DCI Minor Requirements

2023 - 2024 Catalog

Digital Culture and Information minor

A minor in digital culture and information requires completion of 18 credits, as follows. In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student may not use more than nine credits (including capstone) that are also used to meet the requirements of other majors or minors.

  1. DCI 101
  2. At least six credits chosen from DCI 103, 110, 175, 180, 190, 191, 201, 270, 271, 295, 401, 402, 403; HIST 211; JOUR 230, 341
  3. At least six credits chosen from ARTH 383, ARTS 131; BUS 306, 321; CLAS 343; any CSCI course; ENGL 453; JOUR 202, 220; POL 271; MESA 260; SOAN 220, 265, 266; and, when approved in advance, DCI-designated courses
  4. Capstone project. Three credits chosen from DCI 393, 403 (not used above), or a capstone or honors thesis in the major field of study, of sustained intellectual engagement using digital tools or methods and approved one term in advance of beginning by the core faculty of the minor
  5. Portfolio: at least three projects or assignments, in addition to the capstone, from courses in the minor which demonstrate attention to design, used experience, awareness of audience, and professional or academic context, and including both reflection on and analysis of each work in the portfolio.
  1. Required course:
    • DCI 101 - Introduction to Digital Culture and Information
      Credits3

      What does it mean to be a citizen of a digital world? How do you think critically about the ways that technology shapes our society? How do you learn new digital skills when platforms are constantly changing? How do you find and use information effectively without being overwhelmed or misled? Through hands-on activities and project-based learning, this course serves as an introduction to the study of digital culture and information. Students will develop the critical capacity and technological fluency necessary to understand, analyze, critique, and create in a world dominated by digital media, software algorithms, and information overload.


  2. At least six credits chosen from:
    • DCI 103 - Digital Humanities: Social Justice Collections and Liberal Arts Curricula
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      Through a unique collaboration between ten peer colleges, this course uses college archives and collections, and curricular data, as a multi-campus corpus to be interrogated as a basis for historically and socially relevant digital research. Students will apply different lenses - history, language, culture, religion, solo/ensemble works of art, digital making to formulate and address a research question through digital means. By fostering the skills of digital collaboration, students grapple with formulating humanistic research questions (qualitative and quantitative) that can be addressed through digital approaches. The course opens with instruction on theoretical and methodological underpinnings - what is digital humanities and how is it done? The project-based nature of the work in the second half of the course promotes students' abilities to think and work collaboratively, an asset for modern scholarship and future work. This course is taught fully online through both real-time (synchronous) and asynchronous delivery, with faculty of LACOL-affiliated colleges.


    • DCI 110 - Web Programming for Non-Programmers
      FDRSC Science, Math, CS Distribution
      Credits4

      Computer science and IT graduates are no longer the only people expected to have some knowledge of how to program. Humanities and social science majors can greatly increase their job prospects by understanding the fundamentals of writing computer code, not only through the ability itself but also being better able to communicate with programming professionals and comprehending the software development and design process as a whole. The most centralized and simple platform for learning is the Web. This course starts with a brief introduction to/review of HTML and CSS and then focuses on using JavaScript to write basic code and implement preexisting libraries to analyze and visualize data. Students become familiar with building a complete Web page that showcases all three languages. No prior programming experience is needed, but a desire to learn and to be challenged is a must.


    • DCI 175 - Innovations in Publishing
      Credits4

      An intensive introduction to the publishing industry with a focus on digital innovations. A hands-on approach in a series of four laboratory sessions provides students with the ability to tackle a variety of technical scenarios for publishing. Each class begins with news from the publishing industry and ends by examining job ads to understand the types of skills and experiences necessary for pursuing careers in this very broad field. This course focuses primarily on the publishing of video games.


    • DCI 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
      Credits3
      Prerequisitefirst-year student class standing

      A seminar for first-year students. Applicability to FDRs and other requirements varies.


