The important and flourishing field of Digital Humanities offers an exciting opportunity to expand the range of inquiry and invigorate interest in humanistic study among Stanford's undergraduates. This new Humanities and Sciences minor is pioneering in both the content of the institution--emphasizing the intersection of technology, computational analysis, new media, and traditional interpretive modes--as well as in the integrated cross-departmental nature of the course of study. The minor in Digital Humanites aims to provide a comprehensive educational system emphasizing the complementary and synergy of scientific and computational methods with humanites practices such as interpretation, critical thinking, and aesthetic creation.
Structure of the Minor: A Three-Cluster Approach
The minor consists of three clusters: Geospatial Humanities, Quantitative Textual Analysis, and Text Technologies. Students may choose to specialize in one of these areas.
Ranging from theory (space as a category of analysis) to technical representation/analysis of spatial distribution through algorithms, geospatial humanities can draw upon anthropology, geography, and other disciplines with a tradition of interest in space; meanwhile, it can feed into (for instance) literary studies.
Quantitative Textual Analysis
Quantitative Textual Analysis includes anything that uses computers to quantify formal properties of texts, ranging from word frequencies to chapter division to character networks. Genre, authorship, sentiment analysis, "opinion mining"--all of these can play a role. It intersects with linguistics/NLP; Classics and Cognitive Psychology can also be allies.
Text Technologies encompasses technologies of communication; social media analysis; database creation, coding, TEI; technologies of publishing and text access; digital curation of virtual exhibitions (which allows us to bring in the arts, digital imagining, etc.)
Students must take a minimum of twenty units: at least one core course (5 units), and at least five other courses of at least three credits each. Students complete twenty or more units in courses relevant to the major in departments across the university including Anthropology, Art, Communications, Computer Science, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Engineering, English, French, History, Italian, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theatre and Performance. These electives are to be determined in consultation with the advisor to the Minor (a faculty member in English).
- Required introductory course (5 units). Students must take at least one of the following: "Introduction to Quantitative Textual Analysis", "Introduction to Geospatial Humanities"or "Text Tochnologies".. Some advanced courses might require skills' prerequisties, and students will be advised to take their chosen core course as soon as possible in their program of study.
- Concentration (5 courses, taken for at least 3 units each). Students may choose to concentrate in one of the three existing tracks. Students may fulfill the requirement with courses relevant to the minor in departments across the university including Anthropology, Art, Communications, Computer Science, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Engineering, English, French, History, Italian, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theatre and Performance. These electives are to be determined in consultation with the advisor to the Minor (a faculty member in English).
All of the core courses are designed to fulfill the Ways requirement for Social Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; or Social Inquiry and Interpretative and Aesthetic Inquiry; or Creative Expression and Social Inquiry or Quantitative Reasoning. At the center of these courses is the requirement that digital skills are acquired and demonstrated, alongside the understanding that Digital Humanities seeks not simply to highlight tools and approaches, but also to create new knowledge using these novel methods.