nl en

Data Visualization and the Humanities


Admission requirements

This class is restricted to BA3 students taking either the 15 or 30 EC package in Digital Humanities. No knowledge of programming if required. For any questions regarding the admission requirements, please contact the lecturer.


This course offers the technical and reflective skills needed to use digitized and born-digital sources in ways that address key concerns in the humanities: interpretation, defamiliarization, generalization, representation, and critical reasoning, among others. Students will be introduced to the software tools and best practices for creating, organizing, and managing different types of data (e.g., tabular, hierarchical, textual, spatial, network, image, video, 3d, etc.) and the strategies for creating visualizations and digital presentations that effectively convey one’s intended message. Readings are drawn from fields such as digital humanities, cognitive psychology, and media studies.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, the students will be able to create data visualizations that convey thoughtful and critical understanding of a society or culture. Students will become familiar with the fundamental issues and debates in database design, data analysis, and data visualization from the perspective of the digital humanities.


Timetable semester 1

Mode of instruction

Seminar with lectures and labs.

Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Lectures: 13 x 1 (13 hours)

  • Practical work: 13 x 1 (13 hours)

  • Preparation tutorials: 13 x 1 (13 hours)

  • Study of compulsory literature: (30 hours)

  • Assignment(s): (26 hours)

  • Paper/project preparation and writing: (40 hours)

  • Oral presentation prep: (5 hours)

Assessment method


a) Presence (physically and mentally) during the lessons and demonstration of having prepared (20 %);
b) oral presentation (30 %)
c) paper (50 %).


Final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Students who have scored an overall insufficient grade for the course may take a resit for the assignments and the Paper (or online project):

  • comprehensive take-home exam: (50 percent of grade)

  • Paper (or online project): (50 percent of grade)


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Provide course materials

  • Course communication

Reading list

The up-to-date syllabus, which includes all of the readings for the course, can be found at


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren Contractonderwijs



Mr. S. ter Braake