Modules 2014-15



Full Year Modules

Michaelmas Term

Hilary Term

Core Modules

Core: Theory and Practice of Digital Humanities (EN7073)

Teaching Staff: Hugh Denard and guest lecturers

Duration: Michaelmas; two hour seminar per week

Aims: This module will survey the field of digital humanities – how computational methods are being used to further humanities research and teaching. It will explore how advanced and experimental computational techniques are being used to challenge and change the very nature of humanities research as well as its system of academic rewards. Areas to be covered include the history of the field, thematic research collections, 3D recreations and the use of virtual worlds; text encoding; digital preservation; how e-lit and e-art are breaking down traditional barriers between disciplines; and how the technologies of datamining and visualization may provide us with more effective ways of sifting through hundreds, even thousands of pieces of information than the methods we currently employ.

Core: Web Technologies (CS7062)

Teaching Staff: Séamus Lawless

Duration: Michaelmas; one hour lecture per week; 16 hours of lab

Aims: The aim of this module will be to explore the foundations of the Worldwide Web. The module will examine the history of the web and the emergence of hypertext and web technologies such as SGML, HTML and XML. Web-based database systems will be covered in addition to web scripting languages such as PHP and programming languages such as Python. This module is deigned to provide Digital Humanities students with an overview of the evolution of the web and hands-on experience of current web technologies. The course will be of interest to those who are interested in the impact of the web on all aspects of society, with a particular focus on the humanities.

Core: Digital Humanities Internships & Project Management (EN7084)

Teaching Staff:

Duration: Hilary; 4 two-hour seminars throughout the term in addition to 6 hours a week of project internship activity throughout the semester

Aims: The aim of this module is to introduce students to practical work experience on digital projects in cultural heritage organizations, libraries, and on TCD-based digital humanities projects. Student will learn the basics of project management and good project planning through the taught elements of the module which will give them the project management skills to carry out their internship projects. Students will be set specific tasks appropriate to the institutions in which they are working agreed upon by the module coordinator and the staff liaison at the Institution during the previous semester.

These projects may range, for example, from writing a scoping document for a specific digital humanities project, to creating a digital exhibition on a specific theme or topic, to writing a best practice whitepaper on a particular technology, digital preservation method, or new digital project idea. This project will be supervised by the module coordinator while each student will be assisted by a local specialist from the project or institution to which the student is attached.

Core: Dissertation (EN7085)

Teaching Staff:

Duration: 500 hours

Aims: Students will begin discussing topics for their dissertations early in Hilary semester and supervisors will be assigned then. Students are expected to complete preliminary bibliographies and dissertation outlines before the end of Hilary term. Dissertations of between 15,000 and 20,000 words in length are due for submission on or before 31 August in a given year. Students will be expected to submit 2 copies of the dissertation which should be typed and bound in accordance with the University guidelines as laid down in the University of Dublin Trinity College Calendar part 2 for Graduate Studies and Higher Degrees section 1.34 for a given academic year.

Optional Modules

Optional: Cyberculture/Popular Culture (EN7022)

Teaching Staff: Brenda Silver

Duration: Michaelmas: two hours a week seminar

Aims: This course will use a wide range of print and electronic texts to interrogate the intersections of cyberculture, popular culture, and postmodern critique. Taking as our starting point the question how or whether the new media have changed our understanding of popular culture, we will look at genres such as cyberpunk, hyperfiction, fan fiction, computer games and their narrative off-shoots (graphic novels; machinima), as well as novels and films that illustrate the process of remediation: the cycling of different media through one another. Topics we will consider include the representations and cultural meanings of the cyborg, the prevalence of techno-orientalism, the creative potential of transformative play and transformative works, and the role of the internet in the creation of a new form of ‘folk’ culture.

Heritage Visualisation in Action (CL7037)

Teaching Staff: Hugh Denard

Duration: Hilary: two hour seminar per week; 11 hours of labs

Aims: This one-semester module will introduce students to a range of visualisation tools, and will explore, through practical workshops, how to use them in methodologically rigorous ways to document, restore and reconstruct artefacts, monuments and sites, as well as to investigate, augment, contextualise and communicate them. The workshops will adopt a problem-based learning approach in which, facilitated by the module tutor, students will work collaboratively to plan and acquire the resources necessary to meet challenges. Through this approach, students will develop knowledge of humanities visualisation, new practical visualisation skills, and their collaborative problem solving capabilities. Using freely available tools, approaches explored will include image editing, 3d modelling, photogrammetry, 3d scanning, digital maps and virtual worlds. For their assessed work, each student will undertake their own, robustly documented, visualisation project. The module assumes no prior experience of visualisation technologies.


