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Core Modules

The MPhil in Digital Humanities and Culture has four required, core modules

1. Theory and Practice of Digital Humanities

This module will survey the field of digital humanities – how computational methods are being used to further humanities research and teaching. It will explore how advanced and experimental computational techniques are being used to challenge and change the very nature of humanities research as well as its system of academic rewards. The course is framed by the idea of the technology ‘stack,’ and the manner in which the hardware, software and data layers within digital humanities research open up possibilities for analysis and presentation of results, but also introduces potential compromises. Areas to be covered include: key debates in the field; data and the datification of cultural artefacts; thematic research collections; natural language processing and topic modelling; big data; humanities visualisation; and user-centred design.

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Identify and critique digital humanities as set of research practices;
  • Engage with the tools and technologies used in digital humanities scholarship;
  • Recognise and articulate the differences between disciplinary practices;
  • Differentiate current trends and theoretical perspectives in the field;
  • Express the implications of different technology layers for the investigation of humanities research questions and presentation of results;
  • Explain how digital humanities impacts on more traditional disciplinary practice.

2. Cultural-Technical Systems

This module will engage students in a critical assessment of the technologies, platforms and companies commonly used in digital humanities as well as in 21st century culture and society, providing them with both case studies and a theoretical framework to use and speak about technology development and its relationship to core human activities.  It will present a set of cases for discussion and exploration from theoretical and forensic perspectives.  These cases will be organised into three sections.  In the first, the focus will be on the process of modelling, what we mean by this, how models are constructed and the advantages and disadvantages that the bring (in particular in big data contexts).  The second section of the module will focus on memory identity practices, including storytelling, and how interactions mediated by information and communication technologies can disrupt these significant processes.  The third section will look at the issues of autonomy, agency and authority, specifically in the context of the rise of artificial intelligence. 

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Recognise core texts, contexts and concepts for the discussion of science and technology studies
  • Explore case studies in which technology has either greatly supported or harmed social, cultural or individual development.

Explain the complex interactions in such cases with technological affordances, social/cultural/psychological factors and political or business imperatives

3. Building Digital Humanities Projects

This module will introduce students to the common technologies that underlie digital humanities  and to give them the structured opportunity to apply one or more of these with content of their choosing.  The first part of the module will be focussed of enabling students to understand how and acquire basic competence with some of the specific technologies and standards most commonly used in the digital humanities, including web technologies (XML, HTML, CSS etc.); digital editing with TEI and Oxygen;  tools for data mining and visualisation (Python, Gephi etc.).  These introductory sessions will take place in coordination with the existing 5 ECTS module ‘Digital Scholarship and Skills’ (HH7025). The second part of the course will require them to define a digital project using one or more of these technologies and build an edition, visualisation, corpus or exhibition.

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • Describe the methods by why data is prepared and manipulated across a number of common digital humanities applications
  • Identify, Assemble and Prepare a data set to make it ready for use in a digital humanities context
  • Apply common technologies for the manipulation of text and images in the digital humanities context
  • Create a functional digital humanities project output

4. Digital Humanities Internships and Project Management

The aim of this module is to introduce students to practical work experience on digital projects in cultural heritage organizations, libraries, companies and on TCD-based digital humanities projects.  Student will learn the basics of project management and good project planning through the taught elements of the module which will give them the project management skills to carry out their internship projects. Students will be set specific tasks appropriate to the organisations in which they are working agreed upon by the module coordinator and the staff liaison at the Institution during the previous semester.

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Describe from experience a practical context in which digital humanities knowledge was applied, and how these skills enhanced the culture and aims of the project or organisation.
  • Analyse a digital humanities project or subproject, formulate a project strategy, and carry it out;
  • Work as part of a team;
  • Identify the issues and challenges facing digital projects;
  • Apply the methodologies, theories, and practice learned in the classroom to a work place project;
  • Recognise the intellectual, technical, and financial issues facing digital projects