Loyola University Chicago

Digital Humanities

Curriculum

Our Courses

Students take six core seminars in addition to three electives within the field of their choosing. In a student’s final two semesters she or he will work with faculty members to design and build their own digital research project. 

Seminar topics range from an introduction to the methods and methodology of the field, to special topics in public history, project design, research methods, textual criticism, human-computer interface, and markup languages. Courses emphasize both discussion of the theories that shape and define the field of Digital Humanities as well as hands-on project building. Coursework is designed to provide technical skills to humanities students, as well as humanistic scholarly research methods to those with a technical or computer science background. 

Sample Course of Study

**Full-time students will enroll in two or three classes (six to nine credit hours) per academic semester

First Year, Fall Semester

This course, taught by Computer Science faculty and Digital Humanities faculty, combines historical study with a hands-on analytical approach to computers and their role in academic research, publishing, libraries, and the arts. Topics include the structure of computers, the relation of software and hardware, text and image markup and publishing, database theory and design, modeling and visualization, text analytics, procedural logic and the basic concepts of programming, artificial intelligence, and the social, ethical, and intellectual contexts for computing applications in the 20th and 21st centuries--from the mainframe era to the Internet. Hands-on experience with basic coding will be an integral part of instruction and the requirements will include either a practical computing project or a research paper on issues in the history and contexts of computing.

An introduction to major textual theories and their history. Topics may include such issues as analytic and descriptive bibliography, theories of copy-text, theoretical and practical issues in editing, and forms of textuality, including manuscript, print, and digital forms. The editorial and archival needs of various humanities disciplines will be addressed, including history, theology, law, and literature, along with issues related to digital texts and online modes of publication. (Alternatives to this requirement, subject to approval by the CTSDH, include courses in Book History, for example.)

First Year, Spring Semester

This course, taught by digital humanities faculty, introduces students of the MA in Digital Humanities program to project design and human computer interaction. The course will provide students with methods for evaluating, designing, and developing digital humanities projects as well as practical and effective methods for improving systems and their interfaces. This course will survey human computer interaction theory, and emphasize digital research methods, ethical frameworks for project-building, accessibility, and project management.  Students will gain practical experience with design, testing, coding, and version management with the final goal of publishing a collaborative working prototype.

You are allowed to take one 300-level course during your MA program. Your electives can be any course of your choosing but do check to see if they require any prereqs. Suggested departments to look at course offerings: English, History, School of Communications, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Gender Studies/Women’s Studies, Anthropology, Theology.

This course will explore a variety of ethical and legal issues facing those who use or program computers. Issues can be divided broadly into professional ethics, dealing with the ethical responsibilities of the programmer, and social issues, dealing with concerns we all have as citizens.
Note:If you have the necessary prerequisites, you may be eligible to take other 400-level Computer Science classes, with approval from the Chair of Computer Science. Prereqs for their 300 and 400-level classes generally include COMP 150 (Introduction to Computing), COMP 170 (Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming), and COMP 271 (Data Structures) and you would need to meet with Chair of Computer Science to go over your transcript and experience.

Second Year, Fall Semester

This course invites students to learn about and engage in collaborative project-building. Students will contribute to building an active faculty-led digital humanities research project. Work will be informed by weekly readings and seminar-style discussions. Possible work may include coding, data modeling, digitization, proposal-writing, grant-writing, project management, design, and research.

This course will introduce students to the basic principles involved in developing applications for the web. Starting from week one, each assignment and lab will give students practical experience with a different aspect of web application architecture; by the end of the course, all of the assignments will fit together as a single, functioning application that the student has built end to end. Particular emphasis will be placed on the principles behind each assignment, so that students who have completed the course will be able to carry their knowledge forward to future projects, regardless of the tools or technologies they choose to use.

Second Year, Spring Semester

In this capstone, students will apply skills they’ve learned throughout the program, and develop new technological and research skills as the project demands. Students will develop their own digital humanities research project that demonstrates their competency in a facet of digital humanities and expertise within their chosen subject area.

Eligible courses currently approved as electives for the M.A. are: Computer Science 417 (Social and Ethical Issues in Computing), English 415 (Media and Culture), History 479/806 (Public History Media), and History 482 (Archives and Records Management). Additional courses may be approved in any given year. Courses that could count as electives in a given student's program, depending on offerings in a given year and the specific course content, might include Theology graduate courses in biblical texts, for example, or a graduate history seminar focused on particular archival materials germane to the student's course of study.\

Note: You may choose to take your final elective during the Fall semester if you wish.

Evaluation

Students will receive grades for each individual course, assessed for their mastery of the required course goals and objectives. A passing grade in each course will be required in order for the course to count towards the degree and a 3.0 average must be maintained overall. Each student will produce an electronic thesis under the direction of an advisor; the thesis will demonstrate knowledge and skills gained in coursework and will address one or more key problems in digital humanities research or applications. The thesis will be graded as part of the overall GPA. The professional M.A. degree will be granted based on that GPA, including evaluation of the directed thesis.