Student reading

Digital Humanities Courses at KU

The IDRH does not offer courses or a certificate program, but through the active digital humanities community at KU, students can find courses and seminars to support their interests across the disciplines.

Spring 2023

Composing Communities: Literacies of Lawrence

ENG 102 | MWF 10:00 – 10:50 AM; 11:00 – 11:50 AM
Zachary Smith, PhD Student, Rhetoric and Composition

What does it mean to be part of a community? How is community created? Why does community matter? Composing Communities: Literacies of Lawrence employs community-engaged research methods, digital rhetorics, and rhetorics of space and place to help students explore Lawrence through diverse, interdisciplinary perspectives. Utilizing field observations, archival research, database inquiry, and ethnographic study, course participants will be challenged to move beyond seeing themselves simply as "student," but also as "citizen," "community member," and "researcher." In these different roles, we will be creating narratives or ‘braided essays,’ producing zines and collages, and analyzing public discourse alongside community spaces to recognize how communicative acts create publics and counterpublics, shape contemporary understandings of place, and ultimately impact the ways in which different individuals experience Lawrence.

History, Ethics, Modernity

HIST 337 | Asynchronous, March 20 – May 12
Dr. Elizabeth MacGonagle, Associate Professor, Departments of History and African & African-American Studies

This course will examine how human dignity is preserved and violated in the modern age. Cast in a global framework, themes may include the history of human rights; the moral universe of health and wellbeing; narratives of genocide and collective resistance; the shifting status and treatment of the poor and the colonized; and the impact of changing technology on ethics in medicine and science.  Fulfills KU Core Goal 5.1:

Transatlantic Hispanic Cultures

SPAN 346 | MW 3:00 – 4:15 PM
Dr. Ninel Valderrama Negrón, Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Department

This course offers an overview of the history of Hispanic cultures, focusing on political, economic, social, and artistic developments from pre-contact times to the present. It examines the field of Hispanic Studies or “Hispanism”, with an emphasis on the historical and cultural bonds between Spain and Latin America, otherwise known as the “Hispanic Atlantic.” Drawing from this perspective, the course combines a panoramic and chronological history of Hispanic cultures with an analysis of specific Hispanic cultural product from an interdisciplinary methodology using literary analysis, visual analysis, historiographical criticism, textual analysis, and digital humanities. Understanding social and cultural practices in Spanish-speaking nations requires an understanding of issues relating to race, gender, and sexuality. These topics are examined in this course in light of how they are portrayed in popular culture materials including novels, magazines, movies, and songs.

Topics In Western History: Digital/Public History

HIST 501 | T 4:00 - 6:30 PM
Dr. David Trowbridge, William T. Kemper Associate Research Professor in Digital and Public Humanities in the Department of History, UMKC

The course offers an introduction to public history with an emphasis on digital resources and media. Students in this class will explore skills, tools, methods, and platforms that historians are utilizing around the world to support their research and engage the public. Each week, students will explore the potential of new technology to support their goals as they produce and publish work that connects the public to well-researched histories that explore places, people, and events. Students will receive a basic introduction to various skills and tools that can help them build their final projects, including recording audio and video and publishing content to the web. Applying these skills, students will create a project of their choice in consultation with their instructor. Examples of potential projects include building a website, creating a virtual tour of a museum or historical site, producing a podcast, and authoring a digital walking tour. With the mentorship of the instructor and the support of their classmates, students will produce an individual digital project while also contributing to a shared class project.

In place of traditional assignments like exams and papers, students will produce projects of their choosing using a variety of free technologies. All material is provided, and no computer, audio, or video experience is needed.

Keys to success in this course include research and writing skills, a collaborative spirit, discipline and self-direction, and a willingness to try new things and work together as part of a team.


Digital Humanities for (Art) Historians

Spring 2022
HA706/906 | Tuesdays 2:30pm-5:00pm 
Dr. Maya Stiller, Department of History of Art

This seminar is a collaborative exploration of the Digital Humanities. In addition to theoretical readings that will expose us to various conceptualizations of the field, we will draw on the community of scholars at the University of Kansas and beyond to learn about current work in the field as well as teaching and research resources and tools, including DH applications for non-specialists. The approach will be project-based and inductive, meaning that you will be sharing with the class as you learn. Participants will develop DH projects to present at an end of-semester symposium. Hands-on workshop sessions will include the building of digital collections and virtual exhibitions, the use of data cleaning programs and APIs, the mapping of sites, 3D imaging, and network analysis. We will work with digital tools such as Omeka, StorymapJS, ArcGIS, Palladio, Qlone, Thinglink, and Gephi.This graduate seminar will include instruction in and discussion of appropriate research conduct and research misconduct; authorship, publication, plagiarism, copyright; peer review; and professional practices

