Course Offerings
Educating Across Departments and Disciplines in a Digital Age

Humanities education in the 21st century should include focus on digital content and practices. By studying how we use, create and consider digital, students learn to think critically about the tools they use to read, write and communicate. The DH Initiative assembles perspectives and teaches across departments, as the below courses demonstrate. By crossing disciplines, students understand DH is neither a single content area nor method of practice but rather a mode of thinking and engaging with culture.

Spring 2019 DH Courses

ENG 562: Digital Methods for the Humanities
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This new course is a revolutionary experiment and pilot program for SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative that will provide students with an introduction to media studies, theory, and history as well as to a wide variety of digital methods for research, writing, and thinking. Lead by a scholar of electronic literature and new media theory, students will learn how new digital methods can serve the Humanities and also how they inform the emergent field known as “Digital Humanities.” Each week will bring a different guest lecturer, a professor at SDSU and a member of SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative, who will teach a different digital method from a different disciplinary perspective. The range of learning includes, but is not limited to, virtual reality methods of studying history (History), empirical studies of social media use and identity construction (Journalism and Media Studies), computational analysis (Linguistics), info-visualizations and Digital Humanities practices (Library), and more. This is an opportunity to learn about the humanities via digital methods and also to learn about Digital Humanities in the first-ever course of its kind offered at SDSU.

GEOG 104: Geographic Information Science and Spatial Reasoning
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Fundamental concepts in geographic information systems, cartography, remote sensing, spatial statistics, and global positioning systems. Use of critical technologies in addressing human and environmental problems.

GEOG 381: Computerized Map Design
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Art and science of creating digital maps as media for describing and analyzing geographic phenomena. Computer laboratory instruction and practice in cartographic techniques with emphasis on thematic maps and geographic information systems.

GEOG 583: Internet Mapping and Distributed GI Services
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Current development of Internet mapping and cartographic skills for web-based maps (multimedia, animation, and interactive design). Fundamental theories of distributed GIS to support Inter- net mapping with focus on distributed component technologies, Internet map servers, and web services.

GEOG 780 Seminar: Web Mapping, Social Media, and Big Data
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Spatial analytic techniques from image processing, remote sensing, geographic information systems, cartography or quantitative methods.

HIST 503: Ancient Rome
Taught by Elizabeth Pollard

Perhaps ironically, scholars of “classical” antiquity have been at the forefront of digital approaches to the past. HIST 503 taps into that vein of digital antiquity with an approach that empowers students to employ the digital humanities to engage the swaths of time and space across which ancient Roman history played out. HIST 503 (Ancient Rome) familiarizes students with important events, people, themes, and arguments in Roman History from the Etruscan “monarchy” through the “Fall” of Rome (ca. 1000 BCE through 500 CE) and exposes students to the resources (both ancient and modern) used by scholars of Roman history to investigate them.  In this course, students learn to: 1) identify and explain major people, concepts, and events in Roman History; 2) analyze central developments in Roman History; 3) interpret primary and ancient secondary sources for constructing Roman History; 4) explore the state of the scholarly arguments on various issues in Roman History; and 5) construct digital “micro-publications” to visualize Roman History by showcasing the analysis, interpretation, and exploration, described in SLOs 2, 3, and 4 (above). The digital humanities output of previous iterations of the course is described and archived at https://sites.google.com/sdsu.edu/hist503/.

ED 895: Visual-Based Research Methods
Taught by Marva Capello

This course will survey the current landscape of visual-based research methods with two major goals in mind: to describe and interpret the theoretical groundings for visual-based research methods and to design and conduct qualitative research with an array of visual-based data generation tools.

Fall 2018 DH Courses

Africana Studies

Afras 421: Black Urban Experience
Taught by Sureshi M. Jayawardene

Major social science literature of international Black urban experience. Behavior, culture, and oppressions unique to urban environment.


