Digital Humanities and the Modern City


Digital Humanities and the Modern City course
Baruch College, Fall 2015
co-instructor John Maciuika


To view the entire syllabus as a PDF, click here.


This course was an endowed Feit Seminar, designed to facilitate interdisciplinary, collaboratively-taught themes to a small and select group of students within the curriculum of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College.

Course introduction

This Feit Seminar explores the ways in which the digital humanities are opening up new avenues for studying and communicating scholarly questions. Specifically, it examines how emerging technologies are impacting the ways that academics research, represent, and teach about modern architecture, urban planning, history, and the social and cultural life of cities. Case studies will focus on comparative architectural and urban histories of Rome, Constantinople, Berlin, and New York. In each instance – and while keeping in mind questions of the relative modernity and history of each place – we will undertake specific digital explorations that fall into the general categories of “Representing Time,” “Place and Space,” and “Narrative and Argument.” We will also visit a number of cultural institutions, both physically and virtually, and assess how digital technologies are altering the ways that people and institutions are seeing, thinking, and knowing about urban life. The course will include readings and discussions of both history and technology, hands-on tutorials, conversations with guest speakers, and field visits.

Students are encouraged to actively engage with technology and to take agency over their own learning process, particularly when encountering new technologies and building digital literacy. By the end of the semester students will design and launch digital projects based on a research topic to be developed and approved in consultation with the course instructors. By the end of this seminar students will have broad exposure to an array of new methodologies for thinking about cities in terms of their relative modernity, their layered histories, and their study and representation as a result of new technologies. Students will also acquire skills for applying a variety of digital tools to research questions posed by the instructors and developed by the students themselves.

Pedagogical writing

Collaborative Definitions,” my follow-up post on Art History Teaching Resources