Optional: Corpus Linguistics (LI7864)

Teaching Staff: Elaine Uí Dhonnchadha

Duration: Hilary: two hour seminar per week (1/2 lecture and 1/2 hands-on practice in computer lab)

Aims: Corpus Linguistics is a methodology which touches on all aspects linguistics, both theoretical and applied. A corpus consists of a large body of language samples which is held electronically in text, audio or video form. Corpora can be used to provide evidence for linguistic research (in syntax, morphology, stylistics, pragmatics etc.), they can be used to generate authentic language teaching materials and language testing materials, and they are widely used in the generation and testing of natural language processing tools. This course will introduce students to the principles of corpus design and annotation. Students will gain experience of using a variety of existing corpora as well as having the opportunity to create and automatically annotate their own corpus.

NB: it is recommened that this option be taken by students with a background in linguistics.

Optional: Computational Theories of Grammar and Meaning (LI7873)

Teaching Staff: Carl Vogel

Duration: Hilary: two hour seminar per week (3/4 lecture and 1/4 hands-on practice with the formal tools)

Aims: The course expands on an earlier module which provides mathematical foundations for linguistic theory, particularly computational linguistics: formal syntax, formal semantics, computational morphology. The course aims to (i) extend participants’ abilities to describe natural language phenomena as computationally oriented grammars that model natural language parsing, generation, and construction of semantic representation in a deductive logical setting; (ii) apply the tools of formal language theory to analysing the syntactic complexity of human languages in its syntax and morphology with reference to ramifications for human language processing; (iii) develop skill in grammar development for extensive fragments of natural language encompassing important syntactic domains: complex noun phrase structure, relative clauses, arguments and adjuncts, embedding verbs, topic focus constructions and questions.

NB: it is recommened that this option be taken by students with a background in linguistics.

Optional: From Metadata to Linked Data (CS7063)

Teaching Staff: Owen Conlan, Séamus Lawless, Carl Vogel, Postdoctoral teaching assistants from the School of Computer Science and Statistics

Duration: Hilary: 2 one hour lectures per week; 16 hours of labs

Aims: The aim of this module will be to explore the theories, methods, and tools to create a technology-enabled, ‘distant’ approach to reading. Distant reading, a term coined by the Stanford-based Literary critic, Franco Moretti, relies on computational methods to generate abstract models to ‘read’ large textual corpora. In his2006 article entitled ‘What do you do with a Million Books’, Greg Crane gave the digital humanities community a shorthand for reading in the modern age. His article points toward a number of exciting possibilities for a paradigm shift in humanities scholarship but realising this ambition has proven more difficult than theorising it. The methods explored in this module offer the potential to interconnect the knowledge in large textual corpora by relating people, places, events and themes. This technology offers unprecedented power to investigate textual material to begin to realise the vision of distant reading.

Optional: Programming for Digital Media (CS7025)

Teaching Staff: Glenn Strong, Merial Huggard

Duration: Full year module spanning both Michaelmas and Hilary Terms
Michaelmas: 11 one-hour lectures, 22 hours lab, 20 hours assignments
Hilary: 11 one-hour lectures, 11 two-hour lectures, 22 hours lab, 20 hours assignments

Aims: Michaelmas: Students with no programming background will be given the knowledge and confidence to tackle small-scale programming projects using the JavaScript language. The emphasis on browser-based programming examples means that students will also be familiar with many typical techniques for producing interactive effects in web-based applications. Students will also be aware that the core programming techniques can be applied to other programming languages, and are therefore prepared for technologies introduced on later courses on the degree programme.

Hilary: Students will understand the five-layer model used to structure network software, and will understand the issues at each level of the stack. Students will be sufficiently proficient in an industry standard server-side School of Computer Science and statistics ECTS Module Descriptor programming language (e.g.PHP), building on their experience in the first part of the course. Students will also be able to use SQL to build and query simple database systems. Students will understand issues around data validation and security in networked applications.

NB: it is recommened that this option be taken by students with a background in computer science.

Optional: Visualising the Past (CL7036)

Teaching Staff: Hugh Denard

Duration: Michaelmas: 2 hour seminar

Aims: This module will explore how computer-generated images, digital models, and virtual worlds are being used to change and augment both research questions, processes and publications in humanities disciplines — including archaeology, architectural history, classics, history and theatre studies — and the representation of the past in museums, games and screen media — from historical documentaries to Hollywood films. Each week we will choose one specific subject area or sector, examining case studies to identify and understand their digital visualisation methods, and probing their economic, ethical, epistemological, methodological, professional, technical and wider social and cultural implications. We will use an international guideline — the London Charter for the Computer-based Visualisation of Cultural Heritage — as a framework for both planning and evaluating visualisation projects. The module will include a number of practical labs, in which students will be introduced to freely-available visualisation tools.