Humanities + Design: Building a workflow for digital research and publication (Spring 2016)

How do digital research practices effect the Humanities research process? From reading to writing, from review to publication, Humanities research relies increasingly on digital workfows. Keeping track of new software that promises to make writing easier, only to see it dissolve into oblivion before you've completed the second chapter of your dissertation is maddening. In this course you will learn the foundational tools of digital writing and design your own digital research process. Together we will explore the theoretical and practical challenges of publishing born-digital scholarship in the humanities. Instructors: Nicole Coleman, Jason Heppler

Humanities + Design: Designing and Building a Digital Project (Spring 2015)

Data-driven digital humanities projects are, from the start, design projects. Whether gathering and transforming data or creating data from print sources, the way you model your data influences the outcome. The algorithms used to give form to visualized data are designed around disciplinary inquiry. In this course we will use the source materials for the Writing Rights research project to explore ways to clean, manage and visualize data, in the process learning how to model data effectively to answer our own research questions.
Instructor: Nicole Coleman

Humanities + Design: Visualizing the Grand Tour (Fall 2014)

In the eighteenth century, northern cultural and social elites flocked to the Italian peninsula in the name of humanist classical ideals, seeking Italian ancient monuments and remains, bringing and sending back both material possessions and written words, and, inevitably, encountering the peninsula’s present. This paramount transcultural phenomenon, which came to be known as the Grand Tour, in many ways shaped the modern world as we know it. Recent decades have seen a blossoming of rich, interdisciplinary scholarship on the Grand Tour; in this course we will use visualization tools of the digital age to develop new interpretations of this crucial site for the reception of antiquity and the birth of the modern world.

We will engage critically readings in both visual epistemology and current Grand Tour studies; interrogate the relationship between quantitative and qualitative approaches in digital humanities; and ask what data visualization offers us in the way of new insights about eighteenth-century British travel to Italy. Students will learn how to transform traditional texts and documents into digital datasets, developing individual data analysis projects through text mining, data capture, and visualization techniques.

Instructors: Giovanna Ceserani, Nicole Coleman

Humanities + Design: Visualizing Time and Movement (Spring 2014)

How might visualization tools affect the way Humanities scholars work in the digital age? Humanities research relies increasingly on digitized source material and, consequently, on data visualization as an interface for organizing and assessing as well as analyzing information. We will explore different ways of thinking about data visually, using visualization software under development to discover themes, questions and relationships. In an age where visual forms hold the force of persuasion, data visualization skills not only shape arguments but also help researchers engage critically with the information behind their analyses. Humanities + Design investigates the role of the humanities in the challenges of interpreting data - especially “big data.” Each student will participate in the design of visualization tools for humanities research, learning about the design process and design theory as it applies to digital humanities research. The course is targeted to students interested in using visualization in their own work, as well as students new to data-driven research. All of our course meetings will take place in the at CESTA (Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis) on the 4th floor of Wallenberg Hall. There are no prerequisites for the class and the class is open to graduate students as well as advanced undergraduates.

Instructors: Mark Braude, Giorgio Caviglia, Nicole Coleman

From Messy Data to Beautiful Visualization (Spring 2013)

Humanities research in the digital age relies increasingly on digitized source material. Working with texts and archives as data opens up opportunities to observe and discover both general patterns and punctual facts through visualization. Visualization not only helps us present arguments about data, but helps readers engaging critically in the content. But we cannot build data-driven visualizations without first understanding how data came to be data and what we can do with it. This is a course for the aspiring data humanist. We will apply techniques for inspecting, transforming, enriching, and versioning data, collaborating around data, and creating effective visualizations. The course is targeted to students interested in using visualization in their own work, as well as students new to data-driven research. All of our course meetings will take place in the lab at CESTA (Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis) and involve hands-on computing work.

Instructors: Nicole Coleman, Glauco Mantegari