Download the course syllabus.

Course Description

What did the Native American communities in the Midwest think, feel, and do in response to Euro-American settlement during and after the Revolutionary War? Who held power and of what kind in the late eighteenth century? How do we know? This course explores these questions and more as we work with the Miami Tribe of Indiana to prepare and study documents about their past, as well as that of the Wea, Kickapoo, Illinois, Pottawatomi, and others to understand the history and legacy of settler colonialism. In this course, you will learn how to structure data to prepare it for digital analysis using a variety of methods including word frequency, word distinctiveness, collocations, topic modeling, and comparative corpus linguistics. In addition, you will learn how to ask computationally tractable questions, detect bias, craft evidence-based arguments, and determine the limits of digital research methods. While this course applies these methods to historical research, the skills you will learn transfer to social media analysis, data journalism, marketing analysis, qualitative business analytics, and more.

This class meets twice a week for interactive discussions and workshops. No prior experience is necessary, and there are no prerequisites.

About your instructor

Dr. Sanders Garcia is Vice Chair of the Digital Humanities program at UCLA. She holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialization in Digital Humanities from Michigan State University and B.S. in both History and Mathematics from Western Michigan University.  A comparative colonial historian, her research explores the development of settler colonies in the United States and French Algeria.  Her first publication, “A Study of the Teaching Methods of High School History Teachers,” appeared in The Social Studies, a peer reviewed journal, in 2008. Her most recent publications include a chapter on building a DH program, which will appear in the latest book in the Debates in DH series, Institutions, Infrastructures at the Interstices (forthcoming), and a maturity framework for DH centers (http://bit.ly/ECAR-DH). Currently, the University of Nebraska Press is  considering her manuscript, Between Two Fires: The Origins of Settler Colonialism in the United States and French Algeria, for publication. To learn more about her historical research, check out her academic site, Colonialism Through the Veil.