I am excited to be talking about the process of crafting an undergraduate “Introduction to Digital Humanities” syllabus at the upcoming Matariki Digital Humanities Colloquium at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON), October 23-25.
Here’s my proposal:
Writing an “Introduction to Digital Humanities” Syllabus? You May Need to Screw Around, Too!
Stephen Ramsay’s seminal essay “The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around” argues that we can study a culture with too many texts to read by “browsing” according to our interests, or more colloquially, by “screwing around” and embracing serendipitous experiential learning. Teachers frequently assign this essay to encourage undergraduates to approach Digital Humanities course material with curiosity and a playful attitude. I suggest that Ramsay’s “screwmaneutics” can assist not only undergraduates but professors, as well, who are tasked with creating an “Introduction to Digital Humanities” course. As Digital Humanities grows to encompass more knowledge-bases and skill sets across disciplines, ranging from literature to computer science, it becomes ever more unwieldy to pedagogically introduce or survey. I will share how “screwing around” with my own DH project under construction, The Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing, helped me create an “Intro. to DH” syllabus that connects disparate topics in this broad field; provides a data set from an ongoing project for students to experiment with; and forefronts critical issues relating to gender, technology, and literary history.