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New Media + Digital Humanities

As digital technologies continue to shape and inform nearly all of our experiences both in and out of the classroom, this area of specialization emphasizes student training in the theory, aesthetics, and production of new media forms. These forms include but are not limited to social media, modes of digital storytelling (i.e. audio and video essays, podcasts, and wikis), video and computer games, digital archives, and online communities and interaction.

Our approach to studying new technologies, from video game narratives to YouTube, from the digital history of the book to online bullying and hate speech, is always informed by our dedication, as humanists, to building on the core skill set emphasized in the major as a whole—skills that foster clear and persuasive oral and written communication, dynamic critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to closely examine a variety texts. This area of specialization aims to better prepare interested students for jobs that require both a familiarity with technology and sound written and communication skills. We believe this specialization will also help our students become better critically informed and productive digital citizens.

As with all department letters of specialization, this specialization complements areas requirements for the major but it is not limited to English majors. All are welcome.

REQUIREMENTS:

Five courses

  • Required: Technical Skills for English Majors ("Doing Digital")

  • ENG 302: Studies in Textuality and New Media

  • Course in theory (includes literary theory)

  • Course in production (English 391C: Introduction to Web Design, for example)

  • Up to two courses that include a digital component where 20% of the grade is determined by such assignments, or two applicable classes in other humanities departments.

  • Relevant and topical electives (including independent studies). Strongly recommended: English 491 AC, Career Exploration for English Majors.

​For further information, contact TreaAndrea Russworm, Bartlett 463; or email russworm@english.umass.edu