Today I start teaching a new course at the University of Nebraska in the graduate program. We have started a Certificate in Digital Humanities program for graduate students in History, English, and Modern Languages. With twelve hours of coursework and practicum, students earning an M.A. or Ph.D. in these disciplines may also earn the Certificate in Digital Humanities. The Readings in Digital Humanities Seminar is the first course in the sequence and is followed by a practicum at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Students then may take one of a number of electives, such as our Digital History Seminar (HIST 970).

The seminar is intended as a readings course in which students are engaged in discussion with one another about the key works in digital humanities. Some of these works will be texts–but others will reside in the digital medium. Thanks to a College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Seed grant, we were able to bring some outside consultants to Nebraska in May to consider the best pedagogical approaches to take in a DH program. Geoffrey Rockwell and Steven Jones spent two days here and some of their ideas have influenced my thinking about the course. We will have 3 guest virtual presenters in the course because we wanted students to have the opportunity to meet, hear from, and interact with leaders in the field of Digital Humanities and to draw on their expertise and perspective. Robert Nelson (University of Richmond), Stefan Sinclair (McGill University), and Lisa Spiro (NITLE Labs) will all join us at different times.

Finally, there is a key, team-building, intensive experience built into this course at the front end: the challenge is significant, the bar quite high. We will ask the class as a whole to work together, organize themselves, figure out the possibilities, come to some agreement, program and design and find resources to help them meet the challenge.

I plan to post blog entries on each week’s discussion as a record of this first seminar experience. Here’s the syllabus for HIST/MODL/ENGL 946: Interdisciplinary Readings in Digital Humanities Seminar.