Digital Humanities Courses

courses for the digital humanities certificate

Digital humanities courses are being offered at UNC and across the Triangle in growing numbers. This list of current and past classes includes courses that:

  • deal directly with digital humanities theory and practice,
  • incorporate digital humanities projects into coursework, or
  • build skills relevant to digital humanities work, such as database design, text mining, web development,  interface design, etc.

Courses Scheduled for Fall 2019

Course Offerings By Semester


Previously offered courses

Last known instructors are listed where available. Check with the associated departments about availability.


AMST 498: The Documentary Turn

Instructor: Herman

Traces the convergence of traditional 20th c. documentary narrative (oral history, photography, film, and ethnography) with emergent 21st c. technologies (digital platforms, crowd-sourced communications, viral information) that expand and test definitions of documentary practice. Course looks for unexpected outcomes and future possibilities at the intersections of analog and digital practice. Focus is on the cultures of the American South with an understanding of that region as mapped within a global imaginary. Requirements include experimental documentary project that combines storytelling (visual/literary), performance (theater/dance/music) or investigative research (oral/archival).


AMST 671: (Cross-listed: HIST 671): Introduction to Public History

Instructor: Whisnant

Introduces the theory, politics, and practice of historical work conducted in public venues (museums, historic sites, national parks, government agencies, archives), directed at public audiences, or addressed to public issues.


AMST 840: Digital Humanities and American Studies

Instructor: Allen

This student-driven, collaborative course explores the impact of digital technology on American Studies, considering theoretical and practical ways the digital world offers both vexing problems for humanities scholars and tempting solutions to their questions. This course will be organized around student needs and interest and seeks to create an environment where students can use digital tools to explore their research questions and enhance their projects. The shape of the class is thus very much up to those enrolled, but participants should expect to discuss readings on digital humanities, review case studies, critique examples of digital public projects, and practice using digital tools. No prior DH training is necessary, but a willingness to experiment and contribute to crafting and reaching our shared goals will be essential.


AMST 850: Digital Humanities Practicum

Participants will contribute to ongoing DIL project work and augment and expand published projects. In addition to exploring and evaluating a range of digital humanities tools, they will learn to use DH Press to design and implement digital humanities projects and explore different ways of visualizing digital humanities data for academic and non-academic audiences. They will gain valuable experience in developing effective work practices and hone project management and communication/presentation skills of particular relevance to interdisciplinary, collaborative, public-facing digital humanities practice.


ANTH 419-001: Anthropological Application of GIS

Instructor: West

Permission of the instructor. GIS experience required. This course explores applying GIS science technologies to anthropological problems. Students will learn GIS skills and apply them using spatial data.


ANTH 454-079: The Archaeology of African Diaspora

Instructor: Agbe-Davies

Considers how archaeological evidence is used to understand the movement of Africans and their descendants across the globe, with an emphasis on the transformation of societies on the African continent and in the Americas.


ARTH 851: alt-Methods: Digital Art History

This course introduces students to current digital art history projects and practices as well as methods for approaching art historical research in new ways. We will explore concepts and case studies in digital art history and the digital humanities, experiment with software and tools, and discuss emerging trends and developments in the discipline as well as professional opportunities.


BMME 775-001(Cross-listed: COMP 775): Image Processing & Analysis

Instructor: Niethammer, M.

Prerequisites, COMP 665, MATH 547, and STOR 435. Approaches to analysis of digital images. Scale geometry, statistical pattern recognition, optimization. Segmentation, registration, shape analysis. Applications, software tools. Considerable prior experience in programming and mathematics is absolutely necessary for success in grad-level Computer Science courses.


COMM 635: Documentary Production

Prerequisite, COMM 230. A workshop in the production of video and/or film nonfiction or documentary projects. The course will focus on narrative, representational, and aesthetic strategies of documentary production.


COMM 638-001: Game Design

Prerequisite, COMM 150. Permission of the instructor for non-majors. Studio course that explores gaming critically and aesthetically. Practice in game design and production including three-dimensional worlds and scripting.


