Digital Humanities and the “Ugly Stepchildren” of American Higher Education
For the past three decades, the humanities in American public higher education have suffered recurrent crises. In moments of general fiscal austerity, class sizes in the humanities have risen, departments and programs have been threatened or eliminated, and searches for open faculty positions have been abandoned. Even in times of stable budgets, tenure-track positions have remained elusive, and resources available to those scholars doing work in the humanities have been scarce. This context has been so persistent that it has taken on an air of permanence.
The general implications for instruction and pedagogical innovation in the humanities from this “new normal” are well documented: contact time with students has declined, and the ratio of classes being taught by contingent faculty has increased. General education curricula have, for the most part, not kept pace with changes in institutional structure that have led to more adjuncts teaching larger classes with strained institutional support. Most university curricula have not adjusted to the material realities of the college experience, where the vast majority of students lead lives that are exponentially more digital and networked than they were when those curricula were designed. General education requirements have not been sufficiently reoriented to the changing demands of the job market, which require, at the very least, that students be able to navigate increasingly complicated information systems. Most universities have failed to relay to students why studying the humanities is important or relevant in this context, and so it is little wonder that ever-increasing percentages of students are landing in nonhumanities majors, choosing instead courses of study that promise to certify them for a specific place in the economy, which may or may not in fact exist (Menand, 50–54).
These conditions are encouraging too many college students to see knowledge as something they purchase in the form of a degree, as opposed to something flexible and broadly applicable that they gain through deep, engaging experience. This new normal has done much to undermine the place of the humanities in college instruction. In this context, pedagogy, curriculum development, and the scholarship of teaching and learning remain what Steve Brier has called “the ugly stepchildren of the university.” Those particular paths of inquiry continue to be undervalued by institutions and less energetically pursued by academics than the discipline-based research with which the majority of humanists began their careers.
In contrast to these troubling realities, the digital humanities appear to be on the ascendance. The job market for academic humanists in the past three years has been the weakest in over a generation, yet jobs in the digital humanities are becoming more plentiful. In 2010 through 2011, there were cluster hires of digital humanities faculty at a number of research universities, including the University of Iowa, Georgia State University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Wisconsin, among others. There has also been an increase in what Bethany Nowviskie has called “#alt-ac” positions doing the digital humanities—“alternative academic careers”—including postdocs, jobs in libraries, and administrative and staff positions at newly founded or expanding digital humanities centers (“#alt-ac”). New conferences and camps seem to emerge monthly, and they’re always well attended despite eroding travel support from colleges and universities. The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, formed in 2005, brings together previously disparate international organizations, supports five influential journals, and organizes a massive annual conference in the field. At each of the past two Modern Language Association meetings—perhaps the most influential general meeting in the humanities—various reports lauded “the arrival of the digital humanities” (Pannapaker; Howard; and “News: Tweetup at the MLA”). Although the extent to which that arrival is complete has been debated, there can be little argument that the field is a more significant presence in the academy than it was ten, or even five, years ago. With the increase in the number of humanists who blog and use Twitter, the digital humanities conversation is always happening.
Contributing to this sense of arrival, beyond the jobs and intensifying discourse, was the creation of an Office of the Digital Humanities (ODH) at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2008. The ODH funded 145 projects from 2008 through spring of 2011; and, while its annual operating budget of around 4.5 million dollars pales in comparison to endowments managed by many universities and the investments in university-based research and development made by science and industry over the past half century, the initiative has been extremely influential in shaping the progression of the digital humanities in American colleges, universities, libraries, and museums (National Endowment for the Humanities 2011). Other funding sources over the past half decade—such as the MacArthur Foundation’s HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Grants (forty-four multiyear awards ranging in funding from forty-five thousand dollars to more than five million dollars), Google’s 2010 Digital Humanities Research Awards (twelve one- to two-year grants totaling almost one million dollars), and the Andrew Mellon Foundation’s Grants to universities (totaling more than one hundred and twenty million dollars in 2009) and libraries and museums (more than thirty-six million dollars in 2009, with significant amounts earmarked for various digitization projects)—have also mapped a sense of opportunity onto the digital humanities landscape (Digital Media and Learning Recent Grants; Orwant; The Andrew Mellon Foundation). Even though “humanities computing” has been around in some capacity for over half a century, we seem, in the past few years, to have reached a tipping point that has made the digital humanities more permanent and influential within the academic landscape (Kirschenbaum, “Digital Humanities As/Is a Tactical Term”).
