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alt-Methods: Digital Art History
Course Number: ARTH 851 – 001
Professor: Dr. JJ Bauer, jbauer@email.unc.edu
Course location and time: 116 Hanes Art Center, MW 1:25-2:40 PM
Office Hours: 3-4 MW and by appointment
Course Website (access for registered students only): https://sakai.unc.edu/portal/site/digital-art-history

Course Description:
This course introduces students to current digital art history projects and practices as well as methods for approaching art historical research in new ways. We will explore concepts and case studies in digital art history and the digital humanities, experiment with software and tools, and discuss emerging trends and developments in the discipline as well as professional opportunities.

Course Requirements:
Writing Assignments: Each week students will be asked to use their newly-created WordPress blogs to write a response to one of the week’s assigned readings (approx. 1000 words) and to comment on at least 2 of their peers’ blog posts (approx. 500 words each). For the reading response: What is the thesis/argument/theoretical perspective of the author? What is their background/context as an author/scholar? What is your critical response (pros, cons, can you find examples of projects or scholarship that support or counter the author)? What would you see as a future development for your own work based on this reading? NOTE: As you learn digital tools throughout the course, you will be asked to include examples using those tools to illustrate your response (a word cloud, an annotated video, a timeline, etc.). Since blogging facilitates the free exchange of ideas and raises your visibility as a scholar, you are encouraged to blog publicly under your own name (Speak with the instructor if you have concerns about blogging that lead you to wish to blog under a pseudonym). For the blog comments: What is your peer’s main thesis/argument? Do you agree or disagree, giving examples to support your comment? Grade will constitute: review of a randomly selected group of 3 reading responses and 4 peer comments, e.g. 5 out of the 15 weeks, weighted as 5 parts of the whole grade, each part worth 20 points resulting in a total of 100 points, will post 1 of the five portions every 3 weeks, and will have feedback attached to each portion.

Digital Assignments: At certain points in the course, students will be asked to use their newly-workshopped skills and tools to create digital materials that are limited in scope (usually will be given 1 week to complete the assignment). Since each digital assignment will arise from things learned in class sessions, each assignment will be given a specific set of instructions on the course schedule below. During the final exam period, students will give a 5-minute lightning talk highlighting their best or favorite digital assignment, pointing out why they chose it for their data, how it brought a new dimension to analysis or visualization of that data, where it was lacking also, comparison to one existing digital art history project that could work with this digital process, and how they could propose using it for a larger research project in art history. Grade will constitute: review of each project, 20 points for each assignment and the lightning talk resulting in a total of 100 points, and will have feedback attached to each project.

Class Participation: Faithful attendance and participation in class discussion is essential. This is a reading-intensive and workshop-based course, rather than a research-based course. I expect you to have done the readings in preparation for each meeting and to be able to engage the historical, methodological, and theoretical issues and problems posed by them in discussion at each meeting. I also expect you to come prepared for each workshop as instructed, registering for web-based access, downloading relevant software (free as much as possible, sometimes used in the VRL lab when not), bringing materials to work on, and working in an organized and attentive manner in class. Grade will constitute: review of attendance and professor’s notes on in-class preparedness and participation.

Exams:
This is a graduate seminar with no final exam. The final exam period will be used for presentations of digital projects to the class.

Grades:
Writing Assignments: 40%
Digital Assignments: 40%
Class Participation: 20%

Changes to the syllabus: 
The syllabus will change (with advanced notice) as the instructor deems appropriate, particularly to address student interests and incorporate input from our guest instructors. Changes will not result in a significantly increased workload.

Acknowledgements:
This syllabus was inspired by a number of syllabi, particularly those by Eduardo Douglas, Richard Marciano, Rebuilding the Portfolio, Beyond the Digitized Slide Library, Melissa Bailar and Lisa Spiro.

Schedule with assignments specified:

Week 1: What is Digital Art History?

1/11 (M): Class discussion of the following readings

1/13 (W): Workshop in Class

Writing assignment 1: First blog post: reading response

Week 2: Digitization Basics

1/20 (W): Class discussion of the following readings and resources and scanning workshop (meet in VRL, 214 HAC)

Writing assignment 2: Blog post: reading response, incorporate a digitized image and two peer blog comments

Week 3: Finding, Organizing, and Analyzing Digital Art History Sources

1/25 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

1/27 (W): Workshop in Class

Writing assignment 3: Blog post: reading response, incorporate a review of a third digital resource you have discovered (not on the list) and two peer blog comments

Week 4: Building Digital Collections

2/1 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

2/3 (W): Workshop in Class

Writing assignment 4: Blog post: reading response, include comments on perceived Omeka or Scalar strengths and weaknesses, and two peer blog comments

Digital assignment 1: Created a themed collection of 5 objects (images, video, audio, documents) in Omeka or Scalar with accompanying text description on each object—figure out how to use a website theme, footnote, annotate, link, add metadata and present your objects as a dynamic “exhibition”. Due Thursday of week 5. For the adventurous—you can use your Reclaim Hosting account to download and install a fully functional version of Omeka (.org vs. .net) as well as add plugins like additional website themes and useful tools like Exhibit Builder (Omeka plugins guide available on course website). This can be added to later in the course when we explore tools for mapping (Geolocation plugin), as an example of how you could do more with your own Omeka domain.

