Digital Humanities (M.A.)

  


"What I cannot create, I do not understand. Know how to solve every problem that has been solved." - Richard Feynman

"Interface, like any other component of computational systems, is an artifact of complex processes and protocols, a zone in which our behaviors and actions take place. Interface is what we read and how we read combined through engagement. Interface is a provocation to cognitive experience." - Johanna Drucker



Vision

As the scope of our design practices increasingly encompasses the digital, it is instructive and intellectually responsible to consider more deeply how technology has always shaped our understandings of the world. The discipline of the digital humanities explores how the questions posed in humanities scholarship are transformed and extended by the digital – both by means of tools and epistemologies. This unique course seeks to enrich the scope of both design and the humanities by using critical methodologies and approaches to reciprocally reflect upon the other. By doing so, students will be able to adapt the modes of inquiry and methodologies embedded in humanities thinking to create both more contextually relevant and responsive technological applications and material objects.

At Srishti, our investigations range over a wide terrain: with expertise in hacking, making, coding, interface design, user experience and human-centred design supplemented by a strong knowledge base in humanities scholarship in areas such as public history, multilingual literary studies, human geography and cultural studies. This program will encourage students to react to and create for the South Asian context by encouraging them to think specifically about making tools and interfaces that may facilitate the growth of this discipline in India, as well as to think more broadly about how the conditions of the digital shapes the question at the heart of design: what if?



Course Structure

  1. Studios: provide intense learning experiences and enable discourse through making and thinking. It is envisioned as a creative space for experimenting, synthesizing knowledge and practices through immersive engagement, intuition, contextual learning, design processes and creative methodologies. The Studio is a space for investigating a particular idea, topic, praxis, etc. by discussion and /or dialogue, and may also involve crits, pin-ups, presentations, etc. of either works-in-progress or completed works for feedback. It will be a core practice space where students will draw from their learning and critical thought from individual seminar-studios here for a more enriched understanding and experience.
  2. Seminar-Studios are set up to fully explore different learning potentials offered by the humanities and design. The Seminar-Studio is a core learning and investigating space, where text-based scholarship and research practices will be mobilized and reoriented toward an active and experiential engagement with contemporary concerns.
  3. Workshops provide a platform for debate and emergence, through a dialogue between material making and critical thinking. This 2-week engagement in each semester allows students to formulate independent responses to ideas and processes, material and immaterial.
  4. Summer Practice with an organization, a center or a lab at Srishti or a self-initiated project, is an integral part of learning, and demonstrating students' abilities to integrate and synthesize in a field, context or environment. Students will engage in a practice during the summer after their first year of the course that will lead to developing their focus area for capstone or dissertation.
  5. Interlude is a one-month student-led interdisciplinary space that encourages engagement with contemporary issues facing change-makers today. Postgraduate students across schools at Srishti will work collaboratively to conceptualize an experiment, idea, or engage with a meme, through critical and creative practices. The work will culminate in a symposium or conference, and exhibition, or public engagement or demonstration.
  6. Seminar is a space for investigating a particular idea, topic, praxis, etc. by discussion and /or dialogue, and may also involve crits, pin-ups, presentations, etc. of either works-in-progress or completed works for feedback.
  7. Dissertation or Capstone Project in the final semester is the synthesis and demonstration of capabilities to see the world in new ways, and study human cultures through its creative practices. This semester will be structured by praxis, dialogue and seminars.


Learning Approach

In Digital Humanities, students will be introduced to key theoretical humanities concepts and use and build technological objects to investigate and interrogate these ideas, through activities of making, coding and tinkering. This degree will enable students to rigorously examine and respond creatively to the condition of being digital, with careful attention being paid to the relevance of local regional contexts as well as that of the global. These activities will be enriched by locating them in as well as outwith academic environments, working in collaborations with cultural institutions, policy institutes or industry partners. Students will be taught be a range of practitioners and academics, all of whom have proven expertise in this dynamic field of study. Students graduating from this programme will emerge with a well-developed understanding of digital cultures, and how future research can benefit profoundly from an understanding of culture, heritage and humanities seen through the lens of critical making.


Capability sets

  • Ability to read theoretical texts critically and respond to them in writing cogently and persuasively;
  • Ability to understand how design, both historically, and in the contemporary moment, is an inextricable part of humanist inquiry and rhetoric;
  • Ability to read the digital condition in its appropriate context, be that geographically, socially, culturally or politically;
  • Ability to comprehend the continuum of human communication via textual and visual cultures from manuscript to digital and beyond;
  • Ability to think through theoretical concepts by making and tinkering;
  • Ability to use a range of software, and become adept at (and unafraid of learning coding or programming languages).


Opportunities

  • Interactive Designer
  • Human Computing Interaction
  • Video Games
  • Digital Publishing & Online Content
  • Building resources and digital policies for cultural institutions such as museums, libraries archives and galleries
  • R&D for consulting and technology companies
  • Policy-making: Conceptualizing policy around technology and IT
  • Data Journalism


Enquiries

For enquiries, contact Padmini Ray Murray at p.raymurray@srishti.ac.in



Disciplinary Intersections

The disciplines that inform this MA are:


Research and Collaboration

Students will have the opportunity to work with the following centers and labs at Srishti School:

In addition to the Centers and Labs at Srishti, students have the opportunity to work on active research projects led by SNHD faculty.

Current projects:

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