The discordance between a roiled university system where the very role of the humanities is being challenged and an obviously invigorated subfield begs pause and deeper consideration. This task is made easier by the fact that much work in the digital humanities over the past two years has been keenly self-aware. This very volume itself is intended to highlight some key debates in an effort to clarify the field. Yet few scholars or practitioners have directly addressed the glaring tension between a subfield that booms while its parent struggles to maintain footing.
Though work in the digital humanities has done much to reorient academic thinking to new information and communication realities, it has not yet done enough to show how the values and lessons at the core of the field might reshape the role of the humanities in the university of the future. What’s troubling is that it could. More so than just about any other subfield, the digital humanities possess the capability to invigorate humanities instruction in higher education and to reassert how the humanities can help us understand and shape the world around us. Every college student engages some form of humanistic inquiry in order to fulfill general education requirements. Even beyond general education, regardless of discipline, the very idea of a “curriculum” requires that faculty and administrators delve into the questions of, what must our students learn in their time on campus, and how? Debating how knowledge is and should be made necessitates a certain amount of humanistic inquiry, and to be most relevant such processes must be acclimated to the technological and communicative revolution within which we are living. There are multiple paths, then, for work in the digital humanities to influence the future of higher education in vibrant ways. Even Stanley Fish has found in the digital humanities a rejoinder to those administrators “who still think of the humanities as the province of precious insights that offer little to those who are charged with the task of making sense of the world” (Fish).
Digital humanists are certainly aware of this potential. As Matthew Kirschenbaum has noted, “‘What is digital humanities?’ essays …are already genre pieces” (“What Is the Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?”). There are several lines of argument within this genre, yet the common streak that runs through most is the belief that the digital humanities, whatever its boundaries, does and must continue to generate ideas that can transform what it means to do the humanities (Ramsay; Svensson 2011; Pressner and Schnapp et al.). Much in the past five years has already brought this to pass: ideas originating from self-identified digital humanists have pushed academic book publishing to embrace open access and offered new models for peer review; have fostered the development of new, accessible tools that are applicable to the range of work that humanists and nonhumanists do inside and outside of the academy; have issued a sustained challenge to the ways that academic conferences are organized and performed; and have asserted the value and importance of academic professionals who don’t happen to be on the tenure track. Interventions into each of these areas of academic life relentlessly assert the values of openness, community, collaboration, democracy, and getting stuff done.
These values are professed and expressed in online conversations and in conferences by colleagues communicating across institutions, and those discussions and efforts to build community are undoubtedly good things. But interventions from the digital humanities into the various roles that the humanities play within individual colleges and universities have been far less forceful and assertive, and it’s here where the upward trajectory of the field comes into starkest tension with the tenuous place of the humanities in American higher education. Even though many digital humanists think and speak of themselves and their work as rising in opposition to the traditional structures of the academy, much current work in the digital humanities also values research and scholarship far more than teaching, learning, and curriculum development. In this sense, the digital humanities are hard to distinguish significantly from other academic disciplines.
The “ugly stepchildren” of the university need protection, attention, and reinvigoration as higher education undergoes wrenching changes. Of course, it shouldn’t be up to any single subfield to save the parent field or the university. Humanities computing and the digital humanities have never really taken on the university as a subject. As has been written elsewhere, the digital humanities is not new but rather is the latest stage of inquiry at the intersection of digits and the humanities that stretches back to the 1940s. This history reads much like the development of a traditional research subfield, one that values esoteric knowledge and has been mostly propelled by literature scholars who used computers to index text and examine large data sets. The field has gone through periods of professionalization, standardization, collaboration with industry, and incursions by other subdisciplines, such as when historians explored cliometrics in the 1970s (Schreibman, Siemens, and Unsworth; Hockey; and Thomas).