English and Comparative Literature

Engl 503: Adolescent Film and Media
Taught by Angel Daniel Matos

Why has the adolescent become such a prominent and celebrated figure in cinema from the mid-twentieth century onward? How does the figure of the adolescent reflect and mobilize different social and cultural concerns? Do teen films represent adolescence as a developmental period full of potential and promise, or do they represent adolescence as a phase that people must overcome? Why is it customary for older actors to portray teenage life on screen, and what are the issues of this tradition? In this course, we will examine representations of adolescence in American and global cinema from the 1950s to the present in order to address these questions. We will pay close attention to how our understanding of adolescence has shifted over the decades, how adolescent thought and experience is visually aestheticized, and how teen representation is inflected by domains of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, ability, and class. We will also scrutinize the different stereotypes and social groups that have been represented in these films, and develop an understanding of the different subgenres of teen cinema that have emerged over the decades, including the coming-of-age film, the teen comedy, the slasher film, and the school film.

Engl 562: Digital Methods for the Humanities
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This new course is a revolutionary experiment and pilot program for SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative that will provide students with an introduction to media studies, theory, and history as well as to a wide variety of digital methods for research, writing, and thinking. Lead by a scholar of electronic literature and new media theory, students will learn how new digital methods can serve the Humanities and also how they inform the emergent field known as “Digital Humanities.” Each week will bring a different guest lecturer, a professor at SDSU and a member of SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative, who will teach a different digital method from a different disciplinary perspective. The range of learning includes, but is not limited to, virtual reality methods of studying history (History), empirical studies of social media use and identity construction (Journalism and Media Studies), computational analysis (Linguistics), info-visualizations and Digital Humanities practices (Library), and more. This is an opportunity to learn about the humanities via digital methods and also to learn about Digital Humanities in the first-ever course of its kind offered at SDSU.


History

Hist 496a: Digital History
Taught by Angel David Nieves

This course blends a traditional seminar in the theory and issues of digital history with hands-on training in its tools and practices in order to better understand how technology is transforming the way historians conduct research and present their work. Students in this course will learn about computational tools for data analysis; the new ways historians record, store, organize and disseminate their findings; and about the theories and practice of digital history through readings, workshops, websites, field trips, discussions, and by having professional historians, archivists, librarians, and digital project directors as guest speakers. Using an experiential and flipped classroom approach, students will explore the possibilities and challenges of doing public history in digital spaces, applying what they learn to their own self-designed digital public history projects. Students will each identify a digital collection of materials around which they will build an online project. In developing a digital history project, students will define their target audience(s); establish a set of outcomes; identify and adopt a delivery platform; determine an organizational system; create content, including narrative and interpretative text; and devise a set of criteria for evaluating the project’s impact. Students will develop detailed work plans to ensure timely and successful completion of their projects. This course challenges students to think broadly about where the field of history is headed and how libraries, archives, academics, publishers, and the public are thinking about how to preserve the past and curate unique projects to share with the world.

Hist 680: Spatial Humanities
Taught by Angel David Nieves

Spatial humanities relies upon powerful geospatial technologies and methods to explore new questions about the relationship of space (physical, imagined, manmade or otherwise) to human behavior. It represents a bridging across disciplines, and may engage with ethnic studies (Chicana/o Studies, Africana Studies, Asian American Studies, etc.) history, archaeology, literary studies, women’s studies, queer studies, area studies, and cultural studies, to name but a few areas. This seminar course introduces graduate students to the theory and methods of the spatial humanities, while examining the tools, theories, and methodologies of social justice. Engaging with spatial theory and learning technical methodologies students will learn to develop an understanding of the research questions and tools available in this new field of scholarly and applied inquiry while grappling with issues of social justice. Students will work throughout the semester in project-based learning grounded in spatial, intersectional, and critical race theories.


Humanities

Hum 580 / MALAS 600c: Modern Technology and the Ancient World
Taught by Danielle Bennett

In the contemporary world, digital re-creations of sites and objects from the ancient world often appear in movies and TV, such as Ben-Hurand Game of Thrones, and in video games, such as Assassin's Creed Origins. Modern technology also provides tantalizing prospects for a deeper engagement with the material culture in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In this course, we will explore the emerging scholarship concerning digital humanities for the study of the ancient world. Geography and mapping, digital dissemination of texts, and visual reconstructions of sites and objects, including 3-D modeling will come to the fore as we learn about the ancient Mediterranean. We’ll be critical consumers of the digital tools for the study the ancient world.

