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About the Digital Humanities Minor

What is Digital Humanities (DH)?

  • DH applies digital & computational technologies to study of the books, texts, archives, source materials and creative outputs in the humanities
  • DH is a new and flourishing field in humanities teaching and research
  • DH is an avant-garde discipline bridging sciences, humanities & the arts 
  • DH embraces computer science, sociology, literature, history, geography, engineering, political science, economics, anthropology, media studies, studio art & more
  • DH is by its nature collaborative, interdisciplinary, project-based, transcultural & transhistorical

Why choose the DH Minor?

  • To design your own minor around personal intellectual aspirations that combine humanistic and technological ways of thinking
  • To learn how to use software to interpret textual sources
  • To meet like-minded faculty and peers from different parts of the university committed to innovative scholarship in this new knowledge field
  • To get hands-on experience analyzing and integrating both quantitative and qualitative data

What are the requirements?

This minor consists of a 20 unit load (minimum) comprised of:

1 core course from:

  • Geospatial Humanities which ranges from theory (space as a category of analysis) to technical representation & analysis of spatial distribution through algorithms. It can draw upon anthropology, geography, and other disciplines with a tradition of interest in how people, past and present, have mapped the globe; meanwhile, it can also feed into literary studies that examine space as a category of narrative representation.
  • Quantitative Textual Analysis which includes anything that uses computers to quantify formal properties of texts, ranging from word frequencies to chapter divisions to character networks. Genre, authorship, sentiment analysis, “opinion mining”—all of these can play a role. It intersects with linguistics & Natural Language Processing (NLP); Classics and Cognitive Psychology can also be allies.
  • Text Technologies which encompasses technologies of communication; social media analysis; database creation, coding, Text Encoding Initiative (TEI); technologies of publishing and text access; the history of the book; digital curation of virtual exhibitions including the arts, digital imaging; museum development & arts administration.

5 elective courses (3 units or higher) which are self-selected from a wide array of courses that integrate technology and the humanities across almost all departments within the university. We have curated a large number of elective offerings for 2018-2019 here, but if you find others you think fulfill the mandate of the program, please contact the DH Minor Director, Alice Staveley, for approval.   You may find that you have already taken some of the courses that count towards the minor, such as CS 106 or ANTHRO130 or ME101 or CSRE180.

How to design your DH Minor

We strongly encourage you to be thoughtful about how you design your DH minor curriculum, taking the opportunity to choose elective courses across different departments that build on the themes or approaches of the Core course you have chosen.  For instance, Geospatial Humanities might take you into engineering, anthropology, environmental studies, history or sociology, to list just a few possible trajectories; Quantitative Textual Analysis might direct you to linguistics, computer science, data science, classics, or literary studies; Text Technologies might lead you to STS, linguistics, musicology, literature, history, or art studio.  

Conversely, you might browse our elective page, noticing that we have made provisional thematic groupings of course clusters which might point you back to an encompassing core course, or simply spark your imagination for how a particular elective aligns with the methodical approach of a core offering. 

In addition, if the core courses prove especially enticing, you can take more than one of them, although only one will officially count as your core choice, with the other(s) fulfilling an elective choice.

At any time, if you want help with course selection or simply to talk through your academic passions and curiosities, please contact the DH Minor Director, Prof. Alice Staveley, who will be happy to meet you in person, by email, or Skype.  You can also read more about the faculty on our People page and see some sample course plans here

Process to Declare

  • Declare no later than two quarters prior to your intended quarter of degree conferral, e.g. Autumn declaration for Spring conferral. Follow the instructions in Axess for declaring a minor.
  • Completed declaration forms are transmitted electronically to the English department, which administers the DH Minor, for approval. You will receive an online copy.
  • Once the application has been approved you will be e-mailed a notice of confirmation.