DIGI405-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Texts, Discourses and Data: the Humanities and Data Science

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


This course examines computer-aided methods used in digital humanities and the social sciences for analysing discourses, an object of study that draws together multiple ways that language reflects and shapes social meanings. Within this context, it introduces concepts and methods for analysing natural language data and applies these through a series of practical lab classes. The first part of the course focuses on classic discourse analysis methods drawn from corpus linguistics, as well as the essential preprocessing steps used to prepare texts for a range of analytical purposes. In the second part of the course we study topic modeling, a technique for unsupervised, exploratory data analysis that has been widely used in digital humanities, and, finally, consider supervised text classification methods to identify discursive attributes such as sentiment, genre, or style.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • Apply a range of computer-assisted text analysis methods with broad applications, drawing examples from humanities and social sciences.
  • Explain how text analysis results are connected to social, cultural and linguistic factors and contexts.
  • Identify ethical and political dimensions to computer-assisted text analysis methods.


Subject to approval of the Programme Coordinator.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 13:00 Jack Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 15:00 - 17:00 Ernest Rutherford 212 Computer Lab
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
02 Thursday 14:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 212 Computer Lab
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
03 Tuesday 16:00 - 18:00 Rehua 008 Computer Lab
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Presentation A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 13:00 - 15:00 Rehua 009
18 Mar - 24 Mar

Course Coordinator

Christopher Thomson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Active participation 20% Each week there will be activities to complete to support your learning. Grades will be given based on participating in and completing tasks in labs (1% each) and in lectorials or online (1% each).
Corpus building project 25% Submit a 1500 word report and reflection on building a corpus.
Corpus analysis assignment 25% Write a 2000 word analysis on a set topic, incorporating corpus-assisted discourse analysis methods.
Final examination 30% A test of your understanding of topics covered throughout the course.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,023.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All DIGI405 Occurrences

  • DIGI405-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024
  • DIGI405-24S1 (D) Semester One 2024 (Distance)
  • DIGI405-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024
  • DIGI405-24S2 (D) Semester Two 2024 (Distance)
  • DIGI405-24X4 (O) Special non-calendar-based Four 2024 (UC Online) - Not Offered