The advent of the World Wide Web has been the single most influential development in the field in the past two decades. Earlier uses of the web in the humanities were oriented toward making scholarship and methodologies more widely accessible and to exploring the implications of embedding various media within texts. Current uses of the web within the digital humanities are extending these projects but are also more fully embracing the connective possibilities of the Internet. Those possibilities existed in the excitement over listservs dating back to the 1980s but have become ever more multimodal, vibrant, and open in the past five to seven years.
The very sociality of the digital humanities is the central component of its current phase, and that—when combined with the influx of funding opportunities—has drawn scores of newcomers and, in turn, sparked recent efforts to define the field and set some boundaries. For much of its history, humanities computing was the realm of seasoned specialists whose search for deeper understanding of a particular field brought them to digital tools: the Austen scholar who wondered what meaning might be unveiled by crunching the words in her texts and by extension how such understandings might alter criticism or linguistic analysis, or the Civil War historian who sought to tell the story of two communities during the war by presenting various primary sources chronologically in close proximity to one another and inviting the visitor to perform some research—in the process creating a new model for how archives and libraries might approach the web (Burrows; Ayers). In the past few years, however, work and prestige in the digital humanities, because of the combination of networks and opportunity, has spread both vertically and horizontally. Graduate students and junior scholars are more confidently embracing what digital tools can mean for their work and are more likely than their predecessors to imagine a career path that revolves around their identities as digital humanists. The digital humanities is no longer a field one arrives at through one’s research; it has become a destination in and of itself, a jumping-off point for the building of a scholarly identity.
This is a moment of empowerment for many doing work in the field, and it features movement from the periphery of American higher education toward the center. When power relationships change, politics often come into play. The history of the field has never been explicitly political, and its relationship with other attempts to transform the role of the humanities in the university system, such as the residential college movement or the recurrent debates over general education, has been incidental. Yet there have been a few noteworthy exceptions, and they suggest how the intersection of humanistic inquiry and technological innovation can be harnessed to newly empower individuals or groups.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the City University of New York’s American Social History Project and George Mason’s Center for History and New Media (now the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media) were founded by social historians who were deeply interested in how technology might popularize the study of history from the bottom up. Randy Bass’s work at Georgetown, with the Crossroads and Visible Knowledge Projects and the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, has explored how technology and the networks it enables can open up pedagogical processes to inquiry, intervention, and reinvention. These projects were eminently political not just because they emerged out of work in labor and social history but also because each asserted that technology is not merely a tool for doing work along the lines that humanities academics have always pursued. They sought first and foremost to explore how technology might transform the operation of the humanities within the academy by opening up new possibilities and contexts for teaching and learning.1 They were exceptional because they both produced great scholarship and focused on pedagogy and curriculum development. The most celebrated work in the digital humanities over the past decade has not often shared those priorities but instead has revolved around the research, tool, and network building that have always defined the field.
This is not to say that the current stage of work in the digital humanities is completely without politics. The celebration of openness, sharing, and collaboration that prevails within the field is itself an attempt to be the type of change digital humanists want to see in a more progressive university. The recognition of those of us, like me, who have ended up on the #alt-ac path as central to the humanities is one of the sharper critiques that digital humanists have leveled at higher education.2 These are people whose work is often support oriented and who spend their time building curricula; organizing faculty development initiatives; and planting, congealing, and connecting communities of practice. Yet when looking at the #alt-ac landscape closely, it’s difficult to see how the demands of that career path differ significantly from those of a tenure-track route. To qualify for an #alt-ac position, one must show ability as a scholar by presenting at conferences, keeping up with scholarship in multiple fields, and promoting one’s work. To progress along an #alt-ac path, one must produce scholarship or other types of work on a similar scale and timeline as a faculty member, even though only the rare #alt-ac position allows space and autonomy in the daily workflow for scholarship of any type. These are overwhelmingly nontenure-track positions, and many are short term.
The very presence and growing prominence of #alt-ac work is evidence that cracks have opened in the academy that are being filled by talented people, many of whom would prefer to be on the tenure track. If folks in the digital humanities had their way, those positions would not be space fillers but rather secure jobs that come with allowances for some of the generative autonomy that faculty enjoy (“Alternative Academic Careers”). Yet there is little indication that the labor structure of the academy will adjust to accommodate the inglorious work that so many #alt-ac academics are actually doing. And beyond proclamations that these positions are necessary and valuable, a range of conditions limit the ability of those working in the digital humanities to make a very forceful case that the university’s labor structure should evolve.
