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Prospectus

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Digital text and data processing

Course
2013-2014

Admission requirements

Successful completion of the BDMS first-semester obligatory core courses. Only available for Book and Digital Media Studies students. Others may contact the course organisers.

Description

The development of the digital textual medium has enabled agencies, companies and institutions to create, gather and store unprecedented amounts of textual data and metadata (data on data). Just as microscopes and telescopes widen the bandwidth of human perception, computer-aided forms of reading allow us to see things in these massive amounts of textual data that we could not see before because they were not ‘in the human bandwidth’. Thus computers affect what we may know and regard as knowledge. The availability of metadata fundamentally reshapes methodologies for classifying, searching and accessing texts and therefore leads to new systems for information retrieval. Moreover, metadata aggregation allows for completely new evaluative perspectives on the text-related industries and institutions. New types of text and related data available also significantly change (humanities) research methodologies and dissemination practices. Building on the first-semester introduction to the basics of digital text technologies, this course will provide a firm grounding in data processing technologies. From aggregating,via systemising, to analysing and visualising (textual) data by governments, knowledge institutions, and the textual trade, the course will present advanced data processing techniques using various digital tools.

Course objectives

  • Students learn the history, policies, principles and practice connected to digital text and data processing systems, especially in the text-based scholarly, institutional and commercial professions

  • Students will receive hands-on experience in (textual) data processing techniques, within a framework of the ongoing evolution of digital technology

  • Students will become able to identify a subject and topic for research, to plan and carry out the necessary research and to prepare a written account, also in preparation for writing an MA thesis within this field

Timetable

The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: (7 × 3 =) 21 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature, preparing excersises and/or presentations: 79 hours

  • time to prepare for the exam and/or write a paper (including reading / research): 40 hours

Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the lecturer can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice in a half-semester course (7 weeks) will be excluded from further participation and will have to re-take the course. Students who are absent twice in a semester course (13 weeks) will be given an complementary assignment by the lecturer. Absence on three sessions in such a course will lead to exclusion from it.

Assessment method

Final project and paper

Blackboard

This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

Schreibman, Susan (2001), A companion to digital humanities (Blackwell)

A digital reader of articles, to be announced.

Registration

Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail: ma-mediastudies@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

N/A

Contact

MA Media Studies departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail: ma-mediastudies@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Remarks

“Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the lecturer can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice in a half-semester course (7 weeks) will be excluded from further participation and will have to re-take the course. Students who are absent twice in a semester course (13 weeks) will be given an complementary assignment by the lecturer. Absence on three sessions in such a course will lead to exclusion from it.”