A blog about the Master Programme in Digital Humanities at Uppsala University

Author: Ina-Maria Jansson (Page 3 of 3)

Learn more about digital humanities courses and research

With just one week left before Christmas and one month until the last date (January 15th) for students outside of Sweden to apply for university studies in Uppsala, it is time to talk more in detail about the course content for The Master Programme in Digital Humanities

The courses of the first year of the programme are planned, prepared and taught by researchers within a number of different disciplines. Besides ALM studies (Archive, Library, Museum) those responsible for the education in digital humanities also have backgrounds in art history, literature, information technology and archaeology. This means that the programme can offer a broad orientation of digital aspects in a variety of disciplines within the humanities but also that it may be difficult for “outsiders” to get a clear idea of what each course will be about. Therefore, to satisfy the curiosity of  anyone interested in the course content, we have invited some of the persons involved in digital humanities research and planning of the programme to tell more about their work and their personal take on digital humanities.

You can read their posts here at the blog during the next few weeks, so keep on following us!

Encouraging publication skills and internationalization

After some rainy, gloomy days, Uppsala is today swept in a crispy cold which makes the city glitter when hit by the rays of the midvinter sun. I have spent most of the day inside though, doing the final editing work for Tidskrift för ABM, the department online journal. A new number will be released next week.

As always, several students have been involved in the editing work and also contributed with many of the texts in the journal. Following their work, seeing them develop their textual thinking through the editing process, as well as the work of the students in the editing group of the journal, is not only a joy but also makes me think about how important these experiences are for the students. To grow both knowledge of publication forms and skills of editing and publishing is essential for the humanities scholars, including academics in the digital humanities.

Another great thing with the journal is that it offers a channel for the travel experiences of our students. Every year, the department funds a number of international conference trips or trainee-experiences for our master students. Writing a travelogue is a good way to share this experience with others, as well as make deeper reflections about the acquired knowledge of new topics in information studies or about visiting a foreign country.

Inauguration of The Workshop for Digital Humanities

This week Verkstaden (The Workshop) at campus Engelska Parken  threw an opening party to everybody in the Digital Humanities network at Uppsala University. Verkstaden is going to be a place where researchers, students and other interested from different domains can meet and work with digital tools for data analysis, visualization and modeling. The combination of hardware, software and knowledge at the same place also makes Verkstaden an important learning space for students in digital humanities.

I was there of course, mingling around with the project leaders Anna Foka and Matts Dahlström. Besides eating a lot of “pepparkakor” and “salta pinnar” (Swedish gingerbread cookies and pretzel sticks) I also had a look at the mini museum that had been set up in Verkstan. My favorite was the old school stereoscope.

According to Wikipedia, the first stereoscope was invented in 1838. The long history of this device makes me think about how visualization actually is a very basic human need, something that helps us understand places and situations beyond our personal experience. Today, 3D-visualization is more relevant than ever, not at least as one of the bases for virtual reality. Exactly how those recent techniques can be used to analyze material from cultural heritage collections is something that one can experiment with in Verkstaden.

3D-viewers can be a toy to play around with as well as an object of curiosity. They can also be used (especially if combined with virtual reality-technique) as a tool to study and practice complicated situations like surgery procedures or military operations, in a relaxed environment.

Getting to know Uppsala University from a distance

Today I have learnt a lot about the most common question international students have when they are selecting their future university studies and what they need to know to be able to decide what and where to study. For all students, especially if you are aspiring to study abroad, this is a big decision which can impact your whole future. Joachim Ekström, head of unit at Communications Division, Student Recruitment know all about this as he travels the world to inform about the university’s master’s programmes. Luckily he didn’t have to travel far today, as his office is only a short distance from the Department of ALM, where he met Amalia and me to talk about the university’s work with international communication.

Besides telling us what to think about when writing to inform presumptive students about what the programme in digital humanities can offer them, Joachim showed how much information that is already out there about being a student in Uppsala. Check out these resources to help you getting to know Uppsala from a distance!

At the blog #taggedforuppsala, you can follow the every day-life and experiences of international students in Uppsala. Most interesting, also for me that have lived in this city for almost my whole life!

Most of the courses at the Masterprogramme for Digitial Humanities will be taught at Campus Engelska Parken (The English Park). In the guide to the different campus areas, you find a map of Campus Engelska Parken and you can also watch the film and see your future study environment with your own eyes.

This and much more useful information you can find at the site for master’s programmes at Uppsala University.

A close up of the Lithuanian šakotis-cake that our guest doctoral candidate Nadia Cherepan brought for the coffee break today. A yummy symbol for the international environment at the Department of ALM!

Tailoring studies in digital humanities to your CV and professional background

Some weeks ago our PhD Candidate Amalia Juneström went to Växjö on Mötesplats Profession-Forskning (Meeting Place Profession-Research) to inform about the Master Programme in Digital Humanities. The idea behind the arrangement is putting researchers from different domains in contact with professionals working in libraries but also to invite students to learn more about research and professional life.

