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Digital Humanities: About the Certificate

Digital Humanities Certificate

The Certificate in Digital Humanities
A certificate is awarded for the completion of seven courses identified as digital humanities courses (indexed by a DH designation). Courses qualify for a DH designation when 30% of course methods of engagement with the humanities are digital. These courses are housed in any of the humanities departments at Juniata College.

Certificate Goals
The goal of certification in Digital Humanities is the emergence of a “digitally adept humanist.” Possession of the certificate indicates that its holder has achieved a high level of proficiency in the deployment of a variety of digital technologies to engage the humanities. But because software comes and goes and because teachers and professors pick and choose among software packages to achieve their respective learning objectives, a definitive list of software and hardware is not possible. An illustrative list of the software and hardware might include:

  • spreadsheet design, manipulation, and analysis
  • graphic design and CAD packages
  • computers, printers (2D and 3D), photography, audio-recording equipment
  • film and audio editing software packages
  • data mining programs for text, image, and audio
  • GIS and other modeling software
  • artificial intelligence software

The certificate requires 21 credit hours.
Since we wish to encourage both breadth and depth in digital humanities, we require students to take courses in at least three different disciplines within the humanities with a DH designation. The in-depth requirement means that at least three courses within a single discipline be taken.
Electives (those not satisfying the breadth or depth requirements) among any DH
designated courses are encouraged.
In cases where a set of specialized skills are desired by the student but no course is offered that addresses those skills, independent studies or internships may be substituted with the prior approval of a DH oversight committee member.
All students must complete a capstone project in the discipline of their in-depth study. The capstone is to be a semester project carried out as an independent study with the best qualified mentor or team of mentors.
In some instances, students may want to take additional classes outside the DH program to improve their knowledge base and skills. Such courses might include GIS training, computer science, mathematics. The decision to do so is up to each student in consultation with their advisor. Taking such courses is encouraged where it is appropriate, but the courses will not count toward the 21 credit hours required for

Current DH classes
AN-255 Applied Archaeology
Fine Arts
AR 104: Introduction to Sculpture
AR 203: Digital Photography
AR 204: Digital Art 1
CM 420E: Digital Storytelling
EN 376: Writing Across Media
EN 377: Interactive Media Writing
EN 378: Video Production Writing
HS 309: Civil War and Reconstruction
HS 367: African Women
Integrated Media Arts
IM 110: Principles of Digital Media
IM-242: Info Visualization
IM-250: Digital Audio Production
IM-360: Digital Video Production
IM-361: Video Production II
MU-111: Composition
ND 271: 3D Scanning, Design, and Printing for Non-specialists
Religious Studies
RL 210: Sacred Landscapes

Relation to Institutional Learning Outcomes
The digital humanities certificate is granted in the context of Juniata College’s larger mission as explained in the Institutional Learning Outcomes.. That mission and its operationalization can be found here:
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Among the five skill sets articulated by Juniata’s Institutional Learning Outcomes, the DH certificate program aligns with three.

  1. Knowledge and Skills: Completion of the certificate program is indicative of mastery of breadth and depth of knowledge, preparedness to adapt to the constantly changing world of digital technology, and investigation of many and diverse sets of cultural products. Likewise, digital technology provides novel affordances to the critical exploration of human cultural productivity.
  2. Intellectual Engagement: Completion of the certificate program is indicative of both analytical and creative thinking. Mastery of computer technologies is coextensive with analytical reasoning about systems and processes. Applying digital technology to humanistic questions requires creative and clever applications of quantitative reasoning to qualitative constructs. Likewise, intense intellectual curiosity and challenge is demonstrated by the transfer of various digital skills to here-to-for unthought-of applications.
  3. Interdisciplinary: Completion of the certificate program is indicative of the skill of interdisciplinary negotiations and boundary crossings (what is referred to as “Connections” in our core curriculum. Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary in two obvious ways. First, it occurs specifically at the intersection of computer and computer science with the humanities. And second, the field of humanities is itself the designation of a diverse array of disciplines each possessed of its own knowledge domain and methodologies. DH is interdisciplinary by definition.

What is Digital Humanities?
Digital humanities is a form of the humanities that is located at the nexus of the digital
revolution and humanistic learning. The digital age has been transforming human life
and in many ways human nature itself. The distinctive place of DH in the academy is to
enable the humanities to engage critically in the interrogation of digital technologies.
Likewise, it explores traditional humanities questions using the distinctive, investigative
powers the computer age affords. Each side of the concept of “digital humanities” holds
the other accountable and enables each to engage in a more complex and mutually
beneficial relationship.

What is a Certificate?
In general, an undergraduate certificate provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that is not available within any single academic unit. A certificate offers the possibility of a more cohesive general education experience oriented around a theme and taught by faculty who work together as a group on an ongoing basis and have common inter-departmental learning objectives and assessments. The awarding of the certificate is noted on the student’s transcript.

What is a Certificate For?
The Digital Humanities Certificate is designed for students who wish to study the humanities and want to demonstrate they are technologically skilled. Many humanities’ students may not pursue careers in the traditional humanities. All humanities’ students will be challenged to display competence, expertise, and creativity in the novel application of digital technology to most realms of work, play, and life. This certificate is designed for those students who wish both to study the humanities and are also interested in developing digital skills immediately applicable to the job market they will face upon graduation.

Why Should a Student Get this Certificate?
The digital humanities certificate will be noted on your transcript thus offering evidence of competency to future potential employers. Because digital humanities’ classes are offered in many departments, the training of students will be diverse, creative, and integrative. In this distinctive, liberal arts approach, students will develop skills at reaching across many problem domains and thereby encourage communication across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Digital technology comes and goes, software comes into and falls out of favor quickly, new types of technological solutions emerge daily. If students merely know one or two software packages, a few apps, or only a couple of kinds of tools, they run the danger of their job skills becoming obsolete very quickly. But if they have mastered the processes of collaboration across many areas of expertise and have developed a natural and flexible intuition of how digital technology works in many fields, they will have the best skills to adapt to change as it inevitably presents itself. Students will realize the liberal arts ideal of “learning how to learn,” a trait that all future employers look for.

Oversight Committee
The DH Certificate is overseen by a committee of three or more faculty who teach for the program. Current members are Hannah Bellwoar (English), Bethany Benson (for Art and IMA), Don Braxton (Religious Studies) and Ryan Gibbony (IMA).