Our project sought to build upon our emergent network of collaboration across
San Diego institutions of higher learning in order to build and strengthen
Digital Humanities in our region. This Level I start-up grant supported a
series of workshops that focus on distributing DH to institutions and student
populations usually left out of the Digital Humanities (DH) movement-large state
"teaching" schools and community colleges, and particularly those that serve
largely Hispanic and other historically underrepresented groups. The goal is
to assess the barriers to implementing DH across a wide spectrum of institutions
and diverse student populations with the goal of developing work-around strategies
for implementing DH by drawing upon the resources of multiple institutions within
a single region. The outcome will be a much-needed set of protocols that can be
adapted and scaled.
This year-long initiative included a two-day workshop about DH pedagogical innovation in early fall (October 2015), during which participants develop specific goals and pedagogical prototypes that they then test out at their home institutions over the academic year. A final meeting, at the end of the year (May 2016), brought participants together to assess, refine, and publicize findings. The workshops provided space and support for participants to develop and test concrete approaches to teaching DH. They were carefully organized to build upon each other but also to allow flexibility within the sessions for hands-on activities, free-flowing discussion, and a sense of ground-up community building.
There is much work to be done to distribute DH teaching and learning beyond R1 and liberal arts campuses, and the impetus of this project is to use DH to readdress social inequality. DH-trained humanities majors can help meet employment demand in STEM fields, especially in jobs that require critical thinking and innovation about digital media. Broadened opportunities for DH education can prepare diverse students not only to enter but also to critique and transform the digital and data economies. DH pedagogy also has the potential to change how scholars and teachers engage with and contribute to the larger community, through community-based research projects and regional commitments.
We envisioned this effort as providing a model that can be scaled and replicated to develop efficient ways of teaching DH in the context of particular institutional challenges not yet the central to DH discourse. That is why we are making all of our planning, process, and products available on this website.