Cultural Analytics

Disciplines like history, English, and philosophy predate the era of computational approaches and large datasets, and their foundational methods are highly attuned to the study of human cultures on the micro level—such as the analysis of a single text or author, historical period, artistic movement, or abstract concept, grounded in a specific place and time. A subset of scholars trained in these disciplines have embraced and, at times, challenged the emerging field of data science, developing a cluster of approaches sometimes called “cultural analytics” to gather, analyze, interpret, and communicate insight about their objects of study on a macroscale.

This domain emphasis is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on courses across numerous disciplines as opposed to one or two fields of inquiry. Yet the core courses are designed to ground students firmly in the study of culture as it both shapes and is shaped by social, political, economic, and ideological forces.

The required library science elective applies a critical framework informed by cultural studies to the collection, organization, storage, and transmission of data, preparing students to curate, interrogate, and responsibly manage humanities datasets. You might, for example, develop a social network analysis of a given historical milieu, mine a large corpus of literary texts for formal patterns, or model the spread of folklore across time and space. Students will also have opportunities to practice conveying their findings to broad audiences through visualization, sonification, data-driven storytelling, and other media forms that draw on established genres, rhetorical traditions, and conventions, and that can be most effectively deployed by data scientists grounded in and attuned to the richness and complexity of human cultures.

Data Science majors who concentrate in cultural analytics will be well positioned to minor or double-major in any number of fields, including digital humanities, media studies, folklore and public culture, environmental humanities, English, and more.

Domain Requirements

You will take three core courses and four upper-divisional courses for the domain.

Core - take any three

course title
COLT 301 Approaches to Comparative Literature
COLT 305 Cultural Studies
HUM 300 Themes in the Humanities
ENG 303 Foundations of the English Major: Text
FLR 250 Introduction to Folklore

Upper Division

LIB/DSCI 350M OR LIB/DSCI 400M: Humanities Research Data Management

Elective - take any three

course title
ENG 250 Literature and Digital Culture
ENG 470 Technologies and Texts Capstone
ENG/CINE 486M New Media and Digital Culture [Topic]
FLR 495 Folklore Fieldwork
J 429 Media Technologies and Society [Topic]
PHIL 123 Internet, Society, and Philosophy
PHIL 423 Technology Ethics [Topic]