1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Notification of Changes
  14. Custom Sections
  15. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  16. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  17. Severe Weather Protocol
  18. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  19. Religious Observances
  20. UAct Statement

Digital Humanities in REL

REL 315-001Fall 2022 | 3 Credit Hours


Dr. Jeri Wieringa

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

No description found

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:

Course Objectives

  • introducing students to the theories and methods of the digital humanities

  • introducing students to the ethics of acquiring, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data within the context of religious studies

  • providing students opportunities to apply theories and methods from digital humanities to religion “data”

  • presenting data as contested, complex, and ethically charged

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students ...

  1. Identify and Produce data for the study of religion in culture

  2. Describe digital objects in terms of data, analysis, and presentation

  3. Develop technical skills for creating digital objects

  4. Create a digital essay

  5. Reflect on their work and learning

Other Course Materials

Lupi, Giorgia, and Stefanie Posavec. Observe, Collect, Draw!: A Visual Journal. Illustrated edition. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2018. (Purchase at the bookstore or online.)

Drucker, Johanna. The Digital Humanities Coursebook: An Introduction to Digital Methods for Research and Scholarship. London: Routledge, 2021. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003106531. (Available as PDF through Blackboard.)

Outline of Topics

  1. Introductions

  2. Skills Week: Working with Data

  3. The Big Tent of DH

  4. Religion and DH

  5. What is Data Anyway?

  6. Skills Week: How digital projects work

  7. Encoding

  8. Visualizing

  9. Data Privacy, Sovereignty, and Open Access

  10. Skills Week: Using a CMS

  11. Mining

  12. Modeling and Machine Learning

  13. Big Data and the Rise of Data Science

  14. Thanksgiving

  15. Project Work

  16. Final Exam (Project Due)

Exams and Assignments

Weekly Assignments: 20 points

  • Readings Journal: 10 points

    • Writing good reading notes is a necessary skill and since we have multiple essays for each class, it will help you keep your ideas organized.

    • Details on what the entries should include will be posted on Blackboard.

    • I will check your reading journals 3 times over the semester. Please bring them to class on the following days:

      • September 20

      • October 25

      • November 29

  • Participation: 10 points

    • Your participation grade reflects attendance, engagements in class, and completion of various additional tasks of the course.

Skills Labs: 20 points

Throughout the semester there will be 10 lab assignments, due the Friday after class. These will build on the skills or concepts that we discuss on Tuesday. Details for the labs will be posted on WordPress and Blackboard before the Tuesday class. 

We have a busy semester, so to give you a little flexibility, you have two free passes. Full points will be given if 8/10 labs are submitted and are complete.

Data Diaries: 20 points

(Due Friday, September 23)

The challenge with digital humanities is we have to start thinking about the world in terms of data, which can be a stretch for those of us who are used to working in the world of texts and ideas. But seeing data is not necessarily something that needs a computer. Rather, it is a way of observing yourself and the things around you. 

Using Observe, Collect, Draw!, you will complete three guided activities of your choice. The only constraint is that they need to be of different time durations. Details will be posted.

Dataset and Datasheet: 20 points

(Due Friday, October 21)

In preparation for your final project, your second project is to create a dataset for investigating a research question related to religion and culture. Details will be posted.

Final Project - Digital Essay in Scalar: 30 points

(Due Thursday, December 8)

Your final project will be a digital essay, posted in Scalar, that uses your dataset and the digital methods that we go over in class to explore your research question. Details will be posted.

Grading Policy

I grade on completion of the assignments, so you will earn full points if you fulfill all of the requirements on time. Each assignment will include a self-evaluation. 

I give additional points for work that exceeds expectation and I take your self-evaluation into consideration. 

I want you to achieve the learning outcomes of the course, so the assignments and my feedback are focused on helping you develop the skills you need to succeed.

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

The course work is designed to help you prepare for class and to keep you on track for the final project. As a general rule, I do not accept late work unless arrangements are made with me in advance.

Attendance Policy

Class attendance and participation in the course discussion is a central component of the learning experience of this course. You have two unexcused absences that you can use without question. After that, your participation grade will drop one point for each additional unexcused absence.

Please contact me before class if you will be absent due to illness or other unavoidable event.

Notification of Changes

The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Academic Misconduct Policy provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by respect and civility.  The UAct website (www.ua.edu/uact)  provides extensive information on how to report or obtain assistance with a variety of issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence or other Title IX violations, illegal discrimination, harassment, hate or bias incidents, child abuse or neglect, hazing, threat assessment, retaliation, and ethical violations or fraud.

Wellness Resources

College can be a stressful time

If you or someone you know is facing a challenging time or dealing with academic or personal stress, anxiety, depression, or other concerns, we strongly encourage and support you to seek assistance or to help friends find the care that they may need. Please refer to our Campus Resource List for Students.

Also, If you are experiencing a personal crisis and need urgent assistance, you can also contact the following resources:

Counseling Center

  • Monday-Friday during routine Center hours (205-348-3863).
  • Weekends, holidays, after-hours (contact UAPD at 205-348-5454 and ask to speak with the on-call counselor).
  • You may also text BAMA to 741-741 to text with a trained volunteer.

Women and Gender Resource Center

  • Monday-Friday during routine Center hours (205-348-5040).
  • Weekends, holidays, after-hours (contact UAPD at 205-348-5454 and ask to speak to the on-call advocate for the WGRC.