We saw a conference day with this mixed approach as a great opportunity to reach several groups that may have use of the digital humanities programme. One group is for example professionals working with cultural heritage or information and with an interest to develop their competence towards digital humanities. Another group is students in library science that are curious of a carrier within the broad spectra of digital humanities.

The broadness of employments or research where skills in digital humanities are needed makes nearly any study background or working experience of use in studies in the digital humanities. With this in consideration, the master programme is designed to be flexible so that you can tailor it according to your needs and interests. Students based in the humanities can choose to take the technical oriented courses offered in the programme, for example about databases or digital presentation and visualization. On the other hand, if you find that you need to complete your competence in the humanities area, you can select courses at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History or Department of Art History. With this flexibility we want to offer each student the best opportunity to build on already existing competences and experiences and develop the knowledge and skills that brings you closer to your career goals.

Any further questions on how the programme in Digital Humanities can help you to reach your visions in your professional career? Contact our study counselor at the Department of ALM gorel.tunerlov@abm.uu.se

Why an education in digital humanities?

Some time ago I met with Åse Hedemark and Ulrika Kjellman* to ask them a few questions about the thought behind the Master Programme in Digital Humanities and the relevance of the education for students.

Åse and Programme Coordinator Olle Sköld discusses digital cultural heritage in their planning of the programme. I was not fast enough with the camera to include Ulrika in the picture, hopefully will succeed better next time!

What are the rationales for starting an education in digital humanities at UU?

Ulrika: The department of ALM have hosted a master programme in Archive, Library and Museum Studiesfor nearly two decennia and during this period we have experienced considerable changes regarding digital techniques and tools.

Åse: In today´s digital society it is important that people are educated of how computer-supported methods can be used to study digital materials from societies and cultures both current and past. We need to understand how digital technologies function in scholarly work, organizations, and the everyday life of people.

Ulrika: With this in mind it seemed more and more urgent to launch some kind of education at Uppsala University (UU) to address these new phenomena. Fully aware of that many disciplines within UU touched upon these issues in their regular courses it still seemed like a more thorough and overall grasp was lacking, an overall grasp that not only could link what was already running at UU (within the program the student can choose to take courses that other departments already give) but also present students with an opportunity to get a more systematic understanding of the digital humanities. Since the department of ALM both have many scholars with an interest in digital humanities, and also already addresses some of these issues within the ALM-master program, it seemed like a good idea to offer our department as host of this new master programme in digital humanities. And since the faculty administration was all positive when I presented the idea to them a couple of years ago and has since been giving us full support in implementing the programme, and since many of our co-workers has been very engaged in this work – Olle Sköld, Åse Hedemark, and Anna Orrghen who have put a great effort in implementing the programme, and Ina-Maria Jansson and Amalia Juneström to marketing it –  we all have a good feeling that this will end up just greatly.

What will the programme contain?

Åse: The first year of the programme contains compulsory courses providing a broad range of knowledge in the theoretical, practical and technical aspects of digital humanities. Digitisation, visualisation of different types of data, such as images and artefacts, and methods for how digitised material can be analysed and conveyed are central focuses. Year two includes significant opportunities to personalize and specialize the courses according to the students disciplinary background.

Ulrika: On our web site, you find a good presentation of the content of the programme.

As a student at the programme in digital humanities at the Department of ALM, what can you expect of teachers and the department of ALM in regard of making your time in the programme the best possible?

Ulrika: I would like to ensure all future students that they will meet engaged teachers with a lot of knowledge representing different aspects of digital humanities.  And they will also be a part of an interesting and engaging milieu, both here at the department of ALM, and at UU as a whole.

Åse: Yes, teachers at the department om ALM are excited about the Masterprogramme in Digital Humanities and are very much looking forward to meet all new students. They will do their very best to make the time in the programme the best possible. If you have any questions don´t hesitate to contact us!

*Ulrika Kjellman is Head of the Department of ALM and Åse Hedemark is Director of Studies for the Master Programmes in Archive, Library and Museum Studies and Digital Humanities.


Welcome to learn more about the Master Programme in Digital Humanities!

On this blog you will be able to read about the international Master Programme in Digital Humanities at the Department of ALM, Uppsala University. The program starts in August 2019 but the blog will already now give deeper insight about the education in digital humanities and allow you to follow the development of the program.

Our idea is to give you a “peep behind the curtains” of the programme. We will try to put some flesh and bone to otherwise scanty catalogue data and formal course descriptions – everything to really let you know what it could be like to be a student at the programme in Digital Humanities.

Through the blog, you will meet key persons for the programme but also for digital humanities research at Uppsala University. There will be interviews with teachers and students active at the Department of ALM as well as lecturers from the different disciplines within the program. And do we stop there? Oh no! We will also sneak in pictures of the campus environment and the closest surroundings so that you will know what it all looks like, even if you never have been to Uppsala.

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