CEU and online to carry out DH projects in the future    


Presence and participation (30% of the final grade) In addition to regular attendance, students are expected to actively contribute to class discussions. Students should try whenever possible to attend the series of master classes in digital humanities and text analysis  that will run parallel to this course.

Project development (30% of the final grade) Students will be asked to participate in biweekly online discussions of the readings and case studies. These will begin as individual responses to the reading, and then take the form of small group assignments that will build towards the final project.

Final Research Proposal (40% of the final grade)  Over the course of the semester, students will be working individually or in small groups to develop a sample research proposal in the digital humanities. On the last day of class, each group will offer a short presentation of their proposal and get feedback from their instructors and classmates. The final research proposal will be due a few weeks later.