DGST 101


This course introduces an interdisciplinary approach to using technology and specifically provides a foundation for the Digital Studies Minor. Coursework may include digital approaches to creavity, historiography, media analysis and thinking critically about and through digital culture. This is the only specifically-required course in the Minor, and it is being offered for the first time in Fall 2013, when it is scheduled for 10:00 – 10:50, MWF.

DGST 101 will meet in a computer lab (Combs 349), and students will be working with software to produce digitally-specific scholarly and creative works. While some coursework will involve working closely with computer software, no prior experience with programming is required or expected. You should simply be willing to learn.


Because this course is the introduction to the Digital Studies minor, students will be introduced systematically to each of four aspects of digital studies as outlined in the bulleted list below. Each of these will be developed further in the minor’s approved electives, should you decide to continue with it, so DGST 101 is intended to create a solid foundation upon which those discoveries can proceed.

By completing this course, successful students will begin to …

  • Develop skills in designing, building and sharing ideas that can be expressed through the uniquely multimodal, procedural, and networked capabilities of digital tools.
  • Explore processes of knowledge production by using digital technology in researching, analyzing, and executing critical inquiry.
  • Build knowledge in contemporary and historical digital cultures, including social, ethical and philosophical issues related to technological development.
  • Build, promote and sustain an active and engaged digital identity.


All required readings for this course are available online, through our Library’s subscriptions, through Canvas, or via the open web. Readings, viewings and playings will be drawn from the history of the development of digital media as well as contemporary issues related to digital culture. See the course outline below for more specifics.

Strictly speaking, the only requirement is that you own a domain name and hosting account through UMWDomains. (If you already have one, then by all means use it for this class — that’s what it’s for!) If you don’t already have one, I will guide you through that process in the first week of class. These are free to you. By the end of the semester, this domain will become a digital portfolio — a public-facing representation of yourself and your skills.