This course bridges two exciting nascent fields by exploring the origins and development of settler colonies using digital humanities research methodologies to test the theoretical framework of settler colonial studies based on DH-enabled analysis of primary sources. It explores the following two big questions:
- What factors shape(d) how settler colonies form(ed) and develop(ed)?
- How and why are digital tools and methods used in academic research?
The first question is a pressing one in the emerging field of settler colonial studies, and its exploration in this course provides students the opportunity to weigh in on this important scholarly conversation through their digital scholarship. The second question is a pressing one for students regardless of whether they choose an academic, “alt-ac”, industry, or non-profit career path. Throughout the course, students will develop greater fluency with scholarly and transferrable digital skills, such as building datasets from complex sources, mining and analyzing texts, and producing media-rich online content. Readings will include the works of leading settler colonial theorists Lorenzo Veracini and Patrick Wolfe; historians of settler colonialism, such as Lisa Ford and Margaret Jacobs; and DH articles and digital projects exemplifying the various research methodologies students will utilize.