See the Class Schedule or SDSU General Catalog for more information.

Reoccurring DH Courses

Education

ED 895: Visual-Based Research Methods
Taught by Marva Capello

This course will survey the current landscape of visual-based research methods with two major goals in mind: to describe and interpret the theoretical groundings for visual-based research methods and to design and conduct qualitative research with an array of visual-based data generation tools.


English and Comparative Literature

ENG 220: The Perils and Promise of Technology
Taught by Peter Herman

The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the study of literature, but to do so in a more pointed fashion that will demonstrate literature’s uncanny ability to help us think complexly about complex problems. To that end, we will be looking at how literature deals with the related problems of technology and utopias, because so often today technology is promoted as a means of achieving a utopia, meaning, a perfect society. But as we will see, neither the claims made for technology nor the sense that technology can create an ideal society, are new. We will start with the revival of the utopian genre by Thomas More, and then to texts that deal more overtly with technology. We conclude with two books, M. T. Anderson, Feed, and the very controversial novel by Dave Eggers, The Circuit, that ask us to reconsider our reliance on the web and computers as well as an episode or two of “Black Mirror” and a guest lecture on how electronic literature intersects with our theme.


ENG 527: Digital Literature

Taught by Jessica Pressman

What happens to literature and its study when text moves from page to screen? This course examines works of digital literature (literature created on the computer to be read on the computer) to understand how this emergent literary form affects the way we read, study, and understand literature.

ENG 527: The 21st-C Experimental Novel
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This course reads novels (print and digital) published in the new millennium whose pages expose the influence of new media technologies. We examine these works in order to analyze what they have to say about globalism, the role of the literary, the experience of living in an age of information overload, and other topics at the center of our contemporary digital culture.


ENG 562: Digital Methods for the Humanities

Taught by Jessica Pressman

This new course is a revolutionary experiment and pilot program for SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative that will provide students with an introduction to media studies, theory, and history as well as to a wide variety of digital methods for research, writing, and thinking. Lead by a scholar of electronic literature and new media theory, students will learn how new digital methods can serve the Humanities and also how they inform the emergent field known as “Digital Humanities.” Each week will bring a different guest lecturer, a professor at SDSU and a member of SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative, who will teach a different digital method from a different disciplinary perspective. The range of learning includes, but is not limited to, virtual reality methods of studying history (History), empirical studies of social media use and identity construction (Journalism and Media Studies), computational analysis (Linguistics), info-visualizations and Digital Humanities practices (Library), and more. This is an opportunity to learn about the humanities via digital methods and also to learn about Digital Humanities in the first-ever course of its kind offered at SDSU.

ENG 563: Digital Literature
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This course examines works of digital literature (literature created on the computer to be read on the computer) to understand how this emergent literary form affects the way we read, study, and understand literature.

ENG 563: Cyberfeminism
Taught by Jessica Pressman

“Cyberfeminism” is a term from the 1990s that has been nearly forgotten, along with much of the radical born-digital art from those early, pivotal days of the Web and cyberculture. “Concerned with countering the perceived dominance of men in the use and development of information technology, the Internet, etc.” (OED), cyberfeminism is about perspective, ideology critique, and media archaeology. This course examines seminal texts of cultural theory and digital literature from the 1980s-early 2000s focused on the relationship between gender and digital culture to recover forgotten threads from digital culture’s recent but compact history to weave a web for understanding our contemporary cultural context.

ENG 563: The Book in the Digital Age
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This class takes the topic of the book in the digital age as an opportunity to consider the book as a medium and symbol– a technology perfected over a thousand years and a powerful cultural symbol. Part critical theory, part History of the Book, this class gives students a historical perspective on contemporary debates about reading, knowledge, and literature.

