- 0:00:00 Introductions
- 0:02:47 Hamilton College’s Digital Humanities Initiative: A Liberal Arts Model for Future Scholarship, Research and Teaching, Angel David Nieves
- 0:42:54 Q&A
Participate in the conversation in the comments or on twitter: #wellesleydh
Since the fall of 2008 I have had the distinct privilege of working with an interdisciplinary team of scholars, IT professionals, programmers, and students in the development of a comprehensive digital humanities program at Hamilton College, a small, private liberal arts college in upstate New York. Today, liberal arts colleges and universities face a set of unprecedented challenges as they prepare their students for employment, leadership, and service. Specifically, in the wake of America’s fiscal crisis, they must attempt to justify the growing costs of attending those four-year private schools with a history of extreme privilege. Educators at the college level are also being asked to expand opportunities for students of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering while these same educators grapple with changes in research and teaching triggered by the revolution in digital technologies. The liberal arts model, which has maintained a strong and principled foundation in teaching undergraduates, can no longer ignore the kinds of pedagogical shifts and epistemological questions that have resulted with the growth of computational technology. Schools such as Hobart and William Smith, Union, Colgate, St. Lawrence, Skidmore, and Hamilton College, known among their peers as the “New York 6 Liberal Arts Consortium (NY6)” have all embraced the advent of new digital technologies in different ways based on existing resources and institutional leadership. The Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) at Hamilton College is a collaboratory where new media and computing technologies are used to promote humanities-based teaching, research, and scholarship across the liberal arts. DHi creates opportunities for new interdisciplinary models and methods of collaboration between faculty and students. These activities support a fundamental shift in humanities research, leveraging the potential of technology to access and manipulate rich media collections in ways that increase collaborative scholarship (not only within Hamilton humanities but also, potentially, with other institutions around the world) and lead to the generation of new knowledge.
Angel David Nieves, B.Arch, M.A., Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Chair of the Africana Studies Department at Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y. He is currently Co-Directing Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) an $800,000. Mellon Foundation Grant funded project (www.dhinitiative.org). His co-edited book, ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (2008), examines African American efforts to claim space in American society despite fierce resistance. Nieves has published essays in the Journal of Planning History; Places Journal: A Forum of Design for the Public Realm; International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics; Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies; and in several edited collections, most recently in Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing With Difficult Heritage (2009). In May of 2010 he received The John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award. He is also the Associate Editor, of Fire!!!: A Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, a new on-line only journal of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). His digital research and scholarship have also been featured on MSNBC.com and in Newsweek. Nieves’ scholarly work and community-based activism critically engages with issues of memory, heritage preservation, gender and nationalism at the intersections of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South.