Michael J. Price Lab for Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities Minor

Digital Humanities Minor

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Undergraduate Minor in Digital Humanities is offered by the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. It has been designed for students who want to augment their disciplinary studies in the humanities or humanistic social sciences with advanced digital research techniques and in-depth engagement with theoretical and practical questions raised by digital humanities. Students who are not majoring in humanities fields are also welcome to complete the minor.

“Digital Humanities” is more of an umbrella term for a diverse range of scholarly practices than a stable, coherent field. The minor in digital humanities reflects that diversity by bringing together coursework from across the university and by allowing for multiple pathways through the program. The minor draws on faculty from the various departments of the School of Arts and Sciences as well as other schools of the University and encourages students to enroll in courses outside of their major. Students minoring in digital humanities will have the opportunity to learn valuable programing and data management skills, to explore topics such as digital text analysis, digital mapping, 3D modeling, and the use of digital tools for collecting, organizing and studying material culture. Course work will also expose students to debates within digital humanities and require them to attend lectures, workshops and other relevant events at UPenn and around Philadelphia.

The Digital Humanities Minor is directed by Stewart Varner in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Price Lab for Digital Humanities. Dr. Varner will also serve as the designated advisor for students interested in the program as well as those who have declared it.


PURPOSE

Once a small corner of the humanities, Digital Humanities has exerted a notable influence on literary studies, history, culture studies, archaeology/anthropology and has radically changed the way that many scholars conduct research and share work. As humanities fields evolve to incorporate digital tools and methods, an increasing number of scholars are finding it necessary to expand their digital understanding. While scholars may be able to learn specific tools and methods on their own or through their coursework, the purpose of this undergraduate minor in Digital Humanities is to offer both a systematic and effective program of study as well as an official credential to recognize student effort. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the minor will develop the insight to be both thoughtful users of technology and sophisticated critics of digital work.


STRUCTURE

The Digital Humanities Minor is designed to guide students through three tiers of courses that begin very broad and then narrow in focus.

The first tier is the broadest and is intended to make sure students understand the basics of computer programing and data management. Skills learned in this course will be used and built upon in subsequent courses.

In the second tier, students will choose two classes that will help them focus on specific methodologies. The assumption is that students will want to dive a bit deeper into those specific trajectories within digital humanities that are most applicable to their own research interests. Courses in this tier will allow them to gain practical skills in a hands-on, project based environment.

While the first two tiers are focused on skill building, the third tier of courses gives students opportunities to use the skills they have learned to conduct original research. Some courses with significant digital content will be pre-approved for the minor. However, students may also work with their instructors to develop alternative digital projects or even independent studies. The goal at this level is for students to practice integrating digital humanities practice into academic work in non-trivial and critical ways.


BENEFITS

This minor has been designed to enhance the research profile of participating students and to give them the skills needed to participate more effectively in contemporary disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarly debates. Furthermore, participation in the Digital Humanities minor will help students develop valuable skills that may be utilized in a variety of professional settings both in and out of academia.