By now, there are dozens of courses that introduce students (undergrad & graduate) to the digital humanities, representing a wide variety of approaches, disciplines, and with different degrees of sophistication and technical prerequisite knowledge. Whereas even a couple of years ago there was little coordination or consensus, some broad definitions of the field seem to me to be coalescing now. I see potential in this emerging consensus for agreement on what skills, habits of mind, and essential content might need to be present in an introductory course. But I also sense that a canon creates boundaries–something against which DH defined itself to begin with.
I’m proposing a winter session course, “Intro to Digital Humanities” at my institution for January 2012. I’d be interested in a session that hammers out whether such a course should be idiosyncratic and purely exploratory, or whether we are at the point where we can agree on core readings/activities/competencies that would be a disservice to my students to omit. I’ll prepare a list of links to existing syllabi available online in advance of Saturday, and if we do this session I’d welcome a wide-ranging conversation about how to teach as well as do digital humanities. Speaking purely for myself, I find I’m better at following and applauding DH efforts than actually getting involved in them and I’m hoping this THATCamp will be a firecracker under my chair in my own work and in my classrooms.