Friday, May 29 • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Building and Sustaining DH Communities

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As Digital Humanities increases its presence across a variety of institutions from 2-year colleges to private and public R1 universities, so too do the anecdotes on how to develop the infrastructure for such programs through digital initiatives and collaboration across departments. This panel seek to elaborate on the challenges and successes that we have faced as graduate and postdoctoral students building and sustaining vibrant DH communities at our respective institutions. Our grant-funded project "Demystifying Digital Humanities" (www.dmdh.org) is going into its third year at the University of Washington; Sarah Kremen-Hicks and I, as graduate students, facilitate TWO quarterly 3-hour workshops, quarterly project development and feedback sessions, bi-weekly office hours, organize and host quarterly "DH Happy Hour Socials," as well as maintain an active social media presence. We believe that these experiences coupled with Paige Morgan’s efforts at the Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship at McMaster University as a postdoctoral student, will lend a great deal of insight to foster further conversations about the challenges and successes of developing institutional infrastructure, especially from a non-departmental specific location, i.e., the Simpson Center for the Humanities as opposed to the English department directly (the department to which both Sarah and I belong). In a time when the job market in the humanities is shrinking, while the call for tenure track, adjunct, and postdoc candidates to help develop or contribute to an existing infrastructure increases, it is incumbent upon all of us as critical scholars associated with these efforts, even tangentially, to maintain transparent conversations regarding flexible “best practice” approaches that are grounded in tenable goals. In many ways, we see this panel as a dialogue that began with Miriam Posner’s recent post on building a DH community at UCLA--”Here and There: Creating DH Community.” There, Posner concludes that “[t]he important thing is to remind yourself that you’re not doing this to build one project or your center’s brand or whatever. You’re doing this to serve these larger functions that universities are supposed to perform.” We believe that our stories help to thread the needle of decoding how building a DH community aligns with the overall goals of the humans that are putting these efforts in a daily basis. Ultimately, the more personal stories that can be shared, the better informed we will all be in adjusting to the changing cultural of knowledge work done at the academy. (Ideally, we would like the opportunity to include one more panelist in an effort to organize a diverse panel (or roundtable), especially for those who come at this from a four-year state college point of view as opposed to an R1 university.

avatar for Paige Morgan

Paige Morgan

Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellow, Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship, McMaster University

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avatar for Rachel  Deblinger

Rachel Deblinger

Digital Humanities Specialist, UC Santa Cruz

Friday May 29, 2015 1:15pm - 2:30pm EDT
Heritage Room Kellogg Center

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