DCS 1020 "How to Read 1,000,000 Books"
What does it mean to "read" a million books? The explosion of digital editions and collections of books give us unprecedented access to rare individual texts and massive bodies of literary and cultural material. How does it relate to (or obscure) traditional "close reading" of texts? Are computer codes and algorithms something we might read? What kinds of new literary analysis do they make possible? The course applies and critiques "distant reading" as a method of making large text collections accessible to human readers. Readings include single texts from different genres, multi-million book collections, and the most recent criticism and theory related to digital texts. Along the way we are going to learn elementary R programming language to query single texts and large collections of texts called corpora.
DCS 1100 "Introduction to Digital and Computational Studies"
How are digital tools and computational methods being applied and studied in different fields? How are they catalyzing changes in daily life? Uses two case studies to introduce these new tools and methods, and to analyze and evaluate their scholarly and practical applications. The first case study is based on Bowdoin's own history: how can the use new methods recreate what Joshua Chamberlain could see at the battle of Gettysburg, and thus better understand the battle and his decisions? Next, considers the contemporary, and ask what is identity in the era of social media and algorithms? Students learn the basics of the Python programming language, introductory spatial analysis with ArcGIS, elementary text and social network analysis, and basic environmental modeling. Assumes no prior knowledge of a programming language.
DCS 1200 "Data Driven Societies"
What sorts of questions can and should be answered using digital and computational methods? How can such methods in conjunction with data can reveal new insights and questions about the world? How do we construct models to help us better understand social phenomena? Covers topics such as data gathering, validation, analysis, and presentation, as well as statistics and programming. Provides substantive experience in digital and computational methods, and a critical lens for understanding and evaluating what computers can (and cannot) bring to the study of our world.
DCS/ENVS 2331 "The Nature of Data: Introduction to Environmental Analysis"
Examines emerging digital techniques in environmental management and analysis within government, academic, and media sectors. Topics include collaborative resource management, leveraging the power of social networks, social-ecological system management, the role of volunteered information and citizen science, and expanding capacities for adaptation and resilience. Introduces the basics of the programming language R for network and text analysis, spatial analysis and GIS, geotagging, and crowdsourcing.
DCS 2401 "Gateway to the Digital Humanities"
How do the liberal arts compute?
Explore the possibilities of using exciting new tools for text analysis, network analysis, spatial analysis and image analysis. Work with data that faculty across campus are using in their own research and teaching projects. See how digital mapping can change the way we understand the history of racial identities in the U.S. Use computational text analysis to contextualize and evaluate the ways female authors express themselves within a masculine canon of literature. Apply network studies to the plots of English and foreign novels. Combine all of these approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the questions and methods being used in the humanities today. What sorts of new questions can be asked and answered using computational tools?
These topics will be explored in class through a series of projects. Weekly labs will provide hands-on experience with the concepts and tools presented in class, and will give students the opportunity to work on their own projects. Assumes no prior knowledge of computers, programming, or statistics. Fulfills MCSR distribution requirement.
DCS 2610 "The Rhetoric of Big Data: Copernicus to Climate Change"
How did early modern intellectuals amass enough data to feel confident that the earth rotated around the sun? How did they write about their data (texts, diagrams, measurements, and calculations) in order to eventually convince a larger audience that the Copernican hypothesis of heliocentrism was valid even though the sun appears to move in the sky? Examines the literary, artistic, religious, political, economic, and scientific context of these questions by introducing and using large-scale digital textual analysis, network visualization, mapping, and computation. Defines a set of parameters for analyzing other famous cases of big data reshaping worldviews.
ITAL 1101 "Elementary Italian I"
Study of the basic forms, structures, and vocabulary. Emphasis on listening comprehension and spoken Italian.
ITAL 2305 "Elementary Italian I"
Strengthens fluency in reading, writing, and speaking through an introduction to contemporary Italian society and culture. An advanced grammar review is paired with a variety of journalistic and literary texts, visual media, and a novel. Conducted in Italian.