One of those conditions is the dependence of the digital humanities upon grants. While the increase in funding available to digital humanities projects is welcome and has led to many innovative projects, an overdependence on grants can shape a field in a particular way. Grants in the humanities last a short period of time, which make them unlikely to fund the long-term positions that are needed to mount any kind of sustained challenge to current employment practices in the humanities. They are competitive, which can lead to skewed reporting on process and results, and reward polish, which often favors the experienced over the novice. They are external, which can force the orientation of the organizations that compete for them outward rather than toward the structure of the local institution and creates the pressure to always be producing. Tom Scheinfeldt, the managing director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, has noted the challenges of winning and balancing enough grants to maintain stability in staffing (Scheinfeldt). Each of these components might potentially diminish the ability of groups doing digital humanities work to transform colleges and universities and assert their values locally. And each also nudges the field toward research and tool building, pursuits that produce more demonstrably tangible results than innovations focused on hard-to-measure areas like curriculum and pedagogy.
There is ample evidence that the grant procedures in the digital humanities are fair, welcoming to newcomers, and supportive of projects at a variety of stages. The NEH’s ODH especially is well known for its openness, availability, and support during grant application processes and after grants are awarded and for building community between the projects it funds. But the “Common Questions” section of the NEH’s website notes that the “NEH does not fund projects that deal solely with pedagogical theory or that are intended to improve writing, speaking, or thinking skills apart from a focus on specific humanities content.” A generous reading of this guidance to visitors would acknowledge that pedagogical theory designed around specific humanities content is often more strongly constructed. And a preceding statement does note that one of the goals of the grants is to “strengthen teaching and learning in schools and colleges.” But in a less generous reading, this statement implies that pedagogy and curricula are secondary factors in the humanities. This is reflected among the many pioneering projects supported by the NEH. Though many will likely produce resources that are valuable in the classroom, there are currently very few that have focused specifically on the undergraduate student as humanities doer (National Endowment for the Humanities, “Videos of 2010 DH Start-Up Grant Lightning Round Presentations”).
The belief that work and prestige in the digital humanities has focused more on tools and scholarship than on pedagogy and curricula is present beyond the consideration of funding. Katherine Harris has argued that “teaching is invisible labor” repeatedly on her blog, on Twitter, and at conferences, noting that in the digital humanities this is just as true as it is elsewhere. Her comments are imbued with the insider/outsider tension that many academics feel and talk about when it comes to the digital humanities. 4/4 teaching loads and full administrative plates hamper the ability of many scholars to keep up with the conversation and to contribute to new work in the digital humanities. Harris argues that faculty members who focus on taking the core principles of the digital humanities into their assignment design should be seen as just as central to the field as the toolmakers, and just as worthy of prestige.
Other critics have said that beyond undervaluing questions of pedagogy and curricula, work in the digital humanities has failed to articulate a social and political role within and beyond the university. In the wake of widespread confusion about which papers got accepted to the Digital Humanities 2011 Conference—a conference devoted to “Big Tent Digital Humanities”—Alex Reid sensed that the field was rejecting large questions about the impact of technology on the contemporary human condition and reverting to a focus on software writing, indexing, and data mining. “Perhaps humanists, digital and otherwise, would prefer to cede questions of literacy, pedagogy, and contemporary media to other non-humanistic or quasi-humanistic fields,” he concluded (Reid).
Alan Liu has argued that digital humanists should do more to engage and transform the traditional social and political role of the humanities both inside and beyond the university. He traces the vectors through which work in the digital humanities has pushed practices in the humanities in new directions: from “writing to authoring/collaborating,” from “reading to social computing,” from “interpreting to data-mining,” from “critical judgment to information credibility,” from “peer reviewing to commenting,” and from “teaching to co-developing” (“Digital Humanities and Academic Change”). But he also details the structures within and around which the digital humanities have developed, arguing that it has created only the conditions for “evolutionary change” instead of “revolutionary change” (ibid).
