Writing in the Digital Humanities
The Digital Humanities (DH) is a new and exciting interdisciplinary field of inquiry that uses digital technologies to address how people process and document the human experience. Applying Digital Humanities research to English 105i combines the endless possibilities of technology with the pursuit of academic research and complexities of qualitative and quantitative data. This course is intended to prepare students to use the same tools as Digital Humanities scholars to explore and write about their own findings.
In addition to writing and composition skills, students can expect to learn:
- How to compose digital environments including Adobe Spark
- How to generate metadata
- How to create data visualizations for an academic purpose
- How to work with groups using a project management approach and software
- Media Studies
- Cultural Studies
105i Spotlight: Ellie Heffernan
What is writing in the digital humanities? Ellie Heffernan didn’t know when she signed up for the class. She said she chose to take the course because it sounded interesting. “I already felt pretty confident in my writing and it was a topic that I didn’t really know about,” Ellie said. She wanted to challenge herself. Ellie imagined digital humanities would be about writing in the digital world. And as a journalism major, she thought she could learn things applicable to her career interests.
She said the class covered interesting topics. “A lot of them were related to race or race on this campus, which is… something I like to report on and write about,” Ellie said. Her class got to go to academic conferences and present their projects. She presented her paper on Silent Sam tweets at a conference at NC State.
Ellie said that the most important lesson she took away from the class was to be humble. She didn’t want to take the class at first, but later realized how much she learned. “We dealt with a lot of interesting methods of communications,” she said. “We used story-maps, coded some tweets, worked with Duke Migration Memorials archive—we were engaging with innovative methods of communication.”
Ellie recommends ENGL 105i Digital Humanities to all students. “It was specified toward something that I was interested in, rather than just general writing,” she said. For any student deciding which ENGl 105 or 105i to take, Ellie says to take a risk. “If you’re not sure what you wanna do for English 105…the only way you’re gonna find out if something is for you is to try it.”