Week 5: Beyond the Static Image

2/8 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

2/10 (W): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class: We will be using image, video and audio files in the class. Having learned how to scan and build a collection, you should know how to find examples of these types of files to use, so think about what you might use in class given the Tuesday reading examples (for example, do you have any unidentified images you would like to find more information for? Have you conducted interviews as part of an oral history project?). Register for Thinglink and Google (if you don’t already have a Google account)
  • Find image information using TinEye Reverse Image Search and Reverse Image Search on Google Images
  • Annotate images with Thinglink. Quick demo of imageDiver (still in beta).
  • Annotate video with YouTube (and in Scalar, if you built a collection there)
  • Demo the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer and Animoto and, if time allows, Prezi (example of a great Prezi, Kimon Keramidas’ Scenic Design in Western Theater)

Writing assignment 5: Blog post: reading response, make a brief (30-60 second) video on Animoto and embed in your blog, and two peer blog comments

Week 6: Spatial History part 1: Mapping Places

2/15: Class discussion of the following readings and resources

2/17: Workshop in Class

Writing assignment 6: Blog post: reading response, share your Storymap, and two peer blog comments

Digital assignment 2: Created a more in-depth Google Map with at least 20 locations and multiple layers (including in your pin descriptions links to images, video, audio, websites)—figure out how to share and/or embed your Google Map for the class with a text description of what you are aiming to communicate through your map. Due Thursday of week 7. For the adventurous—you can use the Omeka.net home site and your Reclaim Hosting account to download and install the Geolocation plugin to your Omeka.net site (Omeka plugins guide available on course website) and make your map using that plugin.

Special Day: 2/22 (M), Attend as much as possible of Duke DAH symposium “Apps, Maps and Models: Digital Pedagogy and Research Work in Art History, Archaeology and Visual Studies,” Nasher Museum

Week 7: Data, Which Shall Be Tidy

2/24 (W): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

2/29 (M): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class, read this tutorial on making charts in Excel. We will be using some Tate Gallery data and text for the class.
  • Make a chart using Tate Gallery tabular data in Excel
  • Compare textual data (from any of the sources identified in the readings, HathiTrust or Internet Archive, or Open Library, etc.) using Google N-Gram Viewer and Bookworm
  • Compare more than two texts using Voyant; perform word frequency, corpus grid, corpus summary, and keyword in context analysis. Voyant documentation: http://docs.voyant-tools.org/start/

Writing assignment 7: Blog post: reading response, identify one kind of data you might want to work with and what steps would be needed to get it ready for the appropriate methods of analysis you learned about this week, and two peer blog comments

Week 8: Data Visualization

3/2 (W): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

3/7 (M): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class, register for Viewshare and install the Imagequilts app for Chrome. We will be using some Tate Gallery data and text for the class.
  • Create word frequency visualizations using texts, file uploads, and URLs with Tag Crowd, Bubblelines, Wordle, Viewshare, Palladio.
  • Use the Imagequilts app with a Google image search.
  • Browse through some visualized collection data based on color using Colour Lens and Cooper Hewitt Colors! (uses RoyGBiv)

Writing assignment 8: Blog post: reading response, embed one of your visualizations with a paragraph of text describing your choices, and two peer blog comments.

No Classes 3/9 (instructor at conference), 3/14 and 3/16 (Spring Break)

Week 9: Spatial History part 2: Mapping Time

3/21 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

  • Michael Goodchild, “Combining Space and Time: New Potential for Temporal GIS.” In Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship, ed. Anne Kelly Knowles. Esri Press, 2008. PDF available on course website.
  • Stephen Mamber. “Space-Time Mappings as Database Browsing Tools.” In Media Computing, edited by Chitra Dorai and Svetha Venkatesh, 39–55. The Springer International Series in Video Computing 4. Springer US, 2002. http://tft-ws-p01.it.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/Mamber-Space-Time-Mappings.pdf
  • Mapping sites, Art History Digital Collections Resource List (syllabus supplementary material): Look at the Metropolitan Museum’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Also look at New York Times Interactives, Riding the New Silk Road and Forging an Art Market in China and the BCG course site Media and Materiality (built in Omeka).

3/23 (W): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class, add Google Fusion table functionality to your Google Drive. Fusion Tables documentation: https://support.google.com/fusiontables/?hl=en#topic=1652595. For those using Omeka.net, download and install Neatline. Neatline documentation: http://docs.neatline.org/. Register for TimelineJS. Register for TimeMapper. We will be using both datasets and images/videos in class (either publicly available or from previous class sessions). Possibly add Dipity or Tiki-Toki
  • Use a dataset in Google Fusion Tables. Explore how the dataset can be used in maps and timelines, and how these can be changed depending on which data from the set is highlighted. Can images or video links be added? Can they be annotated?
  • Do the same with Neatline (if you have Omeka.net), TimelineJS or TimeMapper. Again, can images or video links be added? Can they be annotated?

