skip to primary navigationskip to content

Critical Coding - an introduction to digital design

This short practical course offered by the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network and the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, introduces basic skills of programming and software design in the context of social and critical enquiry. It will take place over six two-hour sessions, each of which will result in a simple functional software application.

Event details


Jun 13, 2014 10:30 AM to
Jun 20, 2014 12:30 PM


S2 Alison Richard Building

Add event to calendar

13-20 June 2014 – 10.30am – 12.30pm

S2, Alison Richard Building, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT
(except 16 June when the course takes place in S3)

The class will be composed of graduate students from a mix of disciplines, including arts, humanities, social sciences and technology. Students will work in pairs or small groups, each with at least one technology student who will provide an element of peer-tutoring in basic programming skills. No previous programming experience is required for humanities and social science researchers.

Although students will acquire basic programming skills, the software applications are expected to challenge conventional assumptions regarding the purpose and function of interactive digital systems. Those challenges should be grounded in rigorous critical thinking, drawing on diverse theoretical perspectives. Exemplars can be found in programmes such as Matt Ratto's Critical Making, Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby's Critical Design and Phoebe Sengers' Reflective Design.

When taken for credit (not available in 2014), assessment will be based on a working prototype, accompanied by a critical essay of no more than 2000 words. The tutorial contributions from technology students will be recognised with teaching credit, as an honorary (unpaid) Demonstrator appointment. Research publications, conference presentations, blog entries or online video resulting from the joint work are also encouraged. In these cases, contributors should usually be acknowledged via multiple authorship.

To apply for the 2014 course, please download and complete this form and return to Dr Alan Blackwell ( by 12 noon, 6 June 2014.


We are a network of researchers at the University of Cambridge who are interested in how the use of digital tools is transforming scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. This transformation spans both the content and practice of humanities research, as the diffusion of digital technologies opens up new fields of study and generates research questions which breach traditional disciplinary boundaries.

RSS Feed Latest news

World Factory project performances explore global textile connections

Apr 07, 2015

World Factory, an interdisciplinary performance project supported by the Digital Humanities Network launches a season of performances at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and the Young Vic, London in April and May.

Social Media Knowledge Exchange funding competition 2015 launched

Jan 28, 2015

Cambridge PhD students can apply for funding of up to £500 to organise a social media knowledge exchange event.

View all news