Brian Harries, PhD

If you're considering an online degree in humanities, check out Concordia University's Master's in Digital Humanities.

Digital humanities in focus: Part II w/ Dr. Harries

This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series called Digital humanities in focus.

Getting an online degree in humanities

Digital humanities as a field is all about studying human beings. This includes analyzing human culture and/or using critical inquiry methods. The digital aspect of the digital humanities requires students to use and design digital tools within the field of humanities.

In order to better understand how the digital humanities are at play in academic and professional settings, we’re bringing you a three-part series called Digital Humanities in Focus. You’ll get a snapshot of three different professors that show you what people actually do with digital humanities.

Q + A with Brian Harries, PhD.

Do you have any particular research interests within the field of English/Literature?

My particular area of interest and research is in early modern studies. I do quite a bit with Shakespearean drama and with the English Reformation—I’m really interested in where these two things overlap. The culture of the English 16th century is absolutely fascinating! Beyond that, I also love working with the Middle Ages.

What excites you about CUAA’s new online degree in humanities?

In the last two decades, the growth of the Digital Humanities has made a range of amazing new tools available to us for accessing, exploring, and better understanding the material we work with in various humanities fields. I’m really excited to work with students who are ready to move beyond the undergraduate classroom to engage with literature, history, and art in completely new ways.


What upcoming courses are you teaching?

Next spring, I’ll be teaching a class on Digital Transcription and Textual Editing. There are so many projects out there right now that are making rare and unique primary materials available to scholars through high-resolution images—medieval manuscripts, early printed books, personal notes and archives, etc. We’ll be working on how to take this material and make it into something useful and accessible to different kinds of audiences.


Why should a student consider the Digital Humanities program? What types of students would thrive in this program?

For students who have always loved the Humanities but have wondered how to apply that enthusiasm in new, practical ways, this program offers a set of tools for employing that passion in a variety of fields where its needed.


What do you love about teaching at CUAA in general?

I think CUAA is really defined by a sense of community. I sincerely appreciate getting to know my students and seeing them develop over the course of their academic careers. Likewise, the faculty are connected across disciplines, so we know that we’re sharing the same goals in supporting our students.


What’s your favorite content area to teach?

I always love teaching Shakespeare. I once heard someone say that, whenever we think we’ve come up with a new idea about human nature or society, we find that Shakespeare’s already there waiting for us. It’s fascinating to me how much we can see ourselves in pop culture from 400 years ago!


Why do you think a Digital Humanities degree is beneficial in today’s marketplace?

The Digital Humanities is all about cooperation and accessibility. Its purpose is to use technology to take the expressions of all those things that define our lives as human beings, and share them with one another in a meaningful way to promote better understanding. It’s hard to imagine a better set of skills in today’s global market.

Earn your online degree in humanities through Concordia’s master’s program

Do you want to learn more about getting a master’s in digital humanities? Learn more here.

— Vanessa Lane is the Content Marketing Lead at Concordia University and can be reached at When she's not at work, she can be found playing with her kids or watching NBA basketball with her husband.

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