Human-Machine Communication (HMC)

Spring 2022
COMS 930 | Thursdays 4:30-7:15pm
Dr. Cameron W. Piercy, Department of Communication Studies

HMC marries research from human-robot interaction (HRI), human-computer interaction (HCI), human artificial intelligence interaction (HAII), computer science, and other fields to emphasize the importance of communication in all human-machine processes. HMC values all types of machine interaction (e.g., with robots, artificial intelligences, algorithms, and more). HMC scholarship centers on communication encouraging researchers to focus on how relationships between humans and machine partners unfold through social processes, perceptual dynamics, and interaction. HMC, thus, represents the site of meaning making for both human and machine communication partners.

This course surveys this emerging field to tackle the humanistic, ontological, epistemological, and empirical questions about how humans and machines interact. The course will survey what is known about HMC processes across domains (e.g., journalism, political communication, interpersonal communication, etc.). For the Spring 2022 semester, COMS930 students will have access to a $1,000 pool of research funds from the Institute for Digital Humanities Research (IDRH) to support completed team projects. Students from across disciplines are invited to join and tackle the complex HMC processes emerging in their own research areas and using any method. 


Digital Storytelling in the Borderlands / La Frontera

Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (CLACS): LAA 302 | LAA 602
Women’s, Gender & Sexualities Studies (WGSS): WGSS 396 | WGSS 701
Tuesday & Thursday 4 - 5:15pm

Dr. Sylvia Fernández

This course will provide students the opportunity to explore diverse ways to tell new stories, shed light on counter-stories and create digital spaces to produce and share their knowledge about physical, geopolitical, metaphorical and/or personal borders incorporating postcolonial digital humanities practices and tools.

This course will be taught asynchronously (via chat & written responses) and synchronously (during video conference & virtual workshops).

The course meets every Tuesday & Thursday 4 - 5:15pm. Cross-listed under: Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (CLACS): LAA 302 | LAA 602 Women’s, Gender & Sexualities Studies (WGSS): WGSS 396 | WGSS 701

Registration is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. For more information about this course, please contact Prof. Sylvia Fernández at

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Introduction to African Digital Humanities

Fall 2019 | AAAS 323

Dr. James Yeku

How does the intersection of traditional humanistic inquiry and digital technologies play out in the context of African studies? African digital humanities will examine this important question, alongside the ways in which African cultural producers, especially literary writers, incorporate digital technologies and methods into their work. While reflecting on how writers and critics experiment with digital media, we will be interested in the Internet as the medium of the digital cultural record, connecting our scholarly engagements with it to the nature and limits of digital platforms, the politics of representations and knowledge production in the digital humanities, as well as to questions on the nature and uses of digital archives. The focus on digital archives will allow us to to use specific examples such as the University of Kansas Collection of the Onitsha Market literary pamphlets to read and understand the ways in which digitized contents of extant Africanist texts and documents shape the digital cultural record, decentering the hegemony of the Global North as the locus of pedagogical and theoretical work in the digital humanities. Students will also engage in digital textual analyses of literary works in digital formats, while analyzing and responding to literary works and cultural forms that are circulated via social media and other digital locations. Course materials include print, digital and hybrid publications by Adichie, Cole, Equiano, Nwaubani, and several writers in the Onitsha Market Literature tradition.

Digital Cavendish

Fall 2019 | PHIL 400

Dr. Marcy Lascano

A project-based class in philosophy? Yes! This course is a class in philosophy and digital humanities.

We will have three goals: (1) to mount an open access, searchable, user friendly text of Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1663). In doing so, we will discuss (2) the philosophical issues concerning the availability of 17th century women’s philosophical works and its connection to the marginalization of women’s works in the philosophical canon. We will also discuss issues in digital humanities as they relate to our choices in mounting this text for public and scholarly consumption. Finally, (3) we will study Cavendish’s work and evaluate it in context of the development of her vitalistic materialistic monism.

All students will also work on a final digital humanities project involving either the philosophical issues involved in open access text/recovery of women’s writing and/or on the philosophical content of the Cavendish text.

No prior technical skills are required.

