SLAC & R1 DH Collaboration

November 15th, 2010 |

I’ve just graduated from a Ph.D. program at an R1 institution and digital humanities hub (see http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/scholarslab/). I’ve started an assistant professorship at a small liberal arts college (http://www.snc.edu) where I’m the lone scholar interested in digital humanities work. I’m interested in running a session about cross-institutional collaborations in the digital humanities. How can scholars at smaller institutions (or larger institutions without an established DH program) find partners to collaborate with on digital projects, and how can we build a more robust infrastructure to support such collaboration?

The new DHAnswers (http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/), cosponsored by the ACH and ProfHacker, can be seen as a step in the right direction. I’d like to think through the next steps. As I recently wrote to a colleague back at UVA, “DHAnswers is nice, but it’s no substitute for having experts in PHP, Ruby, or Javascript right across campus and ready to help me solve a problem on my website.” But what would be? Can any virtual collaboration bring scholars at smaller institutions closer to the dynamic, collaborative DH environments springing up at R1 schools?

Also driving this session: I’m currently organizing a THATCamp which will be held at St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin this summer. THATCamp Liberal Arts Colleges (http://lac2011.thatcamp.org) will focus on scholars doing digital humanities work at Liberal Arts Colleges, where they are more likely to be the lone DHers on campus and must build stronger off-campus networks. This session would help me start thinking about how to frame THATCamp LAC, and I will welcome input about how the THATCamp model could specifically target the needs of Liberal Arts College faculty.

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