Spring 2022 DH Classes
Spring 2022 DH Classes
Each semester, the DHLab compiles a list of Yale courses that address topics related to the digital humanities. Here are a few Spring 2022 classes that allow students to learn popular data science methods, design a new digital health tool, explore the intersection of music and Internet culture, and more. Course offerings range from theoretical considerations of technology and big data to hands-on practice with digital tools and methods. For more detailed information about prerequisites and enrollment, please see the full course descriptions at courses.yale.edu.
If you are teaching a course connected to DH and would like it included in the list below, or if you would like someone from the Yale Digital Humanities Lab to speak with your class, please email the DHLab.
YData: Humanities Data Mining
S&DS 176, S&DS 576
What new modes of inquiry become available when we transform novels into bags of words and images into pixels? What is lost in the process? This course explores how we can use computational methods to pursue questions in the humanities, and how humanistic methods can inform the work of algorithms in research and society at large. Through theoretical discussions and technical lab sessions, the class surveys some of the most popular methods in modern data science—classification, vectorization, and visualization—and considers what kinds of questions they enable us to ask and answer. At the end of the semester, students leverage the skills they have learned to create their own data science projects using cultural heritage data.
James Baldwin’s American Scene
AFAM 182, AMST 286, ENGL 182, HUMS 241
This course examines Baldwin’s self-declared role as “witness” to America’s struggle to achieve racial justice. Tracing his fiction’s aesthetic and social concerns alongside his emergence as the preeminent essayist on American racial politics and culture during the mid-20th century, it asks students to work as critical biographers of Baldwin’s canon—interrogating the relationship of his life as a Black queer man to the larger social/cultural times in which he lived and wrote; studying how his novels, plays, and essays theorize race and racism, citizenship, and American morality; and contemplating the freedoms that his experiments in literary form offer as new ideals for selfhood, community, and history. As part of their coursework, class members also will participate in film screenings, music listening, and digital/online archival research.
War and Everyday Life
AMST 704, ENGL 886, WGSS 704
This course examines two seemingly opposed spatiotemporal phenomena: war and everyday life. Why is war generally viewed as exceptional, a climactic event that disrupts the rhythms of the everyday? And why does everyday life appear parceled off from war, a placid domestic realm that soldiers depart from and return to? Using humanist methodologies rooted in feminist, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist critique, the class will explore the divergent modes of representation provoked by war (e.g., major, global, explosive) and everyday life (e.g., minute, uneventful, textured); how militaristic logics structure everyday life, and how anti-militarism might be lived at the level of daily practices; and why everyday wars often go undetected, whether because of new kinds of weapons, ingrained habits of perception, war crimes that pass as governance, or the time lag of slow violence. With the support of the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM), students also will contribute to a digital archive of object stories that engage everyday wars.
Cultural AI: Machine Vision, Art, and Design
Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to transform the fields of art and design over the next decade, both through its replacement of human labor and its alteration and displacement of human creativity. Already, machine vision and cognition have added a series of invisible layers—filters and lenses—to how we see and create our environment. This course seeks to understand this new machine-mediated visual culture, find potentials and opportunities for intervention, and identify avenues for critique and resistance. Topics of discussion will include the historical role of algorithms in human culture; the idea of creation and design as an algorithmic, even machinic, process; and the shift from the explicit code of software to the black box of machine learning and the birth of what Lev Manovich calls “cultural AI.” Students also will work with AI platforms such as Runway ML to develop design proposals that take a critical, aesthetically specific stance on AI’s impact on cultural production.
On Gathering: Digital Collections and Virtual Events
This studio and seminar course for first- and second-year graphic design students considers online gatherings in two forms: 1) crowdsourced digital collections, and 2) virtual events that activate these collections. Multidisciplinary practitioners visit and lead discussions with students: half use websites to share collections of field reports and grassroots archives, and half introduce different forms of online events and their facilitation. Through hands-on design projects, readings, and discussions, students delve into different material and social forms of gathering. Workshops include an introduction to GitHub, alternative content management systems, and print-to-web tools.
User-Centered Design of Digital Health Tools
BIS 640, SBS 640
This course combines needs assessment methods, user-centered design principles, and an agile approach to designing digital health tools for consumers. The class environment is designed to model that of a health tech start-up. Students are expected to apply what they learn from the lectures and readings to identify a pain point (i.e., a problem or need faced by a prospective user) and solicit input from intended users to design a prototype of the digital health tool. Solutions are presented in class to receive feedback on the design and to iteratively refine a prototype in order to create a minimum viable product.
Prerequisite: BIS 560/CB&B 740, SBS 574, or permission of the instructor.
Intellectual Property in the Digital Age
This seminar focuses on the evolving and often vexing intellectual property regime of the new digital age. Topics include copyright, fair use, remix culture, access to knowledge, technological innovations, the increasing relevance of trademarks in the new information society, the tension between creativity/creating and the intellectual property rules that foster or inhibit it, and the new information culture of the digital age.
Prerequisite: CPSC 183 or permission of instructor.
This seminar explores the concept of time machines, the ways they might be (or are) constructed, and how representations of the past can help us reimagine and “travel” to other times. Topics of discussion include the physics of time travel; some ways historians have used archives to reconstruct times past; the extent to which novelists complement, contradict, or complicate the work of historians; and the possibility of “animating” past visual representations, whether through art, film, or computer simulation. Students also will pursue individual projects using digitally available newspapers, focusing on a particular place in a particular year.
Introduction to the Digital Humanities for the Premodern World
HSAR 567, CLSS 840
Anne Chen, Holly Rushmeier
Note: Meets concurrently with CPSC 276/CPSC 376. No previous digital humanities training or coding experience is required of students registered for the graduate HSAR/CLSS course numbers.
Music, Memes, and Digital Culture
This first-year seminar grapples with the musicality of 21st-century internet culture, examining what it means to be musical amid an ever-expanding virtual archive of memes, GIFs, and other digital media. How are contemporary expressive cultures shaped by the virtual venues in which they circulate—Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook, among many others? What force sustains the constant flurry of images and videos, hashtags and challenges? Drawing together resources from musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, media studies, visual culture, and philosophy, students will consider what modes of creativity digital archives reveal; what ways of listening they solicit; and how this digital conversation simultaneously materializes and refigures social categories of race and gender, as well as concepts of belief and authorship.
Note: Enrollment is limited to first-year students. Preregistration is required through the First-Year Seminar Program.
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