The field has not produced enough of the “cultural criticism” that gives research in the humanities meaning and impact beyond the esoteric. Liu and several other scholars launched the advocacy site 4Humanities in November 2010, and it promises to provide proponents of the humanities with “a stockpile of digital tools, collaboration methods, royalty-free designs and images, best practices, new-media expertise, and customizable newsfeeds of issues and events relevant to the state of the humanities in any local or national context” (Liu, “Digital Humanities and Academic Change”). At current reading—admittedly early in the life of 4Humanities—the site is an irregularly updated group blog and index of digital humanities projects whose posts assert the value of the humanities and link to similar media. The stridency and grandiosity of the 4Humanities mission statement is important and necessary, but there does not seem to be a detailed plan at this stage for realizing the group’s goals.
Such plans are crucial, necessary, and incredibly difficult to implement. Too few digital humanities projects take the extra steps to argue for their generalizable value or even to create the conditions for broad adoption. There are many explanations for this, not least of all the question of digital humanists’ responsibility for service, which Liu addresses in his work and Bethany Nowviskie has also written about (Nowviskie, “Eternal September of the Digital Humanities”). The majority of the resources invested in digital humanities projects go toward producing tools, often with some funding left over for marketing. There tends to be less effort given to the grinding and frustrating process of supporting a tool after it has been produced. Such steps are necessary for building a user base, fixing bugs, and creating the conditions for additional community development.3
Take, for instance, the impressive Hypercities project, “a collaborative research and educational platform for traveling back in time to explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment” (Hypercities). Hypercities is funded by the MacArthur Foundation and is developed at the UCLA Center for the Digital Humanities. The site allows visitors to drill down into geolocated historical maps and to build multimedia collections on top. This is a fantastic resource for humanities instruction at various levels, and yet there are obstacles that limit its impact. At the time this essay is being written, more than two years after Hypercities was launched, the documentation for the project is spotty, FAQs and forum pages are under construction, and the only content on a page labeled “Getting Started” is an eight-minute video that offers an overview of the platform but no explanation of how one can actually begin working on it. The site lists a handful of classes that are using Hypercities as of spring 2011, but each of those was taught by a researcher who was personally involved in building the site.
It is not clear to what extent Hypercities is being used for teaching and learning beyond the orbit of the Center for Digital Humanities at UCLA. Hypercities may very well have plans for making more robust documentation and support for their young platform. But there is a feeling that projects like this, which embrace “perpetual beta” and focus more on delivering whiz-bang components than doing the less glamorous—and less recognized—work of outreach, community development, and support, especially around questions of pedagogy and curriculum development. Yet those questions are perhaps just as important to securing and extending the reach of innovations as the innovations themselves. It is in those moments of engagement with those who aren’t already part of the conversation where the values embedded in the individual digital humanities project become most generalized, accessible, and influential.
Pedagogy and curricula remain the best avenues to assert, protect, and energize the role of the humanities in higher education, particularly via the general education programs that, unfortunately, so few full-time faculty members get excited about teaching. These curricula are often expected to fulfill multiple goals, including introducing students to the college experience, providing remediation where needed, giving students broad exposure to the humanities, and building broad information literacy. But in many cases, large general education courses are foisted upon adjuncts who are unsupported and who often don’t know how their courses fit in with other parts of the curriculum. Yet it remains here where a college’s values are most evident and here where ideas from the digital humanities can have the most transformative impact.
Several colleges are realizing that their curricula need to adapt to the challenges emerging from rapidly changing modes of information exchange and communication. The 2011 Horizon Report identified digital media literacy as “a key skill in every discipline and profession” and noted that while some colleges and universities are starting to integrate these skills into curricula, the progress is slow and uncoordinated (Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, and Haywood). A few programs and centers have emerged that attempt to do this via specific student projects, including Maryland’s Digital Cultures and Creativity Program, the University of California’s Digital Media and Learning Center, University of Virginia’s Digital Media Lab, and University of North Carolina’s Media Resources Center.