COMM 644: Documentary Production: First Person Filmmaking

Permission of the instructor required for students lacking the prerequisite. Students create documentaries emphasizing the filmmaker’s personal perspective and experience: essay, diary, and autobiographical films, and pieces in which the filmmaker performs a role for expressive or political ends. Significant class time is devoted to work-shopping student films.


COMM 682: History of the Moving Image: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Theories of moving images and imaging technologies–from the primitive to the not-yet-existing–that focus on their multifaceted relations with various registers of time, memory, flux, and futurity.


COMP 426: Modern Web Programming

Instructor: Mayer-Petal, 3 credits

Prerequisites, COMP 401 and 410. Developing applications for the World Wide Web including both client-side and server-side programming. Emphasis on Model-View-Controller architecture, AJAX, RESTful Web services, and database interaction.


COMP 775-001 (Cross-listed: BMME 775): Image Processing & Analysis

Instructor: Niethammer

Prerequisites, COMP 665, MATH 547, and STOR 435. Approaches to analysis of digital images. Scale geometry, statistical pattern recognition, optimization. Segmentation, registration, shape analysis. Applications, software tools.Considerable prior experience in programming and mathematics is absolutely necessary for success in grad-level Computer Science courses. Instructor permission required.


ENGL 530: Introduction to Digital Humanities Materials and Methodology

Course will be taught online through the Friday Center. Non-degree seeking students are encouraged to consider this course. Degree-seeking student should be aware of the course enrollment protocols. This course will give you a thorough introduction to the topics, tools, and techniques that animate the field of digital humanities. If you are already working in the digital humanities, or hope to, this course should both broaden and deepen your understanding of the scholarly work that has been and continues to be done under the mantle of “DH.”


ENGL 674: Digital Literature

Instructor: Anderson; 3 credits

Students will investigate theories and practices of editing in multi-media, digital environments. Students will explore histories of textual editing, research major humanities projects, examine trends and toolsets related to developing scholarly digital materials, and collaborate with one another and with campus entities to develop an online digital humanities project.


ENGL 676: Digital Editing & Curation

Instructor: Trettien, 3 credits

Students will investigate theories and practices of editing in multi-media, digital environments. Students will explore histories of textual editing, research major humanities projects, examine trends and toolsets related to developing scholarly digital materials, and collaborate with one another and with campus entities to develop an online digital humanities project.


GEOG 594-001: Global Positioning Systems and Applications

Prerequisite, GEOG 370. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) fundamental theory, application design, post processing, integration of GPS data into GIS and GPS application examples (such as public health, business, etc.) will be introduced.


HIST 490: Modeling and Mapping Historical Environments

In this course, students will explore the use of digital methodologies for the spatial modeling of historical places and events. Critical issues pertaining to the reconstruction of the past will be covered, as well as technical skills in digital mapping and modeling with tools such as Google Earth, SketchUp, Unity game engine, and GIS. Students will gain knowledge in the theory and practicum of digital humanities as well as an understanding of spatial approaches to historical material.


HIST 671 (Cross-listed: AMST 671): Introduction to Public History

Instructor: Whisnant, 3 credits

Introduces the theory, politics, and practice of historical work conducted in public venues (museums, historic sites, national parks, government agencies, archives), directed at public audiences, or addressed to public issues.


HIST 890-02: Introduction to Digital Humanities

This graduate seminar is designed to introduce students to the theories and methods of the digital humanities, with particular emphasis on digital history. We begin with an overview of DH from its roots post-WWII to the present, and proceed to the emerging practices, theoretical underpinnings and disciplinary paradigms of the young field. In keeping with the digital humanities’ commitment to experimentation, public discourse, and praxis, we will compile a web presence for our seminar that includes blog posts from students that engage with the discussions and readings. A series of tutorials will provide hands-on experience with a range of common digital humanities tools. The seminar will culminate in a final project in which students apply DH methodologies to their own research interests.


HIST 890-005: Digital History: Trends, Challenges and the Future of the Historical Method

Instructor: Duering; 3 credits

A graduate-level survey of digital approaches, methods, tools, and materials. The course will draw examples and illustrations from across historical fields and periods and provide students an opportunity to explore issues of particular relevance to their own subject interests. The course also will use materials relating to World War II as a test bed for highlighting the basic theory and methods of social network analysis (SNA). No prior technical experience or knowledge is required.