Writing assignment 9: Blog post: reading response, share your Timeline, and two peer blog comments

Digital assignment 3: Created a more in-depth Timeline with at least 20 points in time (including links to images, video, audio, websites and with annotations)—figure out how to share and/or embed your Timeline for the class with a text description of what you are aiming to communicate through your map. Due Thursday of week 10.

Week 10: Network Analysis

3/28 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

3/30 (W): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class, download and install Gephi. Gephi quick-start documentation here: https://gephi.github.io/users/quick-start/. We will be using some Tate Gallery data and text for the class.
  • Plot a simple network using Gephi, Scalar, Palladio and/or Google Fusion Tables.

Writing assignment 10: Blog post: reading response, share your network, and two peer blog comments

Week 11: 3D Visualization/Modeling
Digital assignment 4: Ackland Museum photogrammetry for 3D-modeling, will have time set up on Fridays 4/1, 4/8 and 4/15 during MW course times to photograph Ackland objects. Due Thursday of Week 14.

4/4 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

  • Diane Favro. “In the Eyes of the Beholder: Virtual Reality Re-Creations and Academia.” In Imaging Ancient Rome, edited by Haselberger, Lothar Williams Symposium on Classical Architecture and John H Humphrey, 321–34. Supplementary Series 61. Portsmouth, R.I.: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2006. PDF available on course website.
  • Alessandro E. Foni, George Papagiannakis, and Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann. “A Taxonomy of Visualization Strategies for Cultural Heritage Applications.”  Comput. Cult. Herit.3, no. 1 (July 2010): 1:1–1:21. doi:10.1145/1805961.1805962. PDF available on course website.
  • Christopher Johanson. “Visualizing History: Modeling in the Eternal City.” Visual Resources 25, no. 4 (2009): 403–18. doi:10.1080/01973760903331924. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01973760903331924#.U-4UJPldXTo
  • Brent Nelson, Melissa M Terras, and Lisa Snyder, eds. “Virtual Reality for Humanities Scholarship.” In Digitizing Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture, 395–428. Toronto, Ontario; Tempe, Arizona: Iter : Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance ; ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), 2012. PDF available on course website.
  • Pitukcharoen, Decho. 3D Printing Booklet for Beginners (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2014). http://www.metmuseum.org/~/media/Files/Blogs/Digital%20Media/3DPrintingBookletforBeginners.pdf
  • Jentery Sayers, “Made to Make: Expanding Digital Humanities through Desktop Fabrication,” Made to Make, DH 2013. http://maker.uvic.ca/dh2013/
  • Melvin J. Wachowiak and Basiliki Vicky Karas, “3D Scanning and Replication for Museum and Cultural Heritage Applications,” JAIC 48 (2009), pp. 141-158. http://www.si.edu/content/MCIImagingStudio/papers/scanning_paper.pdf
  • 3D visualization sites, Art History Digital Collections Resource List (syllabus supplementary material): Look at Mapping Gothic France, Digital Sculpture Project, Inscriptions, Digital Karnak, Digital Roman Forum, Digital Hadrian’s Villa, MayaArch3D, Rome Reborn, Smithsonian X3D, and Digital Pompeii.

4/6 (W): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class, download and install Autodesk 123d Catch (iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Windows desktops) and AgiSoft PhotoScan (30-day trial). Sign up for Sketchfab (pro account is free for all .edu email addresses)
  • Demo 123d Catch and PhotoScan with trial photo-sets.
  • Upload a PhotoScan model to Sketchfab and then embed it on your WordPress site.

Writing assignment 11: Blog post: reading response, propose a 3D modeling research project, and two peer blog comments

Week 12: Public Engagement/Crowdsourcing

4/11 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

4/13 (W): Workshop in Class

  • Prior to class, explore GLAMwiki. Create a Wikipedia account.
  • In class we will be doing a mini Hackathon to make one update to a GLAMwiki project request.

Writing assignment 12: Blog post: reading response, propose your own GLAMwiki project, and two peer blog comments

Week 13: Digital Pedagogy

4/18 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

4/20 (W): Workshop in Class

  • Design an in-class exercise and an assignment to include in an undergraduate art history course
  • We will use social media (Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr) to (quickly) create a teaching resource as a group. Keep in mind that tools used in previous workshops can be used to add materials to this resource (annotated images with Thinglink, a timeline, Google maps, etc.).

Writing assignment 13: Blog post: reading response, propose how you might use resources from the pedagogy sites in a course, and two peer blog comments

Week 14: Scholarly Communication, Collaboration, and Framing Research Projects/Best Practices

4/25 (M): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

4/27 (W): Class discussion of the following readings and resources

Writing assignment 14: Blog post: reading response, propose what you would consider the most important factors when planning a DAH project, and two peer blog comments

Final Exam/Lightning Talks: 5/2, 12:00 pm

Supplementary Material to the Syllabus