Courses

The following courses include core and some of the elective courses in the Advanced Certificate in Digital Humanities, offered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Certificate courses are open to all graduate students at NYU, and through the consortium to PhD candidates at other institutions.

Fall 2023

Introduction to Programming

DHSS-GA.1120  |  Fall 2023  |  Marc Bacchus

Course description

Provides an introduction to the practice, history, and principles of programming for students in the humanities through the Python language.

Text Analysis for Historical Language Research

ISAW-GA 3023-001  |  Fall 2023  |  Patrick Burns

Course description

This course introduces students to computational research methods helpful for producing data-driven scholarship involving large collections of historical-language text. Drawing on relevant topics in exploratory data science, corpus linguistics, and natural language processing, the course provides a forum for students to develop hands-on skills in computer programming (using Python), focused primarily on managing textual data, string manipulation, text mining and analysis, language modeling, and data visualization. Special attention will be given to the use of word embeddings and transformer models and their applicability to historical-language text collections. Demonstrations throughout the course will draw primarily on English-language examples, but because of the philological range and diversity at ISAW, students are encouraged to work with digitized text collections in the languages most relevant to their research. There are no prerequisites, though students are expected to be open to reading, writing, and editing computer programs; students are required to bring notebook computers to class. Note that historical-language text for the purpose of this course covers texts or collections of texts written before the Early Modern period. Permission of the instructor is required.

Introduction to Digital Humanities for the Ancient World

ISAW-GA 3024-001  |  Fall 2023  |  Sebastian Heath, Tom Elliott, and David Ratzan

Course description

This course will introduce students to the use of digital tools and computational methods in the study of the ancient world. There are no technical prerequisites and the course will be of particular interest to early-stage graduate students who want a broad introduction that involves hands-on work. The course will progress through topics and methods such as applying structure to text via XML-based markup languages, introduction to the programmatic manipulation of textual data, and how scholarly resources are shared on the public internet and edited in collaborative environments. There will also be a focus on structured datasets. Students will gain practical experience in acquiring, creating, querying, and displaying spatial data, digital images, and 3D models. The course also addresses the growing role of so-called "generative AI" and related tools. There will be frequent introductions to existing digitally-informed work in disciplines that are part of the study of the ancient world, such as textual studies, history, and archaeology, as well as more specific fields such as epigraphy, papyrology, and numismatics for which exemplary digital projects exist. Readings will introduce students to current trends, theories, and ethics in Digital Humanities and will encourage discussion of the impact that digital methods and open-licensed content are having on research, teaching, and public engagement with scholarly practice. Over the course of the semester students will design and then implement a final project that can overlap with their existing research interests. It is a requirement that students bring their own notebook computers to class. Permission of the instructors is required.

Topics in Digital Humanities

ENGL-GA 1972  |  Fall 2023  |  Jeffrey Binder

Creating Digital History

HIST-GA 2033  |  Fall 2023  |  Leah Potter

Course description

A hands-on introduction to “doing history” in the digital age, Creating Digital History focuses on the evolving methodologies and tools used by public historians to collect, preserve, and present digital sources. Students will become familiar with a range of web-based tools and learn best practices for digitizing, adding metadata, tagging, and clearing permissions. By evaluating existing digital history projects and discussing perspectives from leading practitioners, students will also consider the role of the general public as both audiences for, and co-creators of, digital history. The core requirement is a collaborative digital history project that will be developed throughout the semester on a selected historical theme.

Topics in ITP: Programming with Data for Artists, Designers and Researchers

ITPG-GT 2378  |  Fall 2023  |  Allison Parrish

Course description

Data is the means by which we turn experience into something that can be published, compared, and analyzed. Data can facilitate the production of new knowledge about the world—but it can also be used as a method of control and exploitation. As such, the ability to understand and work with data is indispensable both for those who want to uncover truth, and those who want to hold power to account. This intensive course serves as an introduction to essential computational tools and techniques for working with data. The course is designed for artists, designers, and researchers in the humanities who have no previous programming experience. Covered topics include: the Python programming language, Jupyter Notebook, data formats, regular expressions, Pandas, web scraping, relational database concepts, simple data visualization and data-driven text generation. Weekly technical tutorials and short readings culminate in a self-directed final project.

Spring 2024

DECOLONIZING THE DIGITAL

CEH-GA 1018 004  |  Spring 2024  |  Toussaint Nothias

Course description

In what ways do today’s digital technologies reproduce colonial power relations? Are these technologies merely replicating old forms of colonialism, or are they spearheading a distinctively new type of colonialism? Most importantly, what does it take to decolonize these technologies? Come and join this graduate seminar to read foundational texts in postcolonial and decolonial theory while engaging with the latest debates and research in critical data studies.

Introduction to Web Development

DHSS-GA.1122  |  Spring 2024  |  Jojo Karlin

Course description

This course provides a project-based approach to web programming and development. Students will study the principles of web design and each student will build two distinct websites based on topics relevant to their interests. To complement these practical skills, we will look at how the web has expanded our notions of discourse and explore how websites can be used for scholarly communication. A deeper understanding of these topics will help you make better decisions not only in your own web development practice but also in sharing your work more effectively.