Welcome to Digital Tools for the 21st Century: Sherlock Holmes’s London (DHM 293)

 Course Description:

Do you want to read 10,000 books at a time? Create interactive crime maps of Victorian London? Collaborate with students and scholars from around the world? This course provides an introduction to digital humanities (DH)–the practice of using digital tools for scholarly purposes in all majors–including its different uses, methodologies, tools, and projects.  You will learn different DH techniques, study existing DH projects, and try these techniques yourself in weekly labs.  We’ll use DH techniques to examine Sherlock Holmes short stories alongside Victorian court records, coroners’ reports, and maps of crimes in London. While the in-class material will focus on 19th century London, your final group projects can be more immediately applicable to your own major or academic interests.  In lieu of taking exams and writing traditional papers, we will create digital exhibits, write blog posts, share our work through social media, and collaborate with students and scholars from around the world.  All majors are welcome. Computer literacy is helpful, but no programming experience is required.

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the semester, students should be able to:

  • Discuss 19th century London and Holmes stories from multiple perspectives from a variety of disciplines, including history, literature, economics, sociology, and gender studies.
  • Identify and discuss different DH methodologies and tools.
  • Identify and explain key DH terms.
  • Create projects using the tools covered in lab.
  • Evaluate DH projects.
  • Engage with the larger DH community of scholars through social media.
  • Develop humanities research questions and answer them with DH tools and methodologies.
  • Collaborate with classmates to create projects that relate to their own research interests.

Course Materials:

Every week will focus on a different DH methodology and will include a discussion-based class and a hands-on lab where you will practice the tools we have been discussing. All readings with URLs can be found online through the course website.

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