Envisioning a Digital Humanities Curriculum (plus: origin stories)
The University of Maryland, College Park, offers a unique opportunity to particularly promising incoming undergads with specific interests: participating in (perhaps “residing in” is more appropriate) a Living and Learning Program. What does that mean?
“What are living-learning communities?
Living-learning communities are specialized residential programs initiated by and having direct connections with faculty and specific academic units/departments within the University’s Division of Academic Affairs. In partnership with Resident Life staff and other student services staff at the University, these faculty and academic administrators link the curricular and residential experiences in ways that create opportunities for deeper understanding and integration of classroom material.”
Last month, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities was invited to submit a proposal for a Digital Humanities L&L program – we’ve dubbed it “Digital Cultures and Creativity.” While still very much in its infancy – in fact, still being evaluated! – there is plenty to be discussed around developing a curriculum (be it an L&L program, certificate or otherwise) for the digital humanities. Especially for incoming freshman, who are quite likely to have had limited exposure to the formal field.
- What topics and skills make up the core of DH?
- Do courses need to be specifically tailored to DH, or can you draw on other departments in order to offer more diverse options?
- If you do draw on other departments, how do you negotiate with the student and instructor to make sure the material maintains its relevance?
- Could/should a DH course replace a typical required IT course?
- Who teaches the courses? How are they structured? (Labs, lectures, discussion..)
- And, importantly.. how do we get the younger crowd interested in (or even aware of) digital humanities and entice the first pool of applicants to a DH program?
Definitely interested in the viewpoints of any prospective or currently practicing DH educators, especially at the undergraduate (or high school?!) level.
The other idea I had is more on the squishy-feely side. It is awesome that a regional THATcamp came into being so quickly and efficiently (thank you, organizers!), but it’s striking that it was done as an offshoot of an archival conference. The number of archives and library presentations at DH09 surprised me as well. Maybe it’s just because I’m a total newb, but I though it might be fun to gather round the campfire and tell the story of how we came to this wondrous land of digital humanities.
Date: August 5, 2009