Digital Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and teaching that combines the critical study of new forms of digital media, culture, and identity with creative practices and the application of computational tools to areas of humanistic study. While it is often hands-on or applied, Digital Studies also demands approaches that are primarily critical, theoretical, speculative, or experimental—imaginative—in nature. Broadly speaking then, Digital Studies is a response to the widespread influence of digital media across nearly every aspect of contemporary life; more specifically, it recognizes that teaching, research, and scholarship in the arts and humanities cannot and will not remain isolated from the networks, platforms, and media providers all around us.
This course is designed to introduce you to several different (and divergent) topics and practices in this diverse, complex, and rapidly changing area. This course will also ask you to learn several digital design platforms (WordPress, Audcity, the Adobe Creative Cloud, mobile prototyping software, and mapping software) and develop your skills on these platforms over the semester. Rather than approaching digital studies through the lens of “every DH scholar must know how to code,” this course approaches our topics through the lens of “making is a mode of thinking.” You will turn in small projects and ultimately turn in a final digital project that expresses the ideas from a section in this course through a hands-on creation. Accompanying this digital project, you will turn in a 5-8 page contextualizing paper that discusses the reasoning behind this project and the texts it is engaging.