INLS 534: Youth and Technology in Libraries

This course encourages students to explore the array of technologies available to children and adolescents, the issues surrounding the use of technology, the role of caregivers, and potential impacts on development.


INLS 550: History of the Book and Other Information Formats

Instructor: Post, 3 credits

The history of the origin and envelopment of the book in all its formats: clay tablets to electronic. Coverage includes scientific and other scholarly publications, religious works, popular literature, periodicals, and newspapers.


INLS 561-001: Digital Forensics for Curation of Digital Collections

Instructor: Woods; 3 credits

Students will learn about hardware, software, principles and methods for capturing and curating digital data that have been stored on removable media (ie: hard drives, floppy disks, USB memory sticks). This course addresses common storage devices and interfaces; write-blocking equipment and its role in acquisition of data; levels of representation; basic file system structures; role and importance of hash values and hex views of bitstreams; software used to conduct forensics tasks; considerations for incorporating forensics into curation workflows; and legal and ethical issues. Students will have the opportunity to use a range of state-of-the-art digital forensics hardware and (commercial and open-source) software and explore ways that they can be applied by information professionals in a variety of collecting contexts.


INLS 620: Web Information Organization

Instructor: Shaw; 3 credits

Prerequisites, INLS 520 or 560. Similar programming background needed. Understand the Web as a platform for information organization systems. Learn how the Web has been designed to be a service platform, data publishing platform, and application platform.


INLS 690-163W: Information Analytics/Introduction to Big Data and NoSQL

Instructor: Rajasekar; 3 credits

Pre-req: INLS 560 or equivalent. The data explosion experienced by computerization of every aspect of our lives from social media to internet of things requires a deeper look at information analytics. The course introduces proven and emerging analytical techniques that can be used to deal with mountains of mostly unstructured data. We will look at several analytical paradigms from Predictive Modeling to Data Mining, Text Analytics to Web Analytics, Statistical Analysis to novel paradigms in Map Reduce and Storm, and from Crowdsourcing to Scientific Workflows. Knowledge of programming is essential.


INLS 690-165: Web Development

An introduction to front-end web development using the latest standards, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is recommended.


INLS 690-172: Usability Testing and Evaluation

Instructor: Capra; 3 credits

This course will introduce central concepts in usability engineering, testing, and evaluation. These include: UX lifecycle, interaction models, contextual inquiry, modeling and task analysis, rapid evaluation and inspection techniques, UX goals and metrics, formal and informal evaluation techniques, usability moderation, test plans, testing environments, analysis, and reporting.


INLS 690-187: Issues in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing claims to be a fundamentally new paradigm in which computing services and resources is migrating from personal computers sitting on a person’s desk (or lap) to large, centrally managed data centers. We will evaluate this claim based on the basic paradigm of cloud computing. Next we will examine the technical characteristics and the business reasons for cloud computing. We will discuss common commercial and open source offerings. Emphasis will be placed on cloud answers to common business computing issues, like scalability of processing and storage, security, relational and other database models. Issues of privacy and security will also be addressed. This will be a reading intensive course, with all material coming from open sources or from the university’s electronic holdings.



INLS 690-189: Social Media and Society

This course examines the increasingly important technologies of connectivity from a theoretical and empirical perspective. We will explore the evolution, implications and complications of social media in multiple spheres of life including sociality, community, politics, power, movements, inequality, education, knowledge, and information. Our emphasis will not be on any one current platform (such as Facebook or Twitter) or even a particular device. Rather, we will study how different configurations of connectivity and technological affordances encourage or stifle different socio‐cultural practices and values. This course will provide conceptual and methodological foundations for studying and evaluating current and future developments in this area. This course evolves every semester and new additions in Spring 2015 will be examining the movement that sprung in Ferguson and its relationship with social media, and the emergent role of algorithms and big data.


INLS 690-207: Community Archiving

Instructor: Anthony; 3 credits

Prerequisite: INLS 556. A number of archivists are advocating for a new, collaborative model of archiving that empowers communities to look after their own records “by partnering professional archival expertise with communities’ deep sense of commitment and pride in their own heritage and identity.” This class will explore the many ideas and issues surrounding this new model by working with a local community group to develop a comprehensive strategy for collecting, describing and maintaining their historical records in both analog and digital formats. The work will be informed by discussion of relevant literature and examination of other community archiving projects.


