This course requires a collaborative, inquiry-based project applying non-traditional (and some traditional) humanities research tools to a large data set involving history in a broad sense or more specifically the history of Washington and Lee.  You could use data such as that offered in the Internet Archive to examine a recent event in history or you could use data from a distinctly Washington and Lee source like the Ring Tum Phi to examine how a current event played out on campus or a campus event is depicted in our own media.  Or you could use both sources and compare campus v. non-campus sources.  You could for example do a project on a national event as reflected in the Phi like the assassinations of the 1960s, the Vietnam Conflict, the Civil Rights movement, etc. or the presentation of significant events on campus like coeducation, Mock convention, or the athletics cheating scandal of the 1950s.  We and our lab assistants from the Scholars Lab at UVa will provide plenty of examples in the first week so you have a clearer idea of what a digital humanities project looks like.

Barring a compelling argument on the part of your group, all projects will be done with WordPress as the foundation.  The tools you choose will largely be up to you, but we assume you will make primary use of the ones you learn in lab.  That said, you will use a minimum of four digital humanities tools.  You are required to use Voyant, the Google n-gram viewer (to provide broader context),  and a mapping application of your choice like MApplication.  For your fourth tool, choose one of the many available at from Bamboo DiRT.  Of course, you may use more than four tools.


Proposal – concise proposal of project, including statement of problem, related work, construction of research questions, hypotheses, and methodology; 5-minute lightning talk (10%).

Preliminary Implementation and Analysis – Collection of data; implementation of data mining approach; creation of preliminary results; analysis of preliminary results; thoughts on answers to research questions; decisions about refinements necessary for final implementation (18%).

Final Implementation, Analysis, and Web Presentation – WordPress-based web page or set of web pages containing an introduction to the problem, discussion of the approach and methodology, related work, data and implementation (for others to potentially utilize), the results, and analysis of results (24%).

Poster – Posters are a common format to present your work.  You will create a poster to showcase your work for presentation at the Spring Term festival as well as used in other venues. (5%)

Oral Presentation – Presentation to class and the University’s Digital Humanities Working Group about project and at the Spring Term Festival (8%)

Post-project Analysis – This is the only project deliverable that is an individual submission.  Each student will briefly discuss their experience with the project, including an analysis of the team’s collaboration, what was learned, ideas about future work, and ideas about other DH applications (5%).

Team Projects

Lee Chapel

  • Lenny
  • Ryan
  • Nicole
  • Hollis
Beyond Bowties

  • Kelsey
  • Melissa
  • Christian
  • Patrick

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