Schedule and Readings

This schedule is subject to change (if you’re enrolled in the class, then you’ll be updated if and when it does!) For general information about Brown’s Academic Calendar, go here

These readings are designed to get you acquainted with key texts, ideas, figures, terms, and networks in Digital Public Humanities. Our discussions in class and on Slack will be primarily guided by your responses to particular moments in these texts. You should feel free to critique, unravel, or otherwise complicate moments in these readings that inspire such responses.

Finally, this is “a” way to read about Digital Public Humanities rather than an attempt to argue for an unquestioned and rigid narrative about this still-emerging field: there are many other texts and trajectories out there, so I encourage you to pursue such paths as you read, time permitting.

Schedule last updated on 11/26/17 (revised readings for last two classes)

TH 9/7 First Day of Classes: Intro to course, major themes and projects, use of Slack


T 9/12 Remediation and Digital Media

Readings for today: Excerpts from Remediation (Bolter and Grusin); Excerpts from Hamlet on The Holodeck (Murray); Colossal Cave Adventure (Crowther et al);  Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther’s Original ‘Adventure’ in Code and Kentucky” (Jerz)

TH 9/14 Metaphors and The Web: Cities and Second Lives

Reading for today: Welcome to the Web: The Online Community of GeoCities During The Early Years of The World Wide Web” (Milligan) and Excerpts from One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age (Various; the Tumblr project page may be a good place to start); Second Life (Various); “A City Is Not A Computer” (Mattern); “The Net Is A Waste of Time” (Gibson)


T 9/19 Digital Humanities, Public Humanities, and Digital Public Humanities

Readings for today: “Does It Count? Scholarly Communication and African American Digital History” (Delmont); “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What’s In A Name?” (Price); “Public, First” (Brennan); “Lessons on Public Humanities from the Civic Sphere” (Hsu)

TH 9/21 Digital Archives: Key Concepts

Readings for today: Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era” (Rosenzweig);“Objects in The Reading Room: Centralizing Museum Collection Access through the Library, Archives, and Special Collections” (Krause); “Preservation” (Smith); “From Tagging to Theorizing: Deepening Engagement with Cultural Heritage through Crowdsourcing” (Ridge)


T 9/26 Digital Archives: Archiving Old and New Media

Readings for today: Digital Historiography and The Archives” (Theimer, Sternfeld, Hering, Kramer) “The Enduring Ephemeral, Or, The Future Is A Memory” (Chun); “All My Blogs Are Dead” (Maness);  “Identity Crisis: The Reality of Preparing MLS Students for a Competitive and Increasingly Digital World“ (Kendig)

TH 9/28 Trip to PPL Special Collections

Readings for today: Lizard Ramone in Hot Pursuit: A Guide to Archives for Artists and Makers (Ferris); Special Collections Digital Projects and Publications (Providence Public Library Special Collections)


T 10/3 Digital Interfaces: Key Concepts

Readings for today: Generous Interfaces for Digital Cultural Collections” (Whitelaw); Excerpts from Reading Writing Interfaces (Emerson); “Playful engineering: Designing and building art discovery systems” (Andrew, Gonzalez, Fendt)

TH 10/5 Digital Interfaces and Special Collections

Readings for today: Reconsidering searching and browsing on the Cooper Hewitt’s Collections website” (Brenner); “Building Better Digital Humanities Tools: Towards Broader Audiences and User-Centered Designs” (Gibbs and Owens); “Uncovering Latent Metadata in the FSA-OWI Photographic Archive” (Arnold, Maples, Tilton, Wexler)


T 10/10  Digital Curation: Key Concepts

Readings for today: Digital History’s Perpetual Future Tense” (Blevins); “alternate futures/usable pasts” (Nowviskie); Special Collections and Digital Archives (Various)

TH 10/12 Second Trip to PPL Special Collections

Readings for today: Special Collections and Digital Archives (Various)


T 10/17 Debrief of PPL Special Collections visit; Data Visualizations: Key Concepts

