According to the DH@CC faculty fellows, the inaugural 2015 Summer Institute was a rich, exhausting success. The week long, immersive learning symposium was held during the first week of June at the Honnold Mudd Library, where a wide selection of presentations and hands-on sessions were led by scholars working at the forefront of the digital humanities. Key topics at the symposium included discussions regarding the definition of the digital humanities and its uses, DH criticism, the advantages to infusing humanities courses with the digital, and controversies in the field. Hands-on sessions focused on getting started with tools such as Omeka, WordPress, video production and post production, mapping, and GIS, many of which were presented by professionals working at the 5Cs.
The event’s mornings were kicked off with a lively discussion led by experts in the field. Elizabeth Losh, for example, spearheaded a critical discussion of current projects in the digital humanities, like Selfiecity. David Kim led a discussion on the broad landscape of DH, working from readings by Johanna Drucker and Anne Balsamo. Laila Shereen Sakr held a talk about how the digital can be used as a mode of social activism, and Tara McPherson spoke on DH criticism and responsible DH publishing.
The projected outcomes for the institute were to deepen faculty knowledge of the digital humanities, incite development of thoughtful digital projects, and to build a strong DH community at the 5Cs. Fellows expressed a new found understanding of what the digital humanities is, it’s current direction, and its potential risks. During a wrap up session at the end of the institute’s last day, several faculty members expressed their appreciation for the institute’s flexibility as well as its robust offering of back-to-back events. Some have also expressed interest in applying for next year’s round of Digital Course Development Grants.
In the coming month, several DH@CC videos will be available on the DH@CC website featuring discussions that took place at the event, as well as hands-on learning videos on using digital tools in the classroom.
— AJ Strout, June, 2015