Minor in Digital Studies

The minor in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History introduces students to computer programming and the use of cutting-edge software tools for representing, exploring, analyzing, and publishing the products of human language and culture. These products range from everyday speech and writing to historical documents and literary texts, and they encompass music and art as well as mundane objects, places, and institutions. The courses in this minor will help students not just to understand and use digital tools but to see digital computing as a cultural activity in its own right—an activity to be studied with respect to its historical development, social setting, cultural impact, and aesthetic qualities, as well as the ethical problems it creates in our increasingly digitized and networked world. This minor does not require a background in mathematics or computing but is designed for students who are majoring in the humanities or humanistic social sciences. It will also be of interest to students majoring in the sciences who want to acquire programming skills in the context of linguistic, cultural, and historical studies.

Requirements for Minor in Digital Studies

Students must take seven courses to complete the minor in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History. They break down as follows:

1. One course in computer programming. Students are encouraged to take DIGS 20001 Introduction to Computer Programming, but the following are acceptable substitutes: CMSC 12100 Computer Science with Applications I, CMSC 15100 Intro To Computer Science-1, CMSC 16100 Honors Introduction to Computer Science I.

2. One course in statistics. Students are encouraged to take DIGS 20002 Basic Mathematics and Statistics for Digital Studies, but STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications is an acceptable substitute.

3. One course in data analysis using the R programming environment: DIGS 20004 Data Analysis for Linguistic, Cultural, and Historical Research. This course has the prerequisite of DIGS 20001 and DIGS 20002 (or equivalent courses in computer programming and statistics).

4. Two courses chosen from the following three courses. Note that each of these has as a prerequisite of DIGS 20001 (or an equivalent introduction to computer programming):

DIGS 20003 Data Management for Linguistic, Cultural, and Historical Research 

DIGS 20005 Data Publication for Linguistic, Cultural, and Historical Research 

DIGS 20006 Natural Language Processing

5. A required seminar course: DIGS 20007 Issues in Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History

6. One elective course approved by the faculty director of the Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History program. This will normally be a course in the humanities or social sciences that entails computational methods or explores the history and cultural significance of digital media or of computation in general. Suitable courses are offered in several different departments and programs.

Note that the particular courses on offer will vary from year to year and some courses may have prerequisites. Examples of potentially suitable courses include:

CMST 25204 Media Ecology: Embodiment & Software
CMST 27110 Digital Cinema
CMST 27815 Introduction to Art, Technology, and Media
CMST 27920 Virtual Reality Production
ENGL 25980 Technorelations: Intimacy, Bodies, Machines  
ENGL 25990 Always Already New - Printed Books & Electronic Texts     
GEOG 20500 Introduction to Spatial Data Science    
GEOG 28201 Intro to Geographic Information Systems 
HIPS 25205 Computers, Minds, Intelligence & Data    
HIST 25415 History of Information
HIST 25425 Censorship, Info Control, & Revolutions in Info Technology from the Printing Press to the Internet
HIST 29523 Data History: Information Overload from the Enlightenment to Google 
LING 28600 Computational Linguistics 
MUSI 26618 Electronic Music I

Advising and Grading

Courses in the minor may not be double counted with the student's major(s), other minors, or general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Students who elect the minor must meet with the program director before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor. The director's approval for the minor program should be submitted to a student's College adviser by the deadline above using a form available from the adviser.

Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History Courses

Found on the course descriptions page.