Grade breakdown

Assignment Percentage
Attendance and participation 10%
Blog postings 30%
Project
Preliminary Charter (draft) 10%
Project Charter (final) 10%
Project Deliverables 20%
Presentation 10%
Post-project Analysis 10%

Assignment Descriptions

Attendance and participation

Due to the nature of this course, attendance and participation are mandatory. Please alert us to any planned absences as early as possible. Full-day attendance will be required on Thursday, April 30, for our trip to UVA Scholars’ Lab. Participation in the Spring Term Fair on Friday, May 22nd, is also required.

Important: You must complete all assignments in order to pass the course.

Blog postings

A note on blog posts: writing for a Web site or a blog is different than writing an essay. Blog postings should be concise, preferably no more than 500 words. (If you blog regularly on your own site, an occasional more lengthy post that examines a topic in-depth is good.) Writing an informed blog post for a public audience usually requires multiple drafts and revisions. Also, consider helping your reader by making judicial use of bolding keywords or phrases in a paragraph, which is something you would never do in an essay. But, carefully selected bolding in a blog post aids the reader who glances at a post for the highlights before deciding to read the text closely. Each blog post counts for 5% of your course grade.

Blog post #1: Understanding digital humanities
Due: April 29, no later than noon.
Describe your understanding of digital humanities based on our class discussions and the three videos that you’ve viewed about DH (Meeks, Croxall, Schnapp). As part of your description, examine the role of DH beyond scholarship. We will discuss your blog posts in class on the afternoon of April 29.

Blog post #2: Exploring scholarly social networks
Due: May 1, no later than noon.
Your assignment explores how to understand a scholar’s research profile and read a network graph for analysis. This assignment is explained in detail in a post titled exploring scholarly social networks.

Blog post #3: Reacting to Scholars’ Lab
Due: May 4, no later than noon.
Write a post reflecting on your experience at the Scholars’ Lab at UVA. What did you learn? How is your understanding of DH evolving? What are you learning about what is and is not feasible within DH, particularly within the time constraints of this course? What’s the role of research questions in DH?

Blog post #4: Reflecting on Emerging Scholarship: James Ambuske
Due: May 8, no later than noon.
James Ambuske, a doctoral candidate in history at UVA, visited the class. Summarize the talk, the problem each is trying to solve, the importance of the problem, the approach, and evaluation methods. What was the most interesting aspect to you about the presentation? (That could be something you learned, something you liked about the talk, something you observed about the presentation that you would like to duplicate if you were giving a talk.) What is a question you had but did not ask?

Blog post #5: Kindred Britain
Due: May 12, no later than noon.
Continuing our theme of social networks, you’ll explore Kindred Britain (a network of 30,000 individuals in British culture). The site also include people connected to Britain through family ties, such as George Washington and Robert E. Lee. This assignment will complement the lecture by Prof. Eastwood and is explained in detail in a post titled Exploring Kindred Britain.

Blog post #6: Reflecting on Emerging Scholarship: Cecilia Marquez
Due: May 18, no later than noon.
Cecilia Marquez, a doctoral candidate in history at UVA, visited the class. Summarize the talk, the problem each is trying to solve, the importance of the problem, the approach, and evaluation methods. What was the most interesting aspect to you about the presentation? (That could be something you learned, something you liked about the talk, something you observed about the presentation that you would like to duplicate if you were giving a talk.) What is a question you had but did not ask?

Project Expectations & Deliverables

In the group project for this course you will be participating in the development of a digital research environment for the study of literary networks. For an explanation of the group project see What is a Digital Research Environment?

Project Charter (draft):
Due: May 5, no later than noon
Your preliminary analysis should describe the scope of the project. Identify the specific research question being addressed within the larger framework of literary networks. Identify the potential methodology and tools. The 1-2 page analysis should be collaboratively written within your group.

Project Charter (final):
Due: May 11, no later than noon
Time to iterate on your project charter/proposal. Now that you’ve had another week to gather material, work with new tools, learn from our guest speakers, and receive feedback, please expand your project proposal to match your current thinking on your project. You don’t have to revise the part of your first charter that deals will group dynamics and communication unless you want it.

Revised charter/propsoal should address the following:
* Scope of the project. What will your final product look like? What are you going to concentrate on for the sake of time? What are the future directions this project could take?
* Intended audience. Who will be using your project? How are you framing the content to reach a particular audience? Are there any special strategies you are using to address this audience that you might not use for another group of people?
* Data collection/materials gathering. Assess the material you have available. What items need more work (digitizing, cataloging, analysis, organizing) and what is ready to use? What materials do you still need to collect? Do you foresee any barriers? Are there specific people you need to work with to help you collect everything you need?
* Division of labor. Include some kind of statement as to how you will divide up the work. Be specific. To do lists aren’t that effective unless they have clear action items.

Presentation
On May 21 at 2pm.

Your final project presentation will be delivered to your professors as well as a small group of DH-minded faculty and library staff. You will have thirty minutes for your presentation, including time for questions. All group members should participate. The structure of the presentation is up to you, but we’re looking for a presentation that covers some of the theoretical things you’ve learned about DH as well as the practical aspects of building this project. Here are a few things to address:

* Introduce your project, its goals and arguments, and give a tour through the final product.
* Your understanding of Digital Humanities and how it may have changed throughout spring term.
* Provide background information on this collection of material and the characters involved.
* Methodology. How did your choice of tools shape your project in either positive or negative ways?
* What did you learn about group work and project management?
* What are the future directions of your project? Who is the audience?

Project Deliverables
Due: May 22, no later than 12pm.

Project deliverables: URL to your project website and access to any accompanying documentation. This includes a link to the appropriate Box folder and Google Documents.

Post-project analysis
The Post-Project Analysis is your chance to honestly reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your project. The point of this assignment is not to assign blame or disparage your work, but to analyze your decisions and actions in a thoughtful way. Taking the time to process the outcomes of this course will help you make better decisions in the future. In addition to analysis of the project itself, we would like to see your reflect on the group dynamic and your individual development.

This assignment is submitted directly to the instructors by email and will not be shared with the class or posted on the course site.
Due May 23, no later than 2pm.

In two – three pages, address the following in a cohesive narrative:

* Describe your role in the group and your contribution to the project. Now that you understand what goes into making a DH project, is there a role that you feel more drawn to based on your skills and interests?
* Did you stick to your project charter? Are there things that you would have added to the charter if you had known how the project would progress?
* What lessons did you learn about project management that could be applied to your own future work, either in college or a future career?
* What was the most challenging part of your project? Looking back, what would you have done differently? You answer could address several aspects of the project: design, methodology, implementation, communication, etc.
* If you had more time, where would you take this project?
* How, if at all, did this course change your perception of the humanities? What did you learn about the study of literary history, especially when examined through a computational lens?
* Did you have a favorite guest speaker, or perhaps a favorite “flavor” of DH? (e.g. mapping, network analysis, DHPoCo). Which definition of DH helped you to best understand what Digital Humanities is all about?
* Discuss how this course influenced your relationship with technology and the Internet.