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Feminist Digital Archives

Fall 2018 | ENG 590/790

Dr. Whitney Sperrazza

This course will work at the intersection between archival research and feminist digital methods and critique. We will take as our focus just one item from the Spencer Research Library archive, a seventeenth-century manuscript recipe and herbal book written by a woman named Elizabeth Dyke. Over the course of the semester we will digitize and mount a digital exhibit of the book, with additional context from our readings and our work in the Spencer archives. Our work with Dyke’s recipe book will be scaffolded by substantive readings in feminist digital practices and critique, speculative archival methods, manuscript studies, and seventeenth-century theories of reading and commonplacing. This course is taught on MW from 11am - 12:15pm by Dr. Whitney Sperrazza. The class will be held in the Spencer Research Library.

Digital Literary Studies

Fall 2018 | HUM 300 | ENG 342

Dr. Dhanashree Thorat

This course traces the shifting landscape of literary studies in a digital age. In investigating this “encounter” between the digital and the literary (as Alan Liu puts it), we consider the changing nature of the literary ‘text,’ and digital methods for studying traditional and new media texts. Students will focus on two major digital methods (GIS mapping and computational analysis), and three emergent forms and genres (hypertext, archive, and e-literature). Our corpus constitutes of a set of texts drawn from multi-ethnic U.S. literature and world literature, and we will examine how digital approaches to these texts can animate studies on race, gender, diaspora, migration, and globalization. This course is taught on MW from 12:30pm - 1:45pm by Dr. Dhanashree Thorat and it will be held in the DH Studio in Watson Library.

Methods In Digital Humanities: Data, Ethics, and Social Justice

Spring 2019 | HUM 545 | ENG 590

Dr. Dhanashree Thorat

In this age of big data and datafication, we are not only witnessing vast amounts of data being produced every day but also the quantification of all facets of human life. What are the ethical implications of datafication? How do we draw on data science to do social justice work? This course pursues these questions by taking up black, postcolonial, and feminist approaches to studying datafied societies, and in working with data. We will balance practicums on data analysis (with a focus on geospatial data, social media data, and archival data) with theoretical and interdisciplinary readings on data science and data ethics. The practical aspects of the course will introduce students to processes involved in data collection, analysis, and visualization. Our readings may cover algorithmic bias, decolonial computing, black data & geographies, and feminist visualization.

Prior technical skills are not expected, and students from all disciplines are welcomed. Graduate students may register with a different course number.

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Digital Approaches to Early Women Writers

Spring 2018 | HUM 300 | ENGL 301

Dr. Whitney Sperrazza

The class focuses on women writers in England between 1550 and 1700, and how these writers engaged with topics like gender, class, race, and power. Students will adopt emerging digital humanities practices for reading and analyzing texts. The class meets Tuesday/Thursday from 2:30pm - 3:45pm in Watson Library.

Methods in Digital Humanities

Spring 2018 | HUM 500 | ENGL 590 | HON 492

Dr. Dhanashree Thorat

The course introduces advanced undergraduate and graduate students to interdisciplinary methods and practices in DH, and explores topics such as data mining, digital mapping, data visualization, and digital cultural studies. The class meets on Mondays/Wednesdays from 3:00pm – 4:15pm in Watson Library, and is open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

Ecocritical Digital Humanities

Spring 2018 | ENGL 690

Dr. Stephanie Fitzgerald

Storytelling with Digital Media

Spring 2018 | FMS 355

Dr. Germaine Halegoua

In this course, students will utilize digital tools and platforms to create online and mobile stories based on the theories and histories of interactive storytelling discussed in class. Through a survey of digital storytelling examples and concepts, students will create interactive projects to add to their portfolio and learn how to think critically and write analytically about digital media.

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The Russian Novel through the Digital Humanities: Decentering Russia through Tolstoy’s War and Peace

Fall 2016 | SLAV 512

Dr. Ani Kokobobo

In this course we rely on several DH visualization tools to challenge conventional views of the canon and foreground Russia’s regions.

Funded by the IDRH with a Digital Humanities teaching grant.

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Older Courses


Introduction to Graduate Studies, Dr. Bruce Hayes (teaching grant)

American Literature I, Dr. Laura Mielke (teaching grant)


Introduction to Graduate Studies, Dr. Stephanie Fitzgerald (teaching grant)

Advanced German I, Dr. Nina Vyatkina (teaching grant)


Manzoni in the Digital Age, Dr. Crystal Hall (teaching grant, course website)

The Digital Shakespeare, Jonathan Lamb (teaching grant)

Infomania: Harnessing information in the digital age (teaching grant)

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