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Stanford to offer a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities

Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) has announced a new Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities.

Starting in the fall quarter of 2014, the program is among the first of its kind to fully integrate student training with ongoing, interdisciplinary faculty research, which according to CESTA director Zephyr Frank “may be of particular use when students enter the job market.”

Unlike a PhD minor or separate master’s degree, the certificate program is designed to be flexible to suit each student’s individual interests, while not adding to the time it would take to complete a degree. Students will develop a digital portfolio and receive a certificate signed by the CESTA director and the Chair of the doctoral student’s home department.

“The interdisciplinary and broad methodological nature of the certificate will allow students to combine their interests across the emerging subfields of digital humanities in a way that supports their current interests while also introducing them to new areas of research,” said Mark Algee-Hewitt, the Associate Research Director of CESTA’s Literary Lab involved with overseeing the program.

In collaboration with the Stanford Humanities Center, CESTA provides technical resources that enable humanities scholars to conduct leading edge research with digital tools, like mapping Enlightenment-era correspondence patterns and visualizing how railroads impacted the development of the Western United States.

“New relationships or patterns are often revealed by analyzing and visualizing data through digital tools that may not be apparent by looking at traditional media,” said CESTA Lab Manager Matt Bryant.

The “open and emerging field” of digital humanities, said Frank, is appealing to students with various research interests.

Stanford doctoral students interested in quantitative analysis, media studies, visualization, or design could find digital humanities courses and projects that meet their research and pedagogical needs.

Students can choose one of two ways to satisfy the certificate program requirements. Both avenues require the completion of a core digital humanities graduate course and an additional elective course in a related area such as statistics or computer science. One path to the certificate leads to an individually designed digital humanities research project under faculty supervision. The other path follows work in ongoing digital humanities lab projects within CESTA, allowing students to contribute original research within a larger project context.

In each scenario, the research project will be included in the student’s e-portfolio and published on the CESTA website.

“Students with strong skills in computer programming and quantitative methods will find digital humanities to be a stimulating research community.  Students with interests in art, design, and critical theory as applied to the digital realm will find an equally inviting space under the big tent,” said Frank.

Admission to the program is on a rolling basis, and students may apply at any time by submitting a letter of interest and supporting information to mattbryant.stanford@gmail.com.