(Worth 30% of your grade; due on December 17)
Your biggest assignment in this course is an individual digital humanities project, which you will design and develop during the second half of the semester. In order to accommodate the personal interests and goals of everyone in class, I have left the topic and medium for your final project almost completely open-ended. As long as you can demonstrate a connection to the ideas, methods, and tools we have explored in class, I will happily approve your proposal. I will negotiate the details of the final project with each of you in a personal conference, which will lead to a memorandum of understanding that will govern your work on the assignment. Along the way, you will present an early draft of your project to your classmates and deliver a 10-minute oral presentation about what you’ve created.
As you select a topic and a set of tools for this project, try to follow the Goldilocks principle: your project should be substantive enough to keep you busy through the remainder of the semester, but not so big that you find yourself overwhelmed by the various tasks you’ll need to complete. For example, running a single book through a text analysis program and writing a blog post about your findings would be far too simple for a project of this size and scope. On the other hand, attempting to digitize the complete works of your favorite author and compile them into a searchable, interactive website would be far too ambitious. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find a realistic option that stretches you a bit, but not to your breaking point. Before you begin your work, I’ll help you determine what is and isn’t doable during the time we have available to work on this assignment.
The only “official” requirement for this assignment is that your finished project must be published on the internet by the end of the semester. What that means might vary greatly from student to student, but you should be prepared to share a link to your project with your classmates and the broader digital humanities community once you have submitted it for evaluation.
On either December 3rd or 8th, you will have 10 minutes to share your project with your classmates. You may use this time however you like — slide presentation, website tour, interactive software demo, etc… Although the format of these presentations is flexible, they are presentations, so don’t just wing it. Whatever approach you take, please make sure you prepare something.
To submit your project, you’ll write a short memo (one page is fine; no more than two pages, please) that describes the work you have done, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of your project, explains any deviations you made from your original proposal, and (if applicable) addresses your plans for continuing your work on the project after the semester ends. Your memo should contain a link to the finished project, and it should be uploaded to your shared Google Drive folder (in Google Docs format) no later than Thursday, December 17, at 1:05 p.m. (our university-scheduled final exam time). If you would like me to consider early drafts or any other supporting materials as I evaluate your project, please upload them to your Google Drive folder and make sure they are clearly labeled.
- October 6th and 7th: individual conferences with Quinn
- October 15th: Project proposal (1–2 pages) due;
- November 10th: Web hosting/publishing details finalized
- November 19th: Early draft of project due
- December 3rd and 8th: In-class presentation (10 minutes)
- December 17th: Final draft of project due
I will evaluate your project using the following criteria:
- Does your project attempt to make an original contribution to the field of digital humanities?
- Is your project presented in such a way that it can be understood and/or used by those who were not previously familiar with your topic, tools, or methods?
- Does your project cite all relevant sources, tools, and inspirations, giving credit where credit is due?
- Does your memo clearly describe the purpose of your project, honestly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your work, and thoughtfully reflect on your research, writing, and/or coding processes?
- Do all materials adhere to the conventions of standard written English (i.e., spelling, punctuation, grammar) and show attention to detail?