Digital humanities

Maintained by: David J. Birnbaum ( [Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported License] Last modified: 2022-12-30T18:13:57+0000

Standing assignments

Beginning once project teams have been formed (toward the end of the first month of the semester) weekly homework will include postings to GitHub Issues (inside course project repos) and Slack. These postings should be authored in markdown; further details are below.

Due every Friday: Weekly project update in your GitHub project repo

Before Friday’s class each project team (at least one posting per team, not per person, although more are welcome) must create one new Issue (labeled as Project update using the issue-labeling feature of GitHub; ask your project mentor to show you how to set this up) in their project repo. These postings should be brief but informative status reports about your projects: what you accomplished in the preceding week, what you learned, where you got stuck, etc., as well was what you plan to do in the upcoming week. Reports must address both the state of the project in general and the specific weekly contributions of each of the individual team members. For an example see from Ella’s course project.

All project progress must be pushed to GitHub and all postings must reference (and, where appropriate, link into) content from the team’s GitHub repository. If it isn’t in GitHub, you haven’t done it.

Due one Monday per month: Monthly project comment in the GitHub project repo for another team

Before class on one Monday per month, each person must read all of the new project updates for all teams and post at least one thoughtful response to another team’s most recent update. Responses may be comments, questions, observations, suggestions, etc. You must post one response in February, one response in March, and one response in April (a total of three responses), though it does not matter which date you choose as long as your response is posted before Monday’s class. You must respond to a different project each time so that you can engage with a greater number of course projects and so that your team receives feedback from a different grouping of individuals.

To post your Project Comment, navigate to the Issues tab in the other team’s project repo, click on the most recent Issue labeled Project update, and you’ll be able to post a new comment so that it will be attached to the issue itself. You can find links to all teams’ project repos at the top of our cumulative list of course projects at For an example of

These responses must be thoughtful, that is, something more than the equivalent of nice job! or very interesting! You might make a suggestion, offer a critique, ask (or answer) a question, discuss how something in someone else’s Issue posting gives you an idea of something to do on your own project, report on a resource you discovered that might be useful for the other team, etc. As an example, see Caroline’s thoughtful response to the Letters from WWI soldiers project at

Due every Wednesday: Weekly class discussion post on Slack

Before Wednesday’s class, each person must be sure that they have made at least one thoughtful contribution to the course’s Slack workspace that week. The Slack workspace will serve as the center of discussion throughout the course, where students can respond to someone else’s posting (we recommend replying directly to the posting using a thread) or post something new. Suggested postings include asking or answering a question, making a suggestion, passing along a link to a site that showed you something you could use in your project (and explaining what it is and why it was useful), etc.

The use of Slack to facilitate discussions throughout the semester will help mirror the collaborative environment found in professional digital humanities projects across disciplines, where each person’s expertise and opinions contribute to the conceptual development of a project (their own or that of another). When all students provide their own meaningful responses or questions relevant to the course each month, this helps maintain an environment where everyone both contributes to and benefits from a collective system of knowledge. The instructors will check the Slack channel daily, as should all students, in order to engage fully with that week’s concepts.

On a few occasions during the semester you will be asked instead to participate in a single-issue discussion on Slack, which will fulfill the Slack requirement for that week. In these cases your instructors will open a topic and start a thread for it, and you should respond within the thread. Contributions to single-issue discussions must reflect thoughtful and original consideration of both the subject at hand and the contributions others have already made to the discussion.