    • DCI 190 - Digital Culture and Information Studio
      Credits1

      This course examines the research questions that guide digital humanities methodology, reviews exemplary scholarly projects on the topic at hand, and offers significant hands-on experience exploring relevant tools. May be repeated for up to three degree credits if the topics are different.


    • DCI 191 - Conventions of Scholarship: Past, Present, and Future
      Credits1

      What is scholarship? Who controls it? Who is left out of scholarly conversations? In the first six weeks of this course, students will explore how various information stakeholders define scholarship, from academics to government bodies. We will primarily explore how academic inquiry differs from personal inquiry; what conventions people observe within the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and STEM; and the problem of gatekeeping in academic scholarship, and how certain populations are marginalized. Students will learn how to identify quality scholarship, while remembering that quality is subjective and fluid. The second half of the course will leave behind the classroom in favor of an experiential learning lab in the University Library. Students will help their peers not only find information and scholarship to satisfy their own academic inquiry, but will also learn how libraries organize that material and make it discoverable.


    • DCI 201 - Digital Collections and Exhibits
      Credits3
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      Students explore W&L's history through primary sources in Special Collections and Archives to develop a public-facing online collection of materials and a narrative exhibit. This course teaches students how to plan and implement a digital collection and exhibit from the initial concept through the final project.


    • DCI 270 - 21st-Century Show and Tell: Multimedia Design for Instruction
      Credits3

      E-learning provides a method to convey instruction for concepts and skills that require minimal to moderate explanation and nuance. It can serve as a primer for information that a wide audience needs to know prior to diving deeper into a topic or as a refresher for knowledge that can be accessed anytime and anywhere an Internet connection is available. Students learn core instructional-design theories and to use instructional technology to develop a learning module in the context of an academic library. They design the course from scratch following industry-standard principles using tools that aid in wire-framing, scriptwriting, asset collection, and module construction.


    • DCI 271 - New Dark Age
      Credits3

      Are we living in a New Dark Age? Artist and writer James Bridle argues that the abundance of information intended to enlighten the world has, in practice, darkened it. This course takes a big-picture look at the interconnected impact of technology on the world around us. Is it enough to learn to code or think computationally? Through research, hands-on assignments, and local trips, we seek to understand what has led to our present technological moment and where we can go from here. We cover topics such as climate change, e-waste, big data, algorithmic bias, and automation.


    • DCI 401 - Directed Individual Study
      Credits1
      PrerequisiteDCI 102 or DCI 108 or instructor consent; at least junior standing

      A course designed for students who wish to undertake a digital scholarship project of their own conception and execution. Applications must be approved by the department and accepted by the student's proposed director. In consultation with a director, students plan an independent course of study which must culminate in the production of a work of public-facing digital scholarship. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • DCI 402 - Directed Individual Study
      Credits2
      PrerequisiteDCI 102 or DCI 108 or instructor consent; at least junior standing

      A course designed for students who wish to undertake a digital scholarship project of their own conception and execution. Applications must be approved by the department and accepted by the student's proposed director. In consultation with a director, students plan an independent course of study which must culminate in the production of a work of public-facing digital scholarship. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • DCI 403 - Directed Individual Study
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteDCI 101

      A course designed for students who wish to undertake a digital scholarship project of their own conception and execution. In consultation with a director, students plan an independent course of study which culminates in the production of a work of public-facing digital scholarship. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Applications must be approved by the department and accepted by the student's proposed director.


    • HIST 211 - Scandal, Crime, and Spectacle in the 19th Century
      FDRHU Humanities Distribution
      Credits3

      This course examines the intersection between scandal, crime, and spectacle in 19th-century France and Britain. We discuss the nature of scandals, the connection between scandals and political change, and how scandals and ideas about crime were used to articulate new ideas about class, gender, and sexuality. In addition, this class covers the rise of new theories of criminality in the 19th century and the popular fascination with crime and violence. Crime and scandal also became interwoven into the fabric of the city as sources of urban spectacle. Students are introduced to text analysis and data mining for the humanities.