ENG 563: Critical Digital Literacy
Taught by Jessica Pressman

What does it mean to be “literate” in the age of digital data, screens, and hyperattention? What does “reading and writing” describe in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and mobile digital narratives? What, if any, kinds of contemporary communication practices are uniquely “digital”? And, the big one: How do digital technologies and the Internet affect the way we read, write, and think? In order to address these questions—indeed, in order to think critically about our digital culture– we need to know our media history. This class pursues digital literacy as a concept and a practice, a topic and a skill-set. Students will learn to think critically and creatively about cultural, communicative, and cognitive consequences of the digital shift. Together, we will explore, analyze, and historicize the complicated sets of literacies that the digital both promotes and demands.


ENG 576A:
Literary Publication & Editing Workshop
Taught by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey

Considering a career in literary publishing? Interested to know what kinds of editorial jobs are out there? Love the idea of discovering new literature, editing new works, and promoting authors? Join the Managing Editor of Poetry International literary journal for this wide-ranging, seminar-style course. We get hands-on with a wide range of skills, from web design to InDesign, creative content to copyediting, event planning to saddlestitching, and everything in between. Meet with industry professionals, including small press founders, professional grant writers, literary agents, literary journal editors, and international website editors. You'll finish the semester with experience in multiple facets of the industry and a fresh list of publication credits to your name. Graduates of this course have interned at Harper Collins, The Zack Company, the Summer Writing Institute in New York, and IDW Publishing, among others. Excellent experience for graduate and undergraduate students alike--and now, a prerequisite for completing a Minor in Creative Publishing & Editing!

ENG 576B: Literary Publication & Editing Workshop
Taught by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey

Learn to make books! This advanced publishing workshop, a required course for the Creative Publishing & Editing certificate and minor, is designed to give motivated students the opportunity to work as editors of a professional press. The course will build on the work of ENGL 576A, as editorial boards create thematic anthologies of literary work, design print & digital books, and work with professional programs such as InDesign and CreateSpace. We'll host several publishing industry professionals during the semester, from book designers to small press founders. While ENGL 576A is listed as a prerequisite for this class, graduates of ENGL 576 are eligible to enroll, and other interested students are encouraged to reach out to the professor. Don't miss out on this unique professional publishing opportunity!


CLT 595: New Media Theory
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This course serves as an introduction to the critical and historical study of digital media and culture. Situating “new media” in technical and cultural histories that precede and inform our own, we recognize “the digital” as having a history that deserves analysis. We approach this topic through paradigms provided by literary and cultural criticism, reading central texts from the history of computing and the development of digital culture.

ENG 604: Book History
Taught by Jessica Pressman

This graduate seminar examines seminal writings from the scholarship in The History of the Book.

ENG 726: How We Read Now - Literary Criticism and Theories of Reading
Taught by Jessica Pressman

In their now-seminal special issue of the journal Representations (2009) titled “How We Read Now,” scholars Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus ask what literary criticism looks like—and should look like—in our digital, neoliberal, twenty-first century. They are not alone. From Bruno Latour’s “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?” to Rita Felski’s The Limits of Critique, scholars are questioning the contemporary toolkit of literary criticism. This course uses the opportunity posed by this trend in self-reflection to study the history of our discipline and its critical reading practices. We read seminal examples of literary critical reading practices from the early 20th century to the present—texts representative of New Criticism, New Historicism, Reader-Response Theory, Symptomatic Reading, Distant Reading, Actor-Network Theory, Digital Humanities, and more—in order to gain a foundation from which to understand and determine “how we read now.”

Geography

GEOG 104: Geographic Information Science and Spatial Reasoning
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Fundamental concepts in geographic information systems, cartography, remote sensing, spatial statistics, and global positioning systems. Use of critical technologies in addressing human and environmental problems.

GEOG 380: Map Investigation
Taught by André Skupin

The fundamentals of geographic mapping underlying GIS, GPS, cartography and visualization. Topics include map projections, locational reference systems, topographic and thematic mapping, and map design. Includes practical mapping exercises, including first skills using GIS software and the creation of simple map products.

