Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Notes on the Expanding Access to Digital Humanities Workshop

On September 16 and 17, I attended the "Expanding Access to Digital Humanities" workshop at Lindenwood University. The workshop, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant, was co-directed by Geremy Carnes, Associate Professor of English at Lindenwood, and Meg Smith, digital humanities research professor at SIUE and one of my key collaborators. 

The workshop brought together about two dozens educators -- secondary teachers and college professors -- from the St. Louis region. The gathering is designed to "build a digital humanities network for the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, linking faculty, students, and community members across the region’s educational and cultural institutions in a community of pedagogy and practice."

Participants included middle school teachers, high school teachers, librarians, professors of history, literature, philosophy, art history, and music. We discussed a number of topics, including:
• DH curricula
• Making DH projects access to students
• DH and social justice 
• Integrating DH into curricula 
• Collaborating on DH projects and resources 
I had a good time listening and learning from the variety of educators from across the region. 

It's an exciting proposition to develop an active DH network in the St. Louis area, which includes southern Illinois. There are several colleges and universities here, and then hundreds of secondary schools. Figuring out how to bring folks together who are working on technology and humanities projects is really something. 

I began this blog back in 2008, and in 2009, after participating in some of the conversations at the Modern Language Association conference, I started blogging about digital humanities. By 2013, I felt like I had enough posts to create a Notebook on DH.   

I live in St. Louis and work at SIUE, so for the most part, my local DH projects have taken place in Edwardsville and East St. Louis. I certainly hadn't given enough thought to what it might mean to converse and work with folks in the broader St. Louis region.  

In 2020, Geremy created the St. Louis Area Digital Humanities Network on Slack, using that messaging program to unite people and share information, news, and opportunities related to DH projects. In 2021, Geremy and Meg established a partnership between Lindenwood and SIUE by applying for and earning this NEH grant for the workshop.  I'm thankful to both of them and the gathering of educators for prompting me to consider what a DH network in this region might look like. 


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