INLS 690-224: Visual Analytics

This course will provide an overview of Visual Analytics, a topic that combines information visualization and data analysis to support analytical reasoning via highly interactive visual interfaces. The course will review foundational concepts, recent results, and commonly used technologies. The course is project-oriented and will require that students program their own web-based visualization systems using HTML and JavaScript. While no specific courses are considered pre-requisites, students should be competent programmers. Prior experience with web programming (e.g., HTML and JavaScript) is strongly recommended.


INLS 690-226: Digital Humanities

The digital humanities represent a “global, trans-historical, and transmedia approach to knowledge and meaning-making” (Burdick, et al. 2012, vii). They require an investment in interdisciplinarity and collaboration. Through discussion, hands-on activities, and work in small groups, students will learn about key concepts and tools in the digital humanities. Topics may include the definition and histories of DH; archival theory and practice; textuality and electronic scholarly editing; scholarly communication; text mining, analysis, and visualization; encoding, hypertext, and markup; modeling and knowledge representation; the spatial and temporal “turns”; game studies; and new media, mechanisms, and materiality. Overarching themes include social, legal, ethical questions (e.g. privacy, intellectual property, and open access) as well as project planning, management, and sustainability.


INLS 690-227: Mobile Web Development

An introduction to techniques and technologies for the development of mobile websites. Topics include responsive web design, content strategy, performance, and use of mobile frameworks. Basic knowledge of HTML is required, and familiarity with CSS and JavaScript is recommended.


INLS 690-242: Data Sharing Among Scientists

This course will explore different issues related to data sharing among scientists. Students will look at different forms of data in different disciplines, and will learn the roles of data in scholarly research life cycle and research collaboration; relationships between data, data creators, data repositories, and data curators; basic principles of public policies for data and data management.


INLS 690-246: Digital Textual Scholarship: An Introduction to Text Encoding, Text Editing, and Distant Reading

The course will serve as an introduction to a number of problems/research questions in the field of digital textual scholarship. Issues covered include text encoding, digital scholarly editing, the creation of custom corpora, distant reading techniques, and natural language processing. No programming background is required, although we will do some programming in class. By the end of the course, students will have read a number of seminal articles in the field, encoded a text in TEI, created their own custom corpus, and done some basic textual analysis on their corpus.


INLS 690-249: Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues in Archives

Instructor: Anthony; 1.5 Credits

In an increasingly digital world in which researchers expect to find primary source material available to them online, many archivists are concerned about violating intellectual property rights. If I digitize this document and publish it online am I infringing on someone’s copyright? Is social media in the public domain? Does anyone own a Tweet? This course will cover intellectual property rights laws, how these effect the use of materials in archives and the best practices archivists have developed to deal with these issues.


INLS 700: Scholarly Communication

Instructor: Hemminger, 1.5 credits

Addresses how scholarship is communicated, shared, and stored. Includes scholars approach to academic work; social relationships within academia; external stakeholders in the scholarly communication system; and emerging technologies’ impact upon work practices. Topics covered include academic libraries and presses, publishing, serials crisis, open access, peer review and bibliometrics. Offered in the fall



INLS 720-01W: Metadata

Instructor: Feinberg; 3 credits

Examines metadata in the digital environment. Emphasizes the development and implementation of metadata schemas in distinct information communities and the standards and technological applications used to create machine understandable metadata. Explores the limits of metadata standards and critically examines the inevitable role of interpretive diversity for information systems. Our semester-long project will engage the challenge of designing and implementing standards and guidelines for interoperable metadata while acknowledging the messy reality of interpretive diversity.


INLS 728: Seminar in Knowledge Organization Using Classification Theory to Read Information Systems

This seminar will focus on using the conceptual apparatus of classification theory to interpret and “read” information collections that have been arranged and structured by classification systems. Our investigations will not be limited to reading “the library” but will extend to any sort of information system organized by any mechanism for category formation, from social media (for example, Twitter hashtags) to scientific data sets (such as the Encyclopedia of Life), to everyday retrieval devices (like Amazon’s faceted browsing categories). Through our semester’s readings, discussions, and activities, and through your own seminar projects, we will explore how classification theory, as articulated in knowledge organization and related domains, might help us to understand how information systems work as documents to be read: how their structure generates meaning, and how they function as forms of human expression.