    • JOUR 230 - Data-Driven Storytelling
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteJOUR 101

      The ability to gather, analyze, and tell clear and compelling stories with data is becoming one of the most valuable skills in professional communication. More than just learning new tools, it is a different way of thinking about the building blocks of stories and information. Students apply the values and practices of journalistic storytelling to data, learning how to gather it, break it down, report on it, contextualize it, and display it in clear, creative, engaging ways. Students learn data analysis and visualization in R and apply what they learn to a full-term, news-style data storytelling project.


    • JOUR 341 - Multimedia Storytelling Design
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteat least junior class standing

      Have you ever wondered how news organizations put together their Pulitzer Prize-winning interactive stories? This course introduces students to tools that help them imagine, design, and create powerful interactive features with audio, video, graphics, and words on the cutting edge of journalism and mass communications. Students learn web design and programming skills using HTML CSS and JavaScript. This course is for students with little or no coding experience but who want to know how they did that.


  3. At least three credits chosen from:
  4. any CSCI course, and, when approved in advance, DCI-designated courses

    • ARTH 383 - Digital Florence
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits4

      This course invites students to participate in and contribute to the Digital Humanities project Florence As It Was: The Digital Reconstruction of a Medieval City. We consider how the built environment of Florence influenced--and was in turn influenced by--the culture, society, art, and history of the city. Students learn to translate historical, scholarly analysis into visually accessible formats, and collaborate on the "Florence As It Was" project, contributing to the digital mapping, data visualization, and virtual-reality reconstruction of medieval Florence.


    • ARTS 131 - Design I
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3

      An introduction to the elements and concepts of two-dimensional design within the context of current digital technology, with an emphasis on contemporary computer software programs.


    • BUS 306 - Seminar in Management Information Systems
      Credits3-4

      Topics vary by term and instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Prerequisite vary with topics. Preference to BSADM or JMCB majors during the first round of registration.


    • BUS 321 - Multimedia Design and Development
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteat least junior class standing

      This course is an introduction to the study and creation of multimedia content primarily used in business. Students explore the steps used to plan and create multimedia content that effectively targets and delivers business information. This is a hands-on, project-oriented course with emphasis on the design and creation of media elements such as interactive web, graphic, audio, and video content. The course focuses on using WordPress development using Headway Themes with emphasis on Cascading Style Sheets, Adobe Photoshop, Reaper, and Final Cut Pro X as the foundation for creating online multimedia content. Preference to BSADM majors during first round of registration.


    • CLAS 343 - The Roman Emperor
      FDRHU Humanities Distribution
      Credits4

      An exploration of the figure of the Roman Emperor in art, architecture, monuments, and the urban fabric of the ancient world. Analysis and assessment use innovative digital scholarly resources that are currently available to students and scholars of the classical world. Each week, a different discipline within Classics (e.g., history and historiography, epigraphy, numismatics) is presented, followed by hands-on assignments working with the scholarly tools that can be used to query or conduct research in that field. Group projects focus on a particular time period and evaluate how the figure of the Roman emperor, his public relations, Roman society, and the expression of political power shifted over the centuries of empire.


    • ENGL 453 - Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 201, ENGL 202, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, ENGL 206, ENGL 207, ENGL 210, ENGL 214, or ENGL 215

      An apprenticeship in editing with the editor of Shenandoah, Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and translations; substantive editing of manuscripts, copyediting; communicating with writers; social media; website maintenance; the design of promotional material.


    • JOUR 202 - Introduction to Digital Journalism
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteJOUR 201

      Concepts and practices of news gathering and presentation in a multimedia, interactive environment. Combines classroom instruction with a converged news media lab in which students contribute to a website, television newscast, and newspaper. The laboratory requirement is limited to three sessions during the term, as arranged with the instructor.


