Course Details

Location: Presidents Hall 210
Time: 3:30-5:50pm Tuesdays

Contact Information:

Your learning in this course depends on your participation. Please let me know in advance if you cannot make class. If your semester goes sideways, please talk to me early and often so that I can best support you.

You can reach me by email at any point – I will respond within 24 hours M-F and within 48 hours over the weekend.

I will also be in my office from 1:30 to 3pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and you are welcome to stop by to chat about class, DH, navigating the university, about most anything.

You can make an appointment for a guaranteed block of time using Microsoft Bookings –

Course Description

This cross-disciplinary course introduces students to the theoretical concerns and methods of the digital humanities by examining how those methods have been applied to the study of religion and beyond. Students will consider the affordances and limitations of computational technologies for the study of culture, while gaining a range of technical skills. Students do not need a background in computing or religious studies.


I will keep track of your assignments in Blackboard, so that you have a view of due dates and your grades as we work through the semester.

We will also be using two web platforms for this course:

You will receive an invitation to create an account in WordPress at the beginning of the course. Please be on the look out for this email invitation and contact me promptly if you have trouble.

We will create our Scalar accounts halfway through the semester.

Primary Texts

Lupi, Giorgia, and Stefanie Posavec. Observe, Collect, Draw!: A Visual Journal. Illustrated edition. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2018. (Purchase at the bookstore or online.)

Drucker, Johanna. The Digital Humanities Coursebook: An Introduction to Digital Methods for Research and Scholarship. London: Routledge, 2021. (Available as PDF through Blackboard.)

Course Objectives

This course will focus on the following:

  • introducing students to the theories and methods of the digital humanities
  • introducing students to the ethics of acquiring, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data within the context of religious studies
  • providing students opportunities to apply theories and methods from digital humanities to religion “data”
  • presenting data as contested, complex, and ethically charged

Student Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to be able to do the following by the end of the course:

  1. Identify and Produce data for the study of religion in culture
  2. Describe digital objects in terms of data, analysis, and presentation
  3. Develop technical skills for creating digital objects
  4. Create a digital essay
  5. Reflect on their work and learning

Assignments and Grading

  1. Weekly Assignments: 20 points

  • Readings Journal: 10 points

    • Writing good reading notes is a necessary skill and since we have multiple essays for each class, it will help you keep your ideas organized.
    • Details on what the entries should include will be posted on Blackboard.
    • I will check your reading journals 3 times over the semester. Please bring them to class on the following days:
      • September 20
      • October 25
      • November 29
  • Participation: 10 points

    • Your participation grade reflects attendance, engagements in class, and completion of various additional tasks of the course.
  1. Skills Labs: 20 points

Throughout the semester there will be 10 lab assignments, due the Friday after class. These will build on the skills or concepts that we discuss on Tuesday. Details for the labs will be posted on WordPress and Blackboard before the Tuesday class.

We have a busy semester, so to give you a little flexibility, you have two free passes. Full points will be given if 8/10 labs are submitted and are complete.

  1. Data Diaries: 20 points

(Due Friday, September 23)

The challenge with digital humanities is we have to start thinking about the world in terms of data, which can be a stretch for those of us who are used to working in the world of texts and ideas. But seeing data is not necessarily something that needs a computer. Rather, it is a way of observing yourself and the things around you.

Using Observe, Collect, Draw!, you will complete three guided activities of your choice. The only constraint is that they need to be of different time durations. Details will be posted.

  1. Dataset and Datasheet: 20 points

(Due Friday, October 21)

In preparation for your final project, your second project is to create a dataset for investigating a research question related to religion and culture. Details will be posted.

  1. Final Project – Digital Essay in Scalar: 30 points

(Due Thursday, December 8)

Your final project will be a digital essay, posted in Scalar, that uses your dataset and the digital methods that we go over in class to explore your research question. Details will be posted.

Grading Policy

I grade on completion of the assignments, so you will earn full points if you fulfill all of the requirements on time. Each assignment will include a self-evaluation.

I give additional points for work that exceeds expectation and I take your self-evaluation into consideration.

I want you to achieve the learning outcomes of the course, so the assignments and my feedback are focused on helping you develop the skills you need to succeed.

Final Grading Scale

Total Points Letter Grade
100+ A+
92-100 A
90-92 A-
88-90 B+
82-88 B
80-82 B-
78-80 C+
72-78 C
70-72 C-
68-70 D+
62-68 D
60-62 D-
< 60 F

Elasticity Statement

I will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, I reserve the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, I will notify you in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for you to adjust to any changes.