The University of Chicago's Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History curriculum introduces students to computer programming and the use of cutting-edge software tools for representing, exploring, analyzing, and publishing the products of human language and culture. These products range from everyday speech and writing to historical documents and literary texts, and they encompass music and art as well as mundane objects, places, and institutions. The courses in this program will help students not just to understand and use digital tools but to see digital computing as a cultural activity in its own right—an activity to be studied with respect to its historical development, social setting, cultural impact, and aesthetic qualities, as well as the ethical problems it creates in our increasingly digitized and networked world.
Why Digital Studies?
There is a growing demand for certification in the broadly defined field of digital humanities. There are job opportunities for students who have a background in the humanities, linguistics, or the arts, and who also have training in computer programming and the use of software tools for the study of language, culture, and history.
The University of Chicago's Digital Studies of Language, Culture, and History program is both technical and humanistic. The goal of the curriculum is to supply students not just with training in computational concepts and methods in the abstract, but also with examples of research and publication across the humanities in which digital techniques have been applied. So equipped, graduates of the program will be empowered to facilitate traditional kinds of work; to detect patterns that may stimulate new insights; and to reflect critically on digital computation itself and its meaning in our culture.
The M.A. in Digital Studies is a stepping stone to a number of different careers that require a combination of computing skills and training in the humanities—training that fosters much-needed skills in writing and critical thinking. Graduates of this program would be eligible for non-academic jobs in software development or software-related marketing, communications, and technical writing; they may pursue doctoral studies in order to apply their computational skills to research and teaching in the humanities; or they may take on an academic support role in digital humanities at a college, university, or cultural institution.