Course Spotlight
The material remains of the human past -objects and spaces- provide tangible evidence of past people's lives. Today's information technologies improve our ability to document, study, and present these materials. But what does it mean to deal with material evidence in a virtual context? In this class, students will learn basic digital methods for studying the past while working with objects, including those in the collections of the Penn Museum. This class will teach relational database design and 3d object modeling. As we learn about acquiring and managing data, we will gain valuable experience in the evaluation and use of digital tools. The digital humanities are a platform both for learning the basic digital literacy students need to succeed in today's world and for discussing the human consequences of these new technologies and data. We will discuss information technology's impact on the study and presentation of the past, including topics such as public participation in archaeological projects, educational technologies in museum galleries, and the issues raised by digitizing and disseminating historic texts and objects. Finally, we will touch on technology's role in the preservation of the past in today's turbulent world. No prior technical experience is required, but we hope students will share an enthusiasm for the past.