Andrew Lison, Postdoctoral Research at the Hall Center for the Humanities, will be teaching a practical and theoretical introduction to programming in the humanities in Fall 2016. See full description below. Students can register now!
With the advent of the digital humanities, aptitude with computers has never been more closely associated with—or highly sought after in— humanistic inquiry. Even amongst digital humanists, however, awareness of how computers themselves operate often takes a backseat to specific projects, if not the use of tools and frameworks where programming itself is relegated “behind the scenes.” Programming && the Humanities proceeds from the premise that the articulation of the digital and the humanities together will only have meaning if each of these concepts is explored equally. Its title represents a Boolean expression, that is, an expression, often found in programming, that can only be evaluated as either true or false. The double ampersand signifies that the expression as a whole will be evaluated as true if and only if each of its values is also true (i.e., a logical AND); if either one is false, then the expression as a whole will also be false. Thus, we will combine an introductory approach to programming geared towards humanists and artists with a range of scholarship considering computers, computation, and digital media from a humanistic perspective. Alongside readings by Alt, Kittler, Keeling, Stephenson, Mackenzie, Galloway, McPherson, and Chun we will be using a brand new book by Nick Montfort, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, which approaches these concepts through the open-source programming languages Python and Processing, as our main programming text.