All readings and resources will be provided electronically, many through a Blackboard course site. The only strict requirement is a laptop and basic familiarity with using it: file management, software downloading and installation, web and social media use. Specialized software and required licenses will be made available as needed.


Attendance. This course allows for two absences for any reason; no excuses necessary. Additional absences will cost 1/3 letter per infraction. I reserve the right to treat repeated lateness as an absence. We can probably accommodate conflicts with class time—professional, personal, etc.—but please talk with me in advance.

Participation. Our class will be conducted as a seminar which will thrive on the participation of its members. Participation means thoughtfully preparing any reading materials, exploring study objects, and communicating with the seminar. It includes but is not limited to speaking up in class. While this is strongly encouraged, our course will provide multiple ways of participating in the topic and materials.

Fortitude. Because of its engagement with technologies, experimenting with new techniques, and building things, this course will inevitably include some moments of frustration or even failure. It will require your patience and fortitude in ways that other classes do not. It will also reward them. I strongly believe that moments of frustration are crucial moments of methodological self-scrutiny which are vital to the enterprise of digital humanities. Never stew in isolation. If you get confused or stuck, let’s talk. We’ll figure it out together.

Social media. As we will discuss, the digital humanities has invited lots of experimentation with forms of scholarly communication. It is well represented in the blogosphere and on social media platforms like Twitter. I will ask that you “follow” these conversations which will be ongoing throughout the semester. Recommended sites, feeds, and lists will be provided. Twice during the semester, you will collect elements of these conversations and assemble them into a brief report from the field using Storify (instructions to be provided).

Frequent assignments. Many thematic sections in the course schedule will include assignments started in class and finished outside of it (i.e. homework), such as: a small text encoding project; an investigation and written review of an online archive; researching and collecting a thematic exhibition; running text analysis and visualization processes and reporting the results; creating simple databases, timelines, and maps; etc. Details for each will be given in advance. You may also decide to expand one of these assignments for a final course project.

Class presentation. Our last day of class with be a show-and-tell in which everyone presents a brief summary of their planned course project, explaining in an accessible way where it fits into current conversations in digital humanities as well as their own research interests. These 5min presentations will take a special form called “Pecha Kucha”—a highly visual style that will aid you in making effective presentations in the future. Further instructions to come.

Course project. While grad seminars frequently culminate in an article-length research paper, that is only one of the options available to you in developing a final course project. It could take many forms: an interpretive machine, an electronic edition, a richly detailed online exhibit, a study of and plan for digital pedagogy, a mapping project, a distant reading exercise, etc. Also, you are welcome to work individually or in collaboration with one or more students – either at this university or elsewhere. The course readings and case studies will suggest lots of potential examples. I will require a mid-term project proposal and work on each proposal with you individually. We will also present early-stage projects to the class for collaborative input.


20% Participation
40% Assignments
10% Class presentation
30% Course Project

Student Accommodation

Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 919-515-7653. For more information on NC State’s policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG02.20.01).

Additional Student Responsibilities

All students are responsible for reviewing the NCSU Polices, Regulations, and Rules (PRRs) which pertain to their course rights and responsibilities. These include: http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-04-25-05 (Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement), http://oied.ncsu.edu/oied/policies.php (Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity), http://policies.ncsu.edu/policy/pol-11-35-01 (Code of Student Conduct), and http://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-50-03 (Grades and Grade Point Average).