Image of Babbage Machine

Course Outline

Week 1: What is Humanities Computing and Multimedia?

In the first class we will look at how the course is run and begin discussing what Humanities Computing is.

Week 1 Slides, Week 1 Notes, Reading: As We May Think

Readings: Read Bush's essay As We May Think. What is the question he is trying to answer? What does this have to do with computing? What does it have to do with the Web? What do the humanities have to do with thinking and computing?

Week 2: Understanding Multimedia Communication in the Humanities

In week 2 we will look at how multimedia works. We will ask about the new digital forms of entertainment, instruction and play. What is a multimedia work? How is computer-based multimedia different from traditional media? Is multimedia new?

Week 2 Slides, Lect. 2, Week 2 Notes, Lect. 2, Week 2 Slides, Lect. 3, and Week 2 Notes, Lect. 3, Reading: Multimedia, Worksheet 1. This reading is a chapter written for a forthcoming volume on humanities computing that was written by Geoffrey Rockwell and Andrew Mactavish.

Week 3: Design of Multimedia

In week 3 we will look at design of multimedia, specifically Web sites. We will look at screen design in lecture 4 and site design in lecture 5.

Week 3 Slides, Lect. 1, Week 3 Notes, Lect. 1, Week 3 Slides, Lect. 2, Week 3 Notes, Lect. 2, Worksheet 2

Week 4: Interface Design

In week 4 we will continue to look at the design of multimedia. We will look at the impact of technical design on a multimedia work.

Week 4 Slides, Lect. 1, Week 4 Notes, Lect. 1, Worksheet 3

Readings: Interface by Joe Gillespie. An introduction to the importance of interface design. See also the parent site at Home Page. Jessett.Com is a site with an introductory tutorial on Web design. Read the section on usability and the section on graphic design. Web Style Guide 2nd Edition is from Yale and is a thorough guide.

Week 5: Digital Media: Text and Image

In week 5 we will look at the media that make multimedia. We will look at what is lost and gained in the process of digitizing media.

Week 5 Slides, Lect. 1, Week 5 Notes, Lect. 1, Week 5 Slides, Lect. 2, and Week 5 Notes, Lect. 2.

Readings: What is an electronic text? by Geoffrey Rockwell. For digital imaging see The Computer as Camera and Darkroom, Moving Theory into Practice; Digital Imaging Tutorial, Section 1 - Basic Terminology (only bother with the section on terminology) and Introduction to Imaging: Issues in Constructing and Image Database. There is a certain amount of overlap among these. Skim the things you understand.

Week 6: Digital Media: Sound and Video

In week 6 we will look at time-dependent media that make multimedia.

Week 6 Slides, Lect. 1, Week 6 Notes, Lect. 1

Readings: Digital Video Primer is an excellent PDF from Adobe. A Tutorial on MIDI will help you understand MIDI.

Week 7: Interactivity

In this topic we will explore how multimedia works are interactive and what interactivity is.

Week 7 Slides, Lect. 1, Week 7 Notes, Lect. 1, Worksheet 4

Readings: Essay on Interactivity by Geoffrey Rockwell and What is Interactivity anyway? by Nathan Shedroff.

Week 8: Hypertext and Hypermedia

In this topic we will look at an important form of interactivity, hypertext.

Week 8 Slides, Lect. 1, (PDF Version here), Worksheet 5

Readings: Essay on The Future of Hypertext by Jakob Nielsen, Hypertext Gardens an essay on hypertext and Chasing Our Tails another hypertext essay on hypertext, both by Mark Bernstein.

Week 9: History of Multimedia Computing

In this topic we will look at what a computer is and the history of multimedia computing.

What is a computer? - Week 9 Slides, Lect. 1, and (PDF Version here), Worksheet 6

History of computers and net - Week 9 Slides, Lect. 2, and (PDF Version here).

Readings: An Introduction to Microcomputers by Suzanne Acharya. Multimedia - From Wagner to Virtual Reality is a large site about the history, ideas and pioneers of multimedia. Make sure you read this.

Week 10: Futures of Multimedia Computing

In this topic we will look at what networks and where networked computing is going.

Week 10 Slides, and (PDF Version here).

Readings: The Future of the Net is a collection of short predictions by notable digeratie from Netfuture contains a section of Online Documents. Read the short work "Forgetting Ourselves in the Age of Automatons". You will have scroll to get to it.

Week 11: Multimedia and Learning

Week 11 Slides, and (PDF Version here). Worksheet 7 is here.

Readings: Learning in the Real World is a short introduction to computers and education. Seeing Through Computers is by Sherry Turkle, Computing Our Way to Educational Reform is an overview, and Multimedia and Multiple Intelligences is an essay on using multimedia to teach to different students.

Week 12: Review

In the last class and a special review class we will review the essay questions. See the questions on the Assignments page.

Review slides are here (PDF version here.)

Site created by Geoffrey Rockwell, 2003