With Sarah Hackney and Phillip Cunningham
Keystone Digital Humanities Conference
Kislak Center for Special Collections
Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
July 22–24, 2015
ABSTRACT In the past few years, nearly two dozen degree and certificate programs have been developed in the digital humanities, with more announced each year. Existing studies have examined course syllabi and assignments (Terras 2006, Spiro 2011) and the development of specific programs (McCarty 2012, Sinclair and Gouglas 2002, Smith 2014). In addition, there are critical discussions in the field as to the role of common standards in digital humanities (Spiro 2012), the proper balance of skills and critical reflection (Clement 2012, Mahony and Pierazzo 2012), and relationships to the work force. To date, however, there are no systematic surveys of existing degree and certificate programs. Such studies would contrast earlier work, which often seeks the invisible structure of digital humanities as revealed through analysis of its disjoint parts, and offer an empirical perspective on debates about DH pedagogy.
This presentation analyzes and visualizes the location, structure, pedagogy, and other features of formal DH programs, with particular emphasis on questions of disciplinarity, methods, courses, and skills. To reflect the broad and varied nature of digital humanities, this study uses the crowdsourced TaDiRAH (Taxonomy of Digital Research Activities in the Humanities) to code the activities referenced in the curricula and to present aggregate results about common goals and competencies of DH programs. This analysis explores the differences between “one-off” DH classes and sustained study of the field across successive, intentionally-grouped courses. The presentation concludes with critical reflections on these DH programs in light of pedagogical concerns expressed in the literature.