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ROML 501

Introduction to Digital Humanities for Romance Languages, Cultures and Heritage Studies

TuTh 11:00-12:15, Dey 208
Prof. Lucia Binotti (

This course is an introduction to the Digital Humanities, its methods, theories, and applications in humanistic research as it pertains to the Romance languages, their cultures and heritage. Thus, it is designed primarily for graduate students and advanced undergraduates in Romance Studies or related humanities fields and covers a variety of digital tools and approaches to organize, explore, understand, present and tell stories with data from the Romance worlds. In this course, you will learn how to reverse engineer DH projects to understand how they were built; identify, use, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different tools and methodologies; develop strong humanistic research questions that can be answered through digital research methods; conduct original research; and build a collaborative digital project. You will also learn how to organize and clean data, develop charts, use basic text analysis tools to explore qualitative data, create spatial visualizations and 3D models, and work in virtual and augmented reality environments. Often the best digital humanities projects are the result of collaboration, so you will learn how to work effectively and efficiently in teams as you build project management skills. Each unit will guide you through the development, analysis, and application of the skills listed under the course learning goals. In each unit, you will also critique examples of research projects that employ the methods and/or tools that you are learning.

This course meets once a week for one hour and a half of interactive lectures and one hour of smaller lab sections; additional group work outside of the allocated class time will be necessary. We will discuss ways to organize in- person meetings, as well as ways to stay on track through virtual simultaneous and asynchronous group work. No prior experience is necessary, and there are no prerequisites.

Course Learning Goals In this class, you will learn how to:

  • organize and manipulate structured data;
  • create digital maps;
  • create data visualizations;
  • create network graphs;
  • create websites and use content-management systems;
  • undertake sophisticated humanities research;
  • speak, think, and write critically about the epistemological biases and affordances of all of these methods and tools;
  • imagine other possibilities for humanities scholarship.