About UC Digital Humanities
Students interested in learning more about Digital Humanities are encouraged to contact Dr. James Smithies. Office Hours Tuesday and Thursday, 1-2 pm, Room 604 History building, University of Canterbury. Phone +64 (0)3 364 2896
Digital humanists use digital tools and methods to develop, analyze, and publish their research. Digital Humanities or ‘DH’ courses offer students both an understanding of how the digital world is engineered, and the tools and methods needed to research and publish in today’s digital environment. Research tends to be inter-disciplinary, across both humanities and social science disciplines, and into computer science. DH is also highly vocational, in that it offers the project management and design knowledge needed to produce digital humanities outputs. Digital humanists have also begun to advocate for the value of the humanities as a whole, using their connections with industry and other disciplines to explain why the humanities matter. DH functions as a central cog within the humanities, increasing capability with digital tools and methods across all the disciplines and offering an option for students who would like to augment their degrees with digital elements. Although still tightly connected to the older Humanities Computing tradition through its professional organizations, Digital Humanities has expanded significantly since 2001 when the term was coined. Many universities are establishing courses and programmes, and over 200 centres operate worldwide.
Digital Humanities has a strong history at the University of Canterbury, going back to the days of punch cards and mainframes, which Geoffrey Rice from the History department used to analyze the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. More recently, Denis Dutton produced Arts and Letters Daily, and Jack Copeland worked with overseas colleagues to create the Turing Archive for the History of Computing from the Philosophy department. This tradition has been continued in the development of the UC CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquake Digital Archive by Paul Millar and James Smithies, now managed by Chris Thomson and the UC CEISMIC Programme Office. Many other digital humanities projects have been created at the University of Canterbury, and many are in progress. History, Philosophy, Classics, Art History, and English all have staff interested in some aspect of DH, and significant additional expertise can be found in UC libraries. Paul Millar and New Zealand’s first senior lecturer in digital humanities, James Smithies, are leading the development of UC Digital Humanities. Honours courses and inter-disciplinary theses will be offered for the first time in 2014, and digital pathways and internships are being developed across a range of undergraduate courses in the School of Humanities.
Access the administrative documents and course outlines for the UCDH Honours programme here.
Technical and Written Requirements
Humanities students have the ideal background for digital humanities study, of course, but students from any UC department are welcome to enrol. Our discipline is highly inter-disciplinary, and we want to encourage as broad a range of students as possible. Overseas initiatives have shown that incredible things can happen when scientists, geographers, computer scientists, and engineers put their minds to humanities questions. Arts and humanities students enjoy the chance to collaborate with colleagues from all parts of the campus, and vice versa. If you’ve got an interest in the humanities, and are confident you’ve got the skills to produce high quality written content, contact Dr. James Smithies.
The Praxis Network and UC Digital Pathways