Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LMH260 (AF:368580 AR:208510)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the Master’s Degree Programme in ‘Digital and Public Humanities’ and is connected to the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities (VeDPH) in Ca' Foscari's Department of Humanities. It is one of the Master’s Programme’s compulsory course and aims at introducing the student to Digital and Public Humanities, providing the general framework for all the humanities disciplines that will be taught in the biennium.
The course will be taught by two professors: prof. Stefano Dall’Aglio for the part Introduction to Public Humanities and prof. Franz Fischer for the part Introduction to Digital Humanities.
1. Knowledge and understanding:
• Knowledge of the evolution of the digital and public humanities from the origins up to the present time.
• General knowledge of the relevant theoretical and intellectual debate.
• General knowledge of the main techniques and methodologies.

2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
• Ability to apply the methodologies of digital and public humanities to specific cases.
• Ability to solve the problems connected to the adoption of digital technologies or ‘public’ methodologies in relation to the humanistic disciplines.

3. Judgement skills:
• Ability to critically analyse a digital or public humanities source, document, or project.
• Ability to develop critical thinking skills with reference to digital technologies or ‘public’ methodologies.

4. Communication skills:
• Ability to interact with the peers and the professor and communicate the outcomes of the student’s work.

There are no pre-requirements.
The Introduction to Public Humanities will provide the students with a basic understanding of the public role the humanities play in today’s world. This part of the course also deals with the ways in which the humanistic disciplines (in our case mainly history, literature, art and archaeology) can interact with the public outside of the academic settings. We will talk of the way the study and the comprehension of the humanities can be object of dissemination, public engagement, and participatory research, and how public humanists can find new audiences and career opportunities beyond the classroom. Many concrete examples will be made, but we will also highlight theoretical and methodological aspects, including problematic issues. Course topics include participatory humanities, public scholarship, public sphere, public good, public sources, public memory, public humanities writing and communication, and much more.

The Introduction to Digital Humanities will provide an overview of key aspects of the digital transformation of scholarly methods and practices in the humanities. Students will acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of the history of Digital Humanities as a discipline. Referring to a wide range of digital projects and scholarly resources participants will be introduced to past and current debates on theoretical issues and implications of applying digital tools and methodologies in literary, historic, artistic and cultural heritage research. Topics will include data models and standards; institutions, communities and infrastructures; collaboration, communication and participation; data visualisation and analysis; publication licences and open access.
For Introduction to Public Humanities:
• Howard Zinn, ‘The Making of a Public Intellectual’, in Practicing Public Scholarship. Experiences and Possibilities beyond the Academy, ed. by Katharine Mitchell, Hoboke, NJ-Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008, pp. 138-141.
• Gregory Jay, 'The Engaged Humanities: Principles and Practices of Public Scholarship and Teaching', Imagining America, 15 (2010), pp. 51-63.
• Gabriel Moshenska, ‘Introduction: Public Archaeology as Practice and Scholarship where Archaeology meets the World’, in Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, ed. by Gabriel Moshenska, London, UCL Press, 2017, pp. 1-13.
• Thomas Cauvin, ‘New Field, Old Practices: Promises and Challenges of Public History', magazén - International Journal for Digital and Public Humanities, 2 (2021), pp. 13-44. .

All the articles and other didactic materials will be made available through the Moodle e-learning platform.

Additional reading for non-attending students:
• Martha Nussbaum, 'Not for Profit. Why Democracy Needs the Humanities', Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2010.

For Introduction to Digital Humanities:
• Ted Underwood, ‘Why DH has no future’, Blog post on The Stone and the Shell, 2012.
• Patrick Sahle, ‘What is a Scholarly Digital Edition?’, in: Matthew James Driscoll and Elena Pierazzo (eds.), Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices, OBP 2016.
• Roberto Busa: "Annals of Humanities Computing: The Index Thomisticus", Computers and the Humanities 14 (1980): 83-90. .
• A Digital Humanities Manifesto:

Additional reading for non-attending students:
Three articles to be chosen among those in the following books (please indicate your choice at least two weeks before the exam):
• A companion to Digital Humanities, ed. by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Online:
• Defining Digital Humanities. A Reader, ed. by Melissa Terras, Julianne Nyhan and Edward Vanhoutte, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. Online:
• A New Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2016. Online:

The assessment will be based on the following components:
1) Final oral exam. (For attending students the exam will most revolve around the assignments and the topics discussed in class.)
2) Participation to class discussions.
3) Assignments and course activities (one of the assignments will be linked to the cycle of seminars of the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities).
Attendance is strongly recommended.

Non-attending students need to prepare some additional reading. See the 'Referral text' section.
Classes with activities in and outside the class, and interaction between professors and students.
Attendance is strongly recommended.
Whenever needed, the didactic material will be made available through the Moodle e-learning platform.
Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion.
Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments:
Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:


This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Circular economy, innovation, work" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 25/08/2022