GEOG 381: Computerized Map Design
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Art and science of creating digital maps as media for describing and analyzing geographic phenomena. Computer laboratory instruction and practice in cartographic techniques with emphasis on thematic maps and geographic information systems.

GEOG 484: Geographic Information Systems
Taught by André Skupin

Introduction to concepts and principles of GIS, including data structures, database design, and spatial analysis techniques. Development of significant practical skills in the use of GIS software for analysis and visualization of geographic data.

GEOG 581: Data Visualization
Taught by André Skupin

Principles, techniques, and practice of data visualization. Course introduces students to how patterns and structures in diverse types of source data, including georeferenced, multivariate, and network data, can be visualized for communication, exploration, and pattern discovery.


GEOG 583: Internet Mapping and Distributed GI Services
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Current development of Internet mapping and cartographic skills for web-based maps (multimedia, animation, and interactive design). Fundamental theories of distributed GIS to support Inter- net mapping with focus on distributed component technologies, Internet map servers, and web services.

GEOG 780: Knowledge Visualization
Taught by André Skupin

The current state and emerging future of knowledge visualization, based on contemporary trends, evolving techniques, and real-world applications. Seminar addresses several distinct data types and the different means for handling them, from text mining to social network analysis and semantic web approaches.

GEOG 780 Seminar: Web Mapping, Social Media, and Big Data
Taught by Ming-Hsiang Tsou

Spatial analytic techniques from image processing, remote sensing, geographic information systems, cartography or quantitative methods.

History

HIST 503: Ancient Rome
Taught by Elizabeth Pollard

Perhaps ironically, scholars of “classical” antiquity have been at the forefront of digital approaches to the past. HIST 503 taps into that vein of digital antiquity with an approach that empowers students to employ the digital humanities to engage the swaths of time and space across which ancient Roman history played out. HIST 503 (Ancient Rome) familiarizes students with important events, people, themes, and arguments in Roman History from the Etruscan “monarchy” through the “Fall” of Rome (ca. 1000 BCE through 500 CE) and exposes students to the resources (both ancient and modern) used by scholars of Roman history to investigate them.  In this course, students learn to: 1) identify and explain major people, concepts, and events in Roman History; 2) analyze central developments in Roman History; 3) interpret primary and ancient secondary sources for constructing Roman History; 4) explore the state of the scholarly arguments on various issues in Roman History; and 5) construct digital “micro-publications” to visualize Roman History by showcasing the analysis, interpretation, and exploration, described in SLOs 2, 3, and 4 (above). The digital humanities output of previous iterations of the course is described and archived at https://sites.google.com/sdsu.edu/hist503/.


Humanities

HUM 370: American Culture
Taught by Linnea Zeiner

This class engages with countercultures and subcultures as they struggle against the sanctioned behaviors of mainstream 19th and 20th-century America and claim their aesthetic territory through multivalent, politically articulate and illicit performances.

HUM 409: The Future
Taught by Linnea Zeiner

This course explores the broad spectrum of realities that are present in literature and media describing “The Future” [Link to https://sdsuthefuture.wordpress.com/about/]. Some principal postures that will be examined in detail are: how gendered and racialized spaces occur in media; how “real” is a present challenge to understand in the face of interactive medias and technology advancements; and what trends arise in narratives within specific historical contexts. This seminar will conduct critical screenings of film and television through engagement with the works of scholars and theorists past and present. Finally, this is an interactive class using new-media and digital platforms in a Learning Research Studio. This specialized environment supports students as they learn new technologies, create digital expressions of course topics, discuss theory and critique visualizations.


Journalism and Media Studies

JMS 430: Digital Journalism
Taught by Amy Schmitz Weiss

Using digital and mobile platforms to publish news content and how to use such platforms for news reporting and gathering purposes. Data-driven journalism, online writing styles, web programming, social media strategies, and digital design principles.

See the SDSU General Catalog for more information.