LIBR 220-01
LIBR 220-10
Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Topic: Digital Humanities
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Susan Schreibman
Office Hours: Upon arrangement

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Course Outline
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

The access code for this course for ANGEL will be sent to those enrolled in the class via the MySJSU messaging system a few days prior to start of the semester. The course will be open for self-enrollment at the time the access code is sent.

Course Description

This course will explore the burgeoning field of digital humanities – how computational methods are being used to further humanities research and teaching. Most humanities scholars now use computers daily in the form of word processing and email. This course, however, will explore how advanced and experimental computational techniques are being used to challenge and change the very nature of humanities research as well as its system of academic rewards.

Areas to be discussed include thematic research collections, a new genre akin to the scholarly article or monograph; 3D virtual recreations of ancient cities or monastic ruins; scholarly editions of films in which the film and its annotation are preserved in the same medium; born digital literature and art which poses new and substantial challenges in the area of preservation; e-lit and e-art which are breaking down traditional barriers between disciplines; and the experimental field of datamining and visualization which may provide us with more effective ways of sifting through hundreds, even thousands of pieces of information than methods we currently employ.

This course will also focus on the various roles that librarians and archivists have played and will continue to play in the chain of digital scholarly communication, not simply because their repositories are the holders of the majority of primary resources from which many disciplines in the humanities draw, but because they are increasingly being turned to as final custodians for this born digital scholarship. This course will also discuss the crucial rule that information professionals play in the digital humanities by applying and adapting traditional library practice (such as classifying and cataloguing) to this new environment. The primary textbook for this course will be A Companion to Digital Humanities (Blackwell 2004), augmented by online articles, tools, and projects.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR220 is an elective course. There are on prerequisites. It is a completely online class distributed via ANGEL and will run from 26 January 2011.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course students will:

  • Identify and critique digital humanities as a discipline and as a practice;
  • Engage with the methodologies and techniques used in digital humanities scholarship;
  • Understand the differences between disciplinary practices;
  • Differentiate current trends and theoretical perspectives in the field;
  • Appraise the discipline from a historical perspective;
  • Demonstrate  how digital humanities impacts on more traditional disciplinary practice.

This course supports the following SLIS Core Competency:

  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use

Course Requirements

This course will be conducted entirely online using ANGEL. Lectures, assignments, and most communications, including discussions and announcements, will be conducted via ANGEL.

Please see the ANGEL Tutorials on how to enroll in a ANGEL course at To self-enroll in the ANGEL site for this course you must:

  1. Be registered for the course FIRST.
  2. The access code for the ANGEL site will be sent to those enrolled in the class via the messaging system a day or two prior to the beginning of the course.

You must be extremely organized, disciplined and self-motivated in order to complete an online course successfully. Though you can access the course materials online anytime, plan to set aside time each day to complete the readings and assignments. It’s too easy to get behind quickly.

Assignment due dates are posted at the ANGEL course site however; they are all  "subject to change with fair notice".

The class will be divided into two groups. Generally, and per the Course Outline below, one week the group will participate in a discussion on ANGEL and on the alternative week will participate in a group assignment.

  • ANGEL Discussions. ANGEL discussions based on introductory postings, textbook readings, and/or other readings will be posted to the class discussion board. Each student is expected to respond to discussion questions and to participate fully in the discussion with other students in the class. Participation is mandatory on assigned weeks. Class participation discussions is worth 15 points.
  • Facilitate a Weekly Discussion. This assignment will allow you to explore a theme of the course in depth. It will provide you with the opportunity of leading an on-line discussion, gaining first hand experience in developing new rhetorical modes for on-line communication. 10 points.
  • Reflection Piece. This assignment will provide you with an opportunity to delve into a subject area in detail. 10 points.
  • Group Assignments: Each of these assignments will be worth 10 points. They will be created as a group and each member of the group will receive the same mark. They are due on the Friday on the week in which which they are assigned. Weeks when a group works on an assignment they will not participate in the ANGEL discussion.
  1. Annotated Bibliography associated with the weekly theme. The group should submit a bibliography of no less than 20 items.
  2. A Glossary (with definitions) of terms associated with the weekly theme. The group should submit a glossary of at least 20 terms.
  3. Youtube Presentation: This presentation should introduce relative beginners to the theme of the week. It should be visual, it can be quirky, sophisticated, or pedagogical. Due 25 March.
  4. A taxonomy of terms associated with the topic. Each taxonomic term should be linked to a source with a further explanation or definition. The taxonomy should have no less than three parent terms with at least four child terms.
  • Final Paper. Write a formal research paper in which you explore a topic related to the course in significant depth. Topics may be selected from the areas covered in class or you may choose an issue of more personal interest that is relevant to the goals and objectives of the course. The text of your paper must be 15 to 20 pages in length (space and a half; 12 point type); the reference list should include at least 20 citations. A list of works cited is required. You will be graded on the extent of your research, your description and critical analysis of the topic, the evidence you provide in support of your argument, and the clarity and quality of your writing. Your references and formatting must adhere to the rules established in the APA Publication Manual or the MLA Style Manual. 25 points.

All assignments are due on Fridays and must be turned at 5 p.m PST. Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total points possible for that assignment.

Course Calendar



Due Date

ANGEL Discussions

15 points

Per Course Outline

Facilitating a Weekly Discussion

10 points



10 points

11 February

Group Annotated Bibliography

10 points

5.00 pm on week of assignment

Group Glossary

10 points

5.00 pm on week of assignment

Group YouTube

10 points

5.00 pm on week of assignment

Group Taxonomy

10 points

5.00 pm on week of assignment

Final Paper

25 points

17 May

Course Outline

Week of Topic Readings Assignment Group A Group B

26 Jan
Intro to Digital Humanities CDH: introduction / preface/ Hockey

Assignment: Introduce yourself to the class. 

