Introduction to Digital Humanities (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Marco Rospocher
Marco Rospocher
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 28, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to present students with knowledge on the tools and techniques at the foundation of Digital Humanities, in particular about digital scholarly editions and computational analysis of texts. At the end of the course students: - will know the main phases of the realization of a digital scholarly edition, and will acquire the practical skills to encode humanistic texts; - will know the main tasks for the automatic processing of written text, and will be able to use some of the main tools that support them; - will know the main methodologies and tools for the computational analysis of texts, and will be able to apply them to textual examples to be analyzed.


The course will be given both on-site in classroom and in live streaming. Video-recordings of the lectures will be provided on the University e-Learning platform (Moodle).

Introduction to Digital Humanities
Introduction to Computer Science: Information Theory, Algorithms and Languages, Computer architecture
Internet & Web
Web page creation: HTML & CSS
XML Metalanguage
Digital Humanities and Philology: Digital Scholarly Edition [Dr. Anna Cappellotto]
TEI and text encoding
OCR: Optical Character Recognition [Dr. Stefano Bazzaco]
RegEx: Regular Expressions and their usage
Natural Language Processing
Distant reading: Introduction and usage of Voyant
Sentiment Analysis for Distant Reading [Dr. Simone Rebora]
Stylometry [Dr. Simone Rebora]

Materials and resources will be given out during the course to support the lessons, and will be uploaded on the course's Moodle page.
In addition to the suggested textbook, the following resources are recommended as supplementary materials:

- Topic: Digital Humanities and Philology: Digital Scholarly Edition

Patrick Sahle, “What is a Scholarly Digital Edition?”, in E. Pierazzo & M. Driscoll (eds), Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices, Open Book Publishers 2016, pp. 19-40

- Topic: TEI and text encoding

Open access video course "Digital Scholarly Editions" on the #dariahTeach teaching and training platform

- Topic: OCR: Optical Character Recognition

David A. Smith, Ryan Cordell, A Research Agenda for Historical and Multilingual Optical Character Recognition, NULab – Northeastern University, 2018

- Topic: Topic modelling & Stylometry

Fabio Ciotti. 2017. “Modelli e metodi computazionali per la critica letteraria: lo stato dell’arte.” In B. Alfonzetti, T. Cancro, V. Di Iasio, E. Pietrobon (a cura di). L’Italianistica oggi: ricerca e didattica. Roma: Adi editore, pp. 1-11.

For those interested in further exploring the topics of the course:

Marco Lazzari
McGraw-Hill, 2014
ISBN: 9788838668555

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Francesca Tomasi Metodologie informatiche e discipline umanistiche (Edizione 1) Carocci 2008 9788843043033

Assessment methods and criteria

Attendance and student contribution to class is strongly encouraged.
There is no difference in the program, materials and examination between attending and non-attending students

The exam will be written, consisting mainly of multiple choice questions (with at most one / two open-ended questions). It is administered in computerised form (in a computer-equipped room or online). The online mode is however guaranteed for all students who request it in the 2020/21 academic year.