Readings for today: The Image of Absence: Archival Silence, Data Visualization, and James Hemings” (Klein); “The Radical, Unrealized Potential of Digital Humanities” (Posner); Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display” (Drucker);

TH 10/19 Data Visualizations with Patrick Rashleigh (Center for Digital Scholarship)

Readings for today: Makeover Monday (Various);  “A History of DataViz” (Andrews); “Even Sweeter: What Happens When The Humanities Gets Graphic” (Verhoeven)


T 10/24 Collections As Data: Key Concepts

Readings for today: “Humanities Data: A Necessary Contradiction” (Posner);  review PPL project statements

TH 10/26 Collections As Data: Workshop with Sample Datasets

Readings for today: Against Cleaning” (Muñoz and Rawson); “facts and FACTS: Abolitionists’ Database Innovations” (Garvey)

Secondary Readings this week (optional):  “The Santa Barbara Statement on Collections as Data” (Various); “Defining Data for Humanists: Text, Artifact, Information, or Evidence?” (Owens)


T 10/31 Digital Curation and Special Collections: Visit to PPL

Readings for today: PPL Vision Board Exercise (details forthcoming)

TH 11/2 Digital Project Development: Key Concepts

Readings for today: Recommendations for Enabling Digital Scholarship” and Library of Congress Lab report (Gallinger and Chudnov); resources from the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities (various); “Ten Rules for Humanities Scholars New to Project Management” (Nowviskie)


T 11/7 Workshop Day: PPL Project Development

Readings for today: PPL-related research

TH 11/9 Augmented Realities: Key Concepts

Readings for today:  “The Poetics of Augmented Space” (Manovich); “Always Already Augmented” (Jurgenson); “Virtual Atrocities” (Kinstler)  “Everyday life and locative play: an exploration of Foursquare and playful engagements with space and place” (Saker, Evans)


T 11/14 Augmented Realities: “Pop-Up” Exhibit Workshop

Readings for today: Designing the Pen” (Cooper Hewitt); The Lives of Things (Various); “Iñárritu’s ‘Carne y Arena’ Virtual Reality Simulates a Harrowing Border Trek” (Farago); “Histories of the National Mall: Place-Based Public History” (Leon)

TH 11/16 Accessibility: Global Contexts for Digitization and Minimal Computing

Readings for today:  “Beyond Technological Fundamentalism:  Peruvian Hack Labs and ‘Inter-Technological’ Education” (Chan); Peru’s Digital Futures” (Chan and Jenkins; Part One, Part Two); “The User, The Learner, and The Machines We Make” (Gil); “Minimal Definitions” (Sayers); Surfacing (Various)


T 11/21 Accessibility, Copyright and Transformative Use

Readings for today: Accessibility and the Digital Humanities” (Guiliano and Williams); “#transform(ing)DH Writing and Research: An Autoethnography of Digital Humanities and Feminist Ethics” (Bailey); “Every Tool Is A Weapon: Why The Digital Humanities Movement Needs Public History” (Rizzo)



T 11/28 Professionalization and Digital Contexts

Readings for today: The Unwanted Labour of Social Media: Women of Colour Call Out Culture As Venture Community Management” (Nakamura); “Black Scholars Matter: #BlkTwitterstorians Building a Digital Community” (Brown and Crutchfield); “All the Digital Humanists Are White, All the Nerds Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave” (Bailey)

TH 11/30 Workshop Day: PPL Project Development

Readings for today: PPL-related research



T 12/5 Futures of Digital Public Humanities

Readings for today: I’m Leaving The Archival Profession: It’s Better This Way” (Drake); “Dropping The Digital” (Sayers); “Notes Toward a Deformed Humanities” (Sample); “The Dark Side of The Digital Humanities” (Chun, Grusin, Jagoda, Raley)

TH 12/7 Student Presentations / Prep for Final Presentations

No readings for today

T 12/12 LAST DAY OF CLASSES; Presentations at PPL Special Collections