Fiches de cours

History and the digital

DH-412

Lecturer(s) :

Baudry Jérôme

Language:

English

Summary

The course presents a number of computational approaches & tools that can be used to study history. Drawing on case studies from the history of science & technology, the course also offers students the opportunity to critically reflect on their own practices as digital humanists and data scientists.

Content

The development of information technologies and the rise of the digital humanities have opened new, exciting avenues for historical research and for the engagement of historians with the public. History and the digital have intersected in ways that, first, reconfigure historical research through the extensive digitization of sources and the creation of computational tools to process historical data ('digital history'); second, offer a wealth of new objects for historical research ('historicizing the digital'). Accordingly, the course proposes not only to survey the main computational approaches and methods that can be used to study history, but also, drawing on a series of case studies from the history of science and technology, to critically reflect on what it means to think digitally. Students will develop individual or small-group projects in digital history and will document their research in a final paper.

 

INTRODUCTION

Week 1. History, Science, History of Science

 

PART I: TEXTS

Week 2. Towards Big Data? Digitized and Born-Digital Sources in History

Week 3. History of Information Overload

Week 4. Text Analysis

 

PART II: NUMBERS

Week 5. Multiple Component Analysis & Regressions

Week 6. Trust in Numbers: Quantifying the World

Week 7. Network Analysis

 

PART III: IMAGES

Week 8. Data Visualization

Week 9. Picturing Science: Drawings, Graphs, Diagrams

 

PART IV: THE PUBLIC

Week 10. Virtual Museums

Week 11. Science, the Public, and Invisible Technicians

Week 12. Crowsourcing & Citizen Science

 

CONCLUSION(S)

Week 13. Human vs. Natural Sciences

Week 14. Final Presentation of Projects

Keywords

history, social sciences, digital, history of science, big data, text analysis, data visualization, citizen science, history of technology, digital humanities, computational thinking

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

None

Recommended courses

nice to have:

- CS-401 (Applied data analysis) or equivalent

- a SHS course in history (for example: HUM-221, HUM-276, HUM-385 etc.)

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

Teaching methods

Lectures + discussion of readings (2 hours per week)

Student projects (3 hours per week)

Expected student activities

Students are expected to attend lectures, read the assigned articles, participate actively to class discussions, design and conduct projects in small groups.

Assessment methods

Project (70%)

Final paper (15%)

Class discussion (15%)

Supervision

Office hours Yes
Assistants Yes
Forum Yes

Resources

Bibliography

Lisa Gitelman (ed.), 'Raw Data' is an Oxymoron, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013.

Shawn Graham, Ian Milligan and Scott Weingart, Exploring Big Historical Data, The Historian's Macroscope, London: Imperial College Press, 2015.

Jo Guldi and David Armitage, The History Manifesto, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Ian Milligan, 'Mining the `Internet Graveyard': Rethinking the Historian's Toolkit,' Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 23(2), 2015: 21-64.

Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

    • Semester
       Spring
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
      5
    • Subject examined
      History and the digital
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Project
      3 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Semester
       Spring
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
      5
    • Subject examined
      History and the digital
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Project
      3 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Semester
       Spring
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
      5
    • Subject examined
      History and the digital
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Project
      3 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • UNIL - Autres facultés, 2020-2021, Spring semester
    • Semester
       Spring
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
      5
    • Subject examined
      History and the digital
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Project
      3 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week

 MoTuWeThFr
8-9     
9-10     
10-11     
11-12     
12-13     
13-14     
14-15     
15-16     
16-17     
17-18     
18-19     
19-20     
20-21     
21-22     
Under construction
 
      Lecture
      Exercise, TP
      Project, other

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  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German