INLS 752: Digital Preservation and Access

Focuses on best practices for the creation, provision, and long-term preservation of digital entities. Topics include digitization technologies; standards and quality control; digital asset management; grant writing; and metadata.


INLS 760: Web Databases

Instructor: Capra; 3 credits

Prerequisites: INLS 572 or equivalent, INLS 523 (623 recommended) and programming experience. Explores concepts and practice surrounding the implementation and delivery of Web-enabled databases. Students will gain experience with and evaluate PC and Unix Web database platforms.


INLS 890-186: Making the Humanities Digital

What can you do with digital libraries and archives? This seminar will examine how and why humanist scholars are turning to computational tools to “distantly read” digital texts. Topics to be investigated include: the creation of digital texts, computational methods and tools for the study of digital texts, visualization of textual relationships, interdisciplinary work in the humanities, and critiques of the digital humanities. Implications for libraries and archives and museums will be emphasized throughout.


MEJO 440: Law of Cyberspace

Prerequisite, JOMC 340. Explains legal issues raised by Internet communication and guides students in thinking critically about how those issues can be resolved. Reviews how courts, other branches of government, the private sector, and legal scholars have responded to the Internet. Topics may include digital copyright, net neutrality, privacy, and Internet censorship abroad.


MEJO 449: Blogging, Smart Mobs

For advanced undergraduates through Ph.D. students. Practical and theoretical approaches to understanding, designing, building, and using virtual communities, including studies of network capital, social capital, and social production.


MEJO 491-007: Mobile App Design and Development


MEJO 551: Digital Media Economics and Behavior

The course will focus on the changing economics affecting 21st-century news organizations and the economic drivers of other content providers such as music companies, the film industry, online aggregators, and commerce sites for lessons that can be applied across industry segments.


MEJO 561: Medical and Science Video Storytelling

Students work in teams to produce, shoot, script, and report medical, environmental, and science stories for broadcast on “Carolina Week”, the award-winning, student-produced television newscast.



MEJO 584: Documentary Multimedia Storytelling

Permission of the instructor. Students work on a semester-long documentary multimedia project that includes photo and video journalists, audio recordists, designers, infographics artists, and programmers. Open by application to students who have completed an advanced course in visual or electronic communication.


MEJO 585: 3D Design Studio

Prerequisites, MEJO 187 and 182. Permission of the instructor. The use of 3D design and animation to create visual explanations.


MEJO 586: Intermediate Interactive Media

Prerequisite JOMC 187. Web programming, graphic design, and storytelling for the Web. Students will use HTML5 CSS3, JavaScript, and other Web publishing languages while learning how to design, storyboard, and script an interactive storytelling project. Students will collect and incorporate photos, text, video, graphics, and database information into interactive multimedia presentations.



MEJO 714: Database Web Research

Online research often means going to Google and entering search terms. What strategies might improve the effectiveness of your research? What about authority and timeliness of information? This course answers those questions and others. Enrollment limited to students admitted to Certificate in Technology/Communication program and MEJO graduate students. [?]


MEJO 721-966: Usability and Multimedia

Instructor: Ruel; 3 credits

Introduces students to five basic areas of multimedia design and develops expertise in each. By examining the latest eye-tracking research and usability testing, students will assess the practical application of many concepts. Through critiques and original storyboards, students will work to expertly integrate all this knowledge into well-designed packages.


MEJO 782-001: Multimedia Storytelling

Ruel, 3 credits

Theories and practices of multimedia content creation. Students gain critical understanding of various multimedia presentation methods. Hands-on experience with audio/video collection/editing.



MUSC 676 Digital Media & Live Performance

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Intended for students from various majors, this course provides a foundation in the history, theory, and practice of developing live, technologically-intensive, multimedia performance works. The course analyzes new media masterworks, addresses techniques of interdisciplinary collaboration, and offers workshops in specific software/technology applications.