Annually Listed DIGH Electives 2020-21

(last updated June 25, 2020)

These courses are available to Digital Humanities students with special permission. Please contact the DH Coordinator for more information. More courses may be added as they become available. Please note that modes of delivery will depend on public health orders and the progression of COVID-19.


ALDS 5905: Special topics in applied linguistics and discourse studies: Methods in Corpus Linguistics
Summer 2020, July-August

ALDS 5408: Critical Discourse Analysis
Winter 2020
Discourse in the structuring of social and cultural change and in a wide range of contexts such as the media and education.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

ANTH 4225B/ANTH 5708W: Experiments in Ethnography
Winter 2021
Instructor: Marie-Eve Carrier-Moisan
In this course, students will explore examples of experiments in ethnography beyond what is considered the more conventional approach (i.e. fieldwork + notetaking + textual analysis = ethnography). They will discuss emergent, experimental, multi-modal ethnographies involving sound and audio-ethnography; comics and the use of ethnography in graphic form; fiction, visual and digital modes, etc. As part of this course, students will also experiment with alternative modalities for “doing and telling” anthropology.

ENGL 5900F Selected Topic in English Studies I “The Future of Literature”
Instructor: Sarah Brouillette

CLMD 6105B/FILM 5107W: Issues in the Technologies of Culture: Topics in Film History
Instructor: Aboubakar Sanogo. Please also register in CLMD 6105BF (screening)

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore theories, histories, and practices pertaining to the archival, with the moving image as its point of entry and focus, while in conversation with other relevant media and fields concerned with the archival (museums, libraries, etc.). It will revisit some of the most important theories of the archival along with lesser-known ones. It will critically retrace the history of the moving image archiving movement. It will also explore the major debates and issues pertaining to archival practice including safeguarding, preservation, restoration, heritage, collecting, cataloging, access, curating and programming, policy, copyrights, the analog vs digital, etc. Potential contributors may include both Canadian and international archival institutions, organizations and projects: Library and Archives Canada, the Library of Congress and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and affiliates, etc.

CLMD 6103W/ENGL 5002W: Issues of Cultural Mediation and Representation: Pandemic Persuasions, Passions, Politics
Instructor: Stuart Murray

This course aims to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through critical readings of theoretical and cultural texts. How might we read the (non)representational practices that surround death in the context of COVID-19? Aesthetic or anaesthetic, ours is a time when death is quietly cultivated and calculated by sacrificial economies and the rhetorics of war: there is a certain threshold of death that would seem to be socially and politically tolerable in the re-opening of global economies. This differential power is summed up by Foucault as the power to “make live and let die.” Crucially, those we “let die” stand in relation to the lives that we “make live”; dying is the bloody secret of life, even as “letting die” is disavowed, refused, or quietly refigured as the collateral damage of an “invisible enemy.” Whether it is “slow death” (Berlant) wrought by racism and austerity, fast death in the digital mediascape and lonely I.C.U., or more coordinated ways of “letting die,” including war and ethnic/racialized violence, these deaths nevertheless speak to and belie what Pope Francis has recently called our “throwaway culture.” Will COVID-19 change this?

This is not a course on memory studies or memorialization or trauma and witnessing. And this is for two reasons. First, and practically, our texts are more diverse and less disciplinary. We will read from high theory and literature to YouTube – an eclectic selection from philosophy, political theory, black studies, and cultural studies, among others, alongside select works of literature, social media metastases, and not least, the “joke” of the pandemic and our responses to it, from public health initiatives and state violence to a protest culture that is critical of lockdowns and seems driven by a ragtag group of anti-vaxxers, Trumpian conservatives, radicalized libertarians, and Traditionalists (to use Steve Bannon’s term). Second, and more ideologically, this course will argue that the study of (non)representational practices in the relationship between death and speech/writing will permit an oblique but trenchant critique of identity politics, liberalism (including its “humanitarian” guises), and the hypostatizations of possessive individualism, ego, self, interiority. To what extent are these forms of subjectivity false idols and tools of subordination, all the while packaged as freedom and “life itself”?

A more speculative question emerges: what is the possibility for community that is not tied to identity categories and to its rituals of representation, be they memory, memorialization, witnessing, or confession? Is there community post-identity or post-COVID? Or, said another way, is there a form of speech/writing that is not tethered to – sanctioned, policed, and in some cases prohibited by – our great idols: identity and “life”?

CLMD 6105F/MUSI 5008F/DIGH5902G: Issues in the Technologies of Culture:
Instructor: Paul Théberge
The course is initially framed by a broad understanding of technology as cultural and social practice; issues discussed include technology and its relationship to science, philosophy, objective/subjective knowledge, economy and ideology. The course then turns to a consideration of the inter-related histories of cinema and sound, music and sound carriers, video games and computers. Issues of innovation, representation, textuality, gender, and social networks are discussed in relation to music, sound, image, and digital technologies. Urban and virtual worlds as visual and aural spaces and spaces of consumption, the construction time and space, infrastructures and ecology, and the technologization of the body are also considered.
Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time.

COMS 5225: Critical Data Studies
Instructor: T. Lauriault

Theoretical debates, research approaches and discursive regimes pertaining to the datafication of everyday life, data and living environments, and the quantified control of the future. Emphasis on the production of databased knowledge and the influence data have on the material and social world.


ALDS 4906: Affordances of Digital Technologies and Online Spaces in Teaching and Learning
Winter 2020
This course will introduce students to the theoretical underpinnings of teaching and learning online. A focus on Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and general education will help lay a foundation for understanding and evaluating the intricate and interdisciplinary nature of theory and research in this niche domain. Students will experience several online learning environments and digital tools. They will be expected to critically evaluate and reflect on the effectiveness of these tools and environments based on the needs of perspective users and by demonstrating a connection to theory. The course seeks to complement existing course offerings in ALDS, CTESL, Digital Humanities, and from the domains of education, CALL and online learning.

DIGH 4002 / ENGL 4125: Digital Culture and the Text I  
Topic: “Technology and Dystopia”
Instructor: Brian Greenspan
A survey of utopian narratives about media and technology.

This seminar will explore the role of technology in utopian and dystopian thought and expression. We will examine both new and old technological media in relation to literary narratives, intentional communities, networked media, social movements, digital platforms and games, progressive politics and popular subcultures, in order to determine how technological change (both real and imagined) continue to inspire utopian hope and shape communal identities. We will also explore new tools for textual and cultural analysis, simulation, and modeling in order to evaluate the discourses (whether hopeful or apocalyptic) that attend these new literary and scholarly media, and to better understand the history and future of the utopian genre.

HIST 4606A: Contemporary Europe: From Postwar to the European Union
Topic: “Populism and Authoritarianism in Contemporary Europe”
Instructor: Jen Evans
Please contact Prof. Evans for more information.

HIST 4916A: Topic in Public History
Topic: “Museums and Digital History”
Instructor: Shawn Graham

How do museums and other organizations in the ‘GLAM’ sector (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) keep track of their collections? To what purpose? What might happen if we release these collections into the wild (via the internet)? If we mash these collections together what might we see, and why might it matter? Where are the dangers – and to whom could it be dangerous?