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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

B.S. in Digital Humanities (ILM)

The digital humanities integrated learning major combines the traditional strengths of the humanities with attention to digital and information technology. It enables students to extend their study of the humanities to digital culture, as both a tool in service of the humanities and an object of humanistic study. Study in the ILM will apply the traditional skills of the humanities (contextualization, historicization, critical and rhetorical thinking) to understand digital culture while also learning how digital technologies can enable us to explore key questions in the humanities.

The digital humanities major is an “integrated learning major” (or ILM). An ILM is interdisciplinary in nature, requires fewer hours than a traditional, stand-alone major, and must be paired with another major. This structure allows students to to engage in interdisciplinary study without sacrificing the sustained focus and expertise that is typical of a traditional major. The digital humanities ILM is open as a second major to students in the college of Arts & Sciences who already have an A&S major. It consists of three core classes, a technical skills requirement, two electives, and a capstone.

Digital Humanities Core (three required courses)

  • HUM 141: Computing Culture—Technology and the Humanities (An Introduction to the DHILM): “Computing Culture” grounds this major by providing students with an overview of debates, skills, and approaches central to a critical, humanistic engagement with digital technology and culture. It addresses: 1) how technology is understood from a variety of humanistic perspectives (in works both of theory and culture); 2) how digital technology represents and “encodes” cultural texts in a range of media; and 3) how software and digital technology offer new opportunities for the study, analysis, representation, and remediation of objects of humanistic inquiry.
  • ENG 305: Literature and Its Media: This class surveys the relationship of between works of culture and the technological media that enable them. While we often talk about “novels,” “poems,” or “films,” what about the paper and ink (or parchment or wax or celluloid or LCD screens or tablets) that carry those works? Does the history of these materials affect literary and artistic forms? Do these materials shape how, or what, we read/see/understand? This class adopts a media studies perspective on the history of literature and culture, covering a diverse and historically broad set of materials and texts. It ranges from the ancient world (and oral poetry) through to contemporary developments in digital culture (poetry written on, and with, the Web; fiction written on Twitter).
  • WRT 302: Digital Writing: Practice in writing in digital environments. This class may include document and web design, multimedia, digital video, weblogs. Introduction to a range of issues, theories, and software applications relevant to such writing.

Technical Skills (Select One)

  • CPS 196: Introduction to Programming
  • CAR 111: Introduction to Programming for Visual and Networked Art
  • ENG 221: Humanistic Computing


Proposed Electives (Select Two)

  • AAS 410: African American Popular Culture “Cultural Coding Blackness”
  • AAS 433: Harlem Renaissance Literature and Ideology
  • ENG 146: Interpretation of New Media
  • ENG 410: Practices of Games
  • ENG 440: Game Histories and Cultures
  • GEO 478: Spatial Storytelling
  • HOM 415: History of Recorded Sound
  • HOM 419: Music and Media
  • HST 410: Science and Technology in the Modern World
  • SOC 423: Technology, Science and Society
  • PSC 315: Politics and Media
  • PSC 318: Technology, Politics, and Environment
  • PSC 361: Politics in the Cyber-Age
  • WRT 200: DIY Publishing (Maker Spaces)
  • WRT 425: Digital Identites
  • WRT 426: Studies in Writing, Rhetoric, and Information Technology

Capstone

All Digital Humanities ILM students will complete a capstone project during the spring semester of their senior year. Students will work with a faculty advisor who serves as mentor and Capstone supervisor. The supervising faculty member works with the student to design the Capstone project and make sure resources are available to complete it. The Capstone gives the student practical, hands-on experience and the chance to become more proficient with a specific way of engaging with the digital humanities. The Capstone supervisor helps the student ensure that these goals are met and prepares the student for the public presentation at semester’s end.

Examples of the type of approaches that might be taken with capstone projects include:

  • Computationally driven analysis of a literary text, genre, or work of art and culture
  • Digital remediation of cultural text or artifact
  • Seminar paper exploring some aspect of digital history or culture
  • A multimodal civic advocacy project