Textbooks by Semester

LIBR 220-03
LIBR 220-12
Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Topic: Digital Humanities
Fall 2008 Greensheet

Susan Schreibman
Office Hours: Upon arrabement

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Course Outline
Blackboard Tutorials
SLIS eBookstore

The access code for this course for Blackboard 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 Blackboard and will run 25 August 2008.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course students will:

This course supports the following SLIS Core Competency:

Textbooks and Readings

Required Text

Additional Readings

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

Course Requirements

Blackboard Information

This course will be delivered entirely online through Blackboard. Students must self-enroll for this course on Blackboard between August 23 – August 25. You will be required to use a password access code which I will send via the MYSJSU Messaging system prior to August 23.

This class begins on Monday 25 August. Weekly sessions begin on Monday and continue through Saturday.


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

Assignment Points Due Date
Blackboard Discussions 25 points Weekly
Co-Facilitating a Weekly Discussion 15 points Varies
Review of a Thematic Research Collection 15 points 26 September
Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography 15 points 24 October
Final Paper 30 points 5 December

Assignment due dates are subject to change with fair notice.

Based on the evaluation percentages listed in evaluations criteria, the standard SJSU SLIS Grading Scale will be applied to an aggregate total of evaluation criteria:

97-100 A
94-96 A-
91-93 B+
88-90 B
85-87 B-
82-84 C+
79-81 C
76-78 C-
73-75 D+
70-72 D
67-69 D-
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:

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

Academic Integrity
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San José State University, and the University's Academic Integrity Policy 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 policy on academic integrity can be found at

Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please e-mail me as soon as possible. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to establish record of their disability.

No matter where students reside, they should contact the SJSU DRC to register. The DRC Web site:

Course Outline

  Week of Topic Readings Homework
1 25 Aug Intro to Digital Humanities CDH: introduction / preface/ Hockey
Mary Ellen Bates, Unknown Unknowns. EContent, Nov2007, Vol. 30 Issue 9, p58-58
Assignment: Introduce yourself to the class.

Choose the top three topics on which you would like to co-facilitate a discussion and email them to me by 5 September
2 1 Sept Inro to DH (con’t) John Unsworth, What is Humanities Computing and What is Not?

DLS: Vandendorpe
Assignment: Review of a digital humanities thematic research collection. Due: 22 September
3 8 Sept Disciplinary Areas Read any two chapters from section I of CDH  
4 15 Sept Themetic Research Collections CDH: Palmer & DLS Price
Schreibman, Susan. Computer-mediated Texts and Textuality in Computers and the Humanities (36) 283-292, 2002
5 22 Sept Text Encoding and Text Analysis CDH: McGann & Renear Assignment: Opinion Piece. Choose one of the disciplinary areas you read from CDH and respond to the author’s take on the subject. Due 20 Oct.
6 29 Sept New Narratives CDH: Laure-Ryan & DLS Gervais
Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular (pick and choose what catches your fancy)
7 6 Oct e-literature Electronic Literature: What is it? By N Katherine Hayles
Electronic Literature Collection Vol I: (pick and choose what catches your fancy)
Review of ELO Collection: How to Think (with) Thinkertoys: Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1
by Adalaide Morris
8 13 Oct Reading Week Catch up on Readings  
9 20 Oct Interface CDH: Kirschenbaum & Drucker  
10 27 Oct Modeling CDH: McCarty CDLS Lavagnino  
11 3 Nov Cyber infrastructure Our Cultural Commonwealth
2006 American Council of Learned Societies
ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure Report
Assignment: Create an annotatied bibliography of resources for any area of digital humanities. Due 10 Nov
12 10 Nov Tools Report on the Summit on Digital Tools for the Humanities (Sept 2005)
Doing Digital Scholarship: Presentation at Digital Humanities 2008 Lisa Spiro
Blog post

some tools to play with
Assignment: Final Paper. Due 8 December
13 17 Nov Futures of DH CDH: Jenson
Jerome McGann, Culture and Technology:
The Way We Live Now, What Is to Be Done? New Literary History, 2005, 36: 71–82
14 24 Nov Week off for Thanksgiving    
15 1 Dec Concluding Discussion: DH: Future Prospects    
16 8 Dec Final Paper Preparation