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Course Goals

In three course stages, we’re going to get our hands messy. To understand the possibilities and the limitations of digital work, there is no substitute for engaging with it directly. That said, you’re not expected to come into this class a master programmer, and you shouldn’t expect to leave it as one. This is an introductory course to a large and growing field.

Rather than try to completely master any single technique (which other courses at Northeastern will help you do), we’ll be trying to get a broad introduction to a variety of tools let us assess and create some of the work already out there. The worksets are designed to get you started in a number of fields so that you know where to start when the time comes to make a map for a dissertation chapter, to search a large collection of texts for a particular construction, or to make a network diagram for a conference talk.

In this course, you will:

  1. Describe the sort of work being done under the banner of digital history today, and be able to participate in some of the debates in the field.

  2. Know the practical and social mechanics of digitizing cultural artifacts.

  3. Cultivate a base of knowledge that will help you to engage in digital research projects for your own work with texts, geographical systems, or networks.

  4. Build and curate online displays that find new modalities for sharing historical artifacts and knowledge.

  5. Create and/or further develop a professional online identity.