    • JOUR 220 - Social Media: Principles and Practice
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteJOUR 201

      In this course, students dive deep into social media, learning how to use it as thoughtful and ethical professionals, and examining its growing roles in society, politics, identity, and relationships. Students get hands-on experience in producing news for social media by running a multi-platform social news service. They also learn how to plan a strategic social media campaign, how to use metrics to analyze social media effectiveness, and how to use social media in reporting.


    • MESA 260 - From Travelogues to Blogs: American Depictions of the Middle East
      FDRHL Literature Distribution
      Credits3

      What do stories and firsthand "insights" from tourists tell us about ourselves and the world? This course examines American representations of the Middle East from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Through the genre of travel writing, students explore tourist perspectives on issues such as religion, gender, politics, and society while learning about the rich history and culture of the region. The role that individuals from the Middle East play in shaping perceptions is also studied. Through discussion and the critical reading of primary sources, such as travelogues, blogs, and Instagram feeds, students learn how "the American" and "the Other'' are constructed in political, cultural, and religious discourses.


    • POL 271 - Black Mirror
      FDRSS2 Social Science - Group 2 Distribution
      Credits3

      Through a critical engagement with the television series "Black Mirror", this course is intended to help students understand and think critically about how various technologies are actively shaping what it means - and what it might mean in the future - to be human, live a good life, and act as a socio-political agent. We examine some of the central questions and themes presented in each episode through supplementary readings drawn from various fields, including political philosophy, literature, science fiction, and journalism. Topics include technology's impact on romantic and family relationships, social surveillance and punishment, and political leadership, among others.


    • SOAN 220 - A World of Data: Baseball and Statistics
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCBSC 250, ECON 203, INTR 202, SOAN 218, or SOAN 219

      An introduction to the world of data and data analysis, emphasizing Bayesian methods. Taking the case of contemporary sports, with a particular focus on baseball, it teaches students how to build models of player performance while also asking important questions about the limitations of such approaches to human activities. What is gained and lost in the world made by measuring human actions in reliable ways? How is our experience in the world--in this case as athletes playing and spectators living sports--affected when we see it in terms of statistics and predictive models? What interests and what concerns make up our lives when we engage the world in this way? What interests and concerns may be obscured? The course offers a rare opportunity to acquire some expertise in producing data-driven knowledge and decisions while also reflecting on what it is like to be a non-expert living in the world shaped by such expertise.


    • SOAN 265 - Exploring Social Networks
      FDRSS4 Social Science - Group 4 Distribution
      Credits3

      This course is an introduction to network analysis. Students learn some of the major network analysis literature in sociology and related fields and develop their skills as network analysts in laboratory sessions. Social science, humanities, business, and public health applications are emphasized.


    • SOAN 266 - Neighborhoods and Inequality
      FDRSS3 Social Science - Group 3 Distribution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteOne of the following: BIOL 201, CBSC 250, ECON 202, INTR 202, MATH 118, MATH 310, SOAN 218, or SOAN 222; or instructor consent

      This course examines the ways in which residential context relates to social and economic inequalities. Drawing on empirical literature from sociology and related fields, we consider both (a) how residential contexts may shape individuals' opportunities and (b) the factors that may shape the persistence or change of concentrated advantage and disadvantage across those residential settings. Half of the course is a traditional seminar and half is a data analysis lab in which we learn tools of spatial data analysis and then apply them in individual student projects on contemporary cities.


  5. Capstone project.
  6. Three credits chosen from DCI 393, 403 (not used above), or a capstone or honors thesis in the major field of study, of sustained intellectual engagement using digital tools or methods and approved one term in advance of beginning by the core faculty of the minor

  7. Portfolio.
  8. at least three projects or assignments, in addition to the capstone, from courses in the minor which demonstrate attention to design, used experience, awareness of audience, and professional or academic context, and including both reflection on and analysis of each work in the portfolio.