Good Morning! I’m getting a bit of a late start posting because I’ve been spending my morning outlining an essay for one of my spring modules, Digital Approaches to Literature. At King’s the spring term has already finished, but exams are due in a few weeks. So this is where you’ll find me most days if I’m not hiding out in a cubby hole in Maughan Library.
Besides my multiple screen usage and some of the books on my desk, (Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees is currently resting atop Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism) it’s probably fair to say that this could be any humanities postgraduate’s desk. And to a certain degree studying Digital Humanities can be like studying other “traditional” humanities disciplines. My academic background lies in literature and theatre, so the majority of my DH studies has been geared toward continuing these studies, adding a meta-level of digital techniques and theories to my research. This includes my dissertation, which I’ll post about later today.
For now, though, I’ll explain a little bit about the modules I have taken. The King’s MADH program is structured so that each full-time student must take two core modules and then select four optional modules, one of which may be an internship. (Side note–Professor Paul Spence will be posting about KCL’s Department of Digital Humanities today, so do check out his posts here.) Each module focuses on different practical and theoretical aspects of DH studies, with the core modules surveying many of these areas, but their subject matter does tend to overlap enabling students to draw interesting connections across topics, methodologies, and analyses. The modules that incorporate a practical component, which many of them do, are structured so that class time is divided between lectures, lab sessions, and seminars.
Being particularly interested in gaining a variety of practical skills with which to study literature, I participated in modules that taught me how to build relational databases; structure information using semantic web technologies (RDF); create web documents using HTML, CSS, and other web technologies; encode texts using TEI and XML; and create programs using Python. While these sit on just the tip of the iceberg of potential tools that can be utilized for DH research, they’ve given me a strong foundation on which to add further skills and knowledge. If you’re interested in reading the individual module descriptions for yourself, you can check them out here.