Assignment: Choose the top two topics on which you would like to co-facilitate a discussion (choices depend on group assigned) and email them to me by  31 Jan. Discussion: All Discussion: All
31 Jan Inro to DH (con’t) What is Humanities Computing and What is Not?’ John Unsworth. Link   Discussion: All Discussion: All
7 Feb Disciplinary Areas

Read any chapter from section I of CDH

Become acquainted with Digital Humanities Now. Link

Assignment: 700-1000 word reflection -- choose one of the two topics below: 1) how has and/or can DH transform traditional disciplinary practice. Choose one discipline of the humanities per Part I of CDH. Since this was published in 2004, find at least one more current source to include in your discussion; 2) Become acquainted with DH Now. Based on this source, what themes/topics/happenings are current in DH today. Based on an analysis of these posts, how is DH reshaping the humanities. Due 11 Feb. No Discussion No Discussion
14 Feb Thematic Research Collections CDH: Palmer & DLS Price

‘Computer-mediated Texts and Textuality’. Susan Schreibman. Computers and the Humanities. 36 (2002). Available through SJSU library
  Discussion 1 Group Assisgnment: Group Developed Annotated Bibliography
21 Feb Text Encoding and Text Analysis CDH: McGann & Renear   Group Assisgnment: Group Developed Annotated Bibliography Discussion 1
28 Feb The Future of Reading ‘The Human Presence in Digital Artefacts: Text and Genre in Reconstruction’.  Alan Galey.  Link

‘Print is Flat, Code is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis.’ N. Katherine Hayles. Poetics Today 25:1 (Spring 2004). Available through SJSU library
  Discussion 2 Group Assignment: Create a glossary & definitions of terms associated with this topic
7 March Visualisation Visualizing the Republic of Letters. Chang, Daniel et al.  Link +
‘Electronic Enlightenment
Correspondence Visualization’. Link

‘From Data Realism to Dada Aggregations:
Visualizations in Digital Art, Humanities and Popular Culture’. Denisa Kera.
2010 14th Information Visualisation, 2009 13th International Conference. Available through SJSU library

‘Mapping the English Lake District: a literary GIS’. David Cooper and Ian N Gregory. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. January 2011, 36:1
Available through SJSU library
Group Assignment: YouTube Presentation on either Visualisation or e-Lit (depending on Group). Both due 25 March. Group YouTube Presentation Discussion 2
14 March e-literature ‘Electronic Literature: What is it?’. N Katherine Hayles. Link

DLS Funkhouser
Electronic Literature Collection Vol I: (pick and choose what catches your fancy). Link
  Discussion 3 Group YouTube Presentation
21 March Virtual Worlds ‘Another Time, Another Space: Virtual Worlds, Myths and Imagination.’ Maria Beatrice Bittarello. Virtual Worlds Research: Past, Present and Future. 1: 1.  Link

‘Artistic Expression in Second Life: What can we learn from creative pioneers of new mediums?’ John Lester. Research: Past, Present and Future. 1: 3. Link

‘Whatever happened to Second Life?’ Barry Collins. Link
  Group Assignment: Create a glossary & definitions of terms associated with this topic Discussion 4
28 March Reading Week Catch up on Readings   None None
4 April Datamining

What Do You Do with a Million Books? ‘ Gregory Crane. D-Lib Magazine 12:3. 
(March 2006). Link

‘Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers’. Patricia Cohen. New York Times (3 Dec 2010).  Link

‘In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture’. Patricia Cohen. New York Times
(16 December 2010). Link

 ‘Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books‘. Jean-Baptiste Michel, et al. Science Express.
(16 December 2010). Free Registration to obtain a copy of the article

  Discussion 5 Group Assignment: Develop a taxonomy linked to sources
11 April Final Paper Abstract   Assignment: A 350-500 word précis of a topic for the final paper with at least 10 bibliography items. Due: 15 April None None
18 April Preservation ‘Digital Representation and the Hyper Real’ Susan Schreibman.
Poetess Archive Journal  2:1. Link

‘Authenticity and Integrity â€¨in the Digital Environment:
An Exploratory Analysis of the â€¨Central Role of Trust’.  CLIR Reports. Clifford Lynch. Link
  Group Assignment: Develop a taxonomy linked to sources Discussion 5
25 April Cyberinfrastructure

Our Cultural Commonwealth
2006 American Council of Learned Societies

ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure Report
(particularly Introduction, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2). Link

‘7 Things You Should Know About Cyberinfrastructure’. Link

‘Cyberinfrastructure, Data, and Libraries, Part 1’. Anna Gold.  D-Lib Magazine. 13:9/10 (September/October 2007). Link

  Discussion 6: All Discussion 6: All
2 May The Futures of DH ‘The Digital Future is Now: A Call to Action for the Humanities’.  Christine L. Borgman. Digital Humanities Quarterly (Fall 2009). Link

‘Digital Humanities in 2008, III: Research’. Lisa Spiro. Link

‘Found History’. Tom Scheinfeldt. Link
  Discussion 7: All Discussion 7: All
9 May Final Paper Preparation   Individual Assignment: Final paper due 17 May    


Textbooks and Readings

Additional Readings 
Additional required readings per the syllabus are freely available online or via database subscriptions through the King Library.

Required Textbooks:

  • Schreibman, S., Siemens, R., & Unsworth, J. (2004). A Companion to digital humanities. Blackwell Publishing. Available through Amazon: 1405168064. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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