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Digital Praxis Seminar

MALS 75500 | IDS 81640

Spring 2016

CUNY Graduate Center, Room 3307 | Tuesday, 4:15 - 6:15


Dr. Grant Wythoff

Course blog: https://dhpraxis15.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

Course group: https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/digital-praxis-seminar-2015-2016/

Course hastag: #dhpraxis


Creative Commons License
This syllabus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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Description

Aiming to ensure that new students begin thinking about digital scholarship and teaching from the moment they enter the Graduate Center, this year-long sequence of two three-credit courses introduces a variety of digital tools and digital methods through lectures offered by high-profile scholars and technologists, hands-on workshops, and collaborative projects. Students enrolled in the two-course sequence will complete their first year at the GC having been introduced to a broad range of ways to critically evaluate and to incorporate digital technologies into their academic research and teaching. In addition, they will have explored a particular area of digital scholarship and/or pedagogy of interest to them, produced a digital project in collaboration with fellow students, and established a digital portfolio that can be used to display their work. The two connected three-credit courses will be offered during the Fall and Spring semesters as MALS classes for master’s students and Interdisciplinary Studies courses for doctoral students.

During the Fall 2015 semester, students explored the landscape of the digital humanities, exploring a range of ways of approaching DH work and coming up with potential projects to create. In Spring 2016, we will put those proposals into action by taking, as our goal, the production of a small number of those projects by the end of the semester. Students will split into teams and, by the end of the semester, create proofs of concept for DH projects. Students will end the class having gained hands-on experience in the planning, production, and dissemination of a digital humanities project and having picked up a variety of skills along the way.

The class will hold a public event at the end of the semester to launch its projects. Students should not think of their work as student projects, but rather as real entries into a public dialogue on the use of digital tools in and around the academy. All projects should have a trajectory and timeline of their own that extends beyond the course itself. The Spring term is inspired by the work of the Praxis Program at the University of Virginia, and made possible by support from the Graduate Center Provost’s Office and the GC Digital Fellows Program.

Learning Objectives

Students will...

  • gain hands-on experience in the planning, production, and dissemination of a digital humanities project
  • work collaboratively in teams to produce all aspects of their chosen project.
  • occupy specific roles within their teams in accordance with their strengths and desires for learning.
  • document and reflect upon their progress through personal and team-based lab journals and public blogging on our course site.
  • learn how to develop new skills independently.

Requirements and Structure

Weekly Class Sessions

This is a praxis-based course, so most of our class sessions will be devoted to team meetings, project work, informal and formal presentations, and consultations with Graduate Center Digital Fellows. Weekly readings may be assigned based on need. Students are expected to be working every week on their projects and project plans.

Progress Reports and Social Media Presence

Each team will produce at least one public, process-oriented project report each week, to be posted on our shared course blog and tagged with a project-specific tag. Reports should catalogue project activities, discuss the progress that's been made, explore tricky problems, reach out to the general public with questions, and cultivate interest in the project.

Each team should also create a social media presence for their projects and use such accounts to share information and build an audience for the project.

Individual Lab Journals

Each student will keep an individual journal that should be used to catalogue weekly activities and progress, explore sticky questions, share personal reflections, and work through problems. Journals can be posted publicly to the course blog or kept privately. They should be shared with Prof. Wythoff every week and are due by midnight, Sunday.

You must let Prof. Wythoff know where you will be keeping your journal by midnight, February 15th, when your first post is due.

Project Requirements

  • Projects should relate to the digital humanities as explored through the Fall semester.
  • Project plans should address all aspects of the project life cycle, from development to deployment to testing to launch to sustainability.
  • Projects must be public and project code must be open source and accessible online.
  • All code must be logically organized and clearly documented.
  • A prototype of the project must be realized by the end of the semester.
  • Projects will be launched publicly at the final class of the year.

Project Report and Personal Reflection

  • A final project report (15-20 pages) must be submitted by each team at the end of the semester.
  • Each student in the class will also submit a paper (3-5 pages) that details their contributions to the project and how the experience of working on it fits into the arc of their professional development and interests.

Grading

  • 75% -- team project grade
  • 25% -- individual grade, based on lab journals, faculty consultations and your contributions to the team project.

Readings

To be determined based on project needs and in-class discussion.

Schedule

Week 1 | February 2

In class: Welcome, introductions, logistics, role definition, project discussions. Presentation from GC Digital Fellows on productive sessions during office hours.

February 9

NO CLASS on Tuesday, February 9: College closed. Attend at least one event at NYCDH Week, taking place around the city.

Week 2 | February 16

Due midnight sunday: Individual project abstracts.

In class: Elevator pitches, selection, team formation, and preliminary planning.

Week 3 | February 23

Due midnight Sunday: Draft project plans, personal journals.

In class: Role meetings.

Week 4 | March 1

Due midnight Sunday: Group project update posted to Commons blog or your project blog, personal journals.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 5 | March 8

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 6 | March 15

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 7 | March 22

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 8 | March 29

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 9 | April 5

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 10 | April 12

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations:

Week 11 | April 19

Due midnight Sunday: Group blog + journal entries.

In class: Collaborative project work and consultation.

Project presentations (x2):

No class on April 26, spring break

Week 13 | May 3

T-minus one week.

Week 14 | May 10

Project launch dress rehearsal.

Week 15 | May 17

Public project launch.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Matt Gold, Kevin L. Ferguson, Amanda Hickman, and Luke Waltzer for allowing me to adapt their previous iterations of this course.