The University of Mary Washington (UMW) has built an online publishing platform—UMW Blogs—that has for five years pushed the school’s curriculum to embrace the opportunities of networked teaching and learning and the exploration of processes of digital identity formation. The platform emerged in large part due to the inspiration of faculty member Gardner Campbell’s time on campus and the fervent experimentation of instructional technologist Jim Groom and his comrades at the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. It has benefited from partnerships with several committed faculty members. Led by Jeffrey McClurken, a group of faculty and staff at UMW is now seeking to systematize what they have learned via work on UMW Blogs in the form of a Digital Knowledge Initiative (DKI). This would create a Digital Knowledge Center to support students who are looking to adapt new technologies into their learning and to help faculty members who are seeking to integrate digital work into their courses.4 A broader goal would be to foster and institutionalize a college-wide conversation about teaching and learning with digital tools and to develop curricula and support practices that would best equip students to critically produce, consume, and assess information during their college years and beyond.
New York City College of Technology’s current project—“A Living Laboratory: Redesigning General Education for a 21st Century College of Technology”—offers an exciting reconceptualization of the traditional general education curriculum. This project has four connected goals: “a redesign of the college’s general education curriculum to enrich connections between the courses taken by students throughout their four years at the college; the creation of a state-of-the-art digital platform for teaching and learning; the integration of comprehensive outcomes assessment into the curriculum; and the establishment of a restricted endowment to support the new Center for the Study of the Brooklyn Waterfront” (Brooklyn Eagle). The imprint of the digital humanities is visible in this project, especially in its multi- and interdisciplinarity, its reliance on open digital tools, and its emphasis on creating new models of collaboration between students, faculty members, administrators, and the community around the college. Matthew K. Gold—the editor of this volume—is the primary investigator on the 3.1-million-dollar Department of Education grant, and Gold not only has been an active participant in the digital humanities community but also has been instrumental in extending that conversation throughout the twenty-three-campus City University of New York (CUNY) system. He is the director of the CUNY Academic Commons and a cofounder of the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative and was also the project director of “Looking for Whitman: The Poetry of Place in the Life and Work of Walt Whitman.” The last project was the beneficiary of two Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants from the NEH’s ODH, and “A Living Laboratory” builds directly on both the structure and “place-based pedagogy” explored in the Whitman experiment in a way that promises to transform what it means to teach and learn at City Tech (Looking for Whitman).5
The initiatives at both UMW and City Tech have emerged in deep dialogue with developments in the digital humanities. Importantly, those dialogues have been led by individuals who also possess a deep sense of and long-standing commitment to the particular missions and needs of each individual institution. Each project has the potential to fundamentally alter the curriculum of the college and could also shift (for at least the medium term, if not longer) the labor structure that supports instruction in the humanities on each campus. It is not coincidental that both UWM and CUNY have long traditions of support for experiential and radical pedagogy.6 Such commitments are preconditions for work in the digital humanities to have a truly transformative impact on a college’s humanities instruction.
Ultimately, of course, it shouldn’t be up to the digital humanities or any one field to “fix” the problems in American higher education. Those problems are reflective of much broader social and political conditions. Yet the digital humanities can—and, indeed, is uniquely positioned to—invigorate arguments about why the humanities matters, how it relates to our progress as a society, and why universities must protect and promote it vigorously in the face of increased pressure to quantify its relevance. Participants in the digital humanities and the funding agencies that support their work can learn from initiatives like those at UMW and City Tech that tool production, iteration, conferences, and a few cluster hires here and there will not dramatically alter the landscape of higher education. But more bridges that connect the digital humanities to the myriad spaces the humanities occupy within the structure of the academy just might. To really make a lasting impact on higher education, digital humanists must give more systematic, consistent, resilient, multilayered attention to the invisible, ugly stepchildren of the university.
1. I was a participant in the Crossroads Project in 1995 through 1996 as an undergraduate in the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan and worked for and learned much from Steve Brier and Joshua Brown at the American Social History Project from 1999 through 2003.
2. Since completing a PhD in American History, I have become an educational technologist. I now administer a large open-source publishing platform at Baruch College out of the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute, where I also help design and run faculty development initiatives and edit a weblog, Cac.ophony.org, that explores issues in communication across the curriculum.
3. Writing and updating documentation is something I’ve struggled with immensely since launching Blogs@Baruch in Fall 2008. This problem seems recognized within the community, as the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media recently formed a “Documentation Working Group” in an attempt to bolster outreach and communication in support of its open-source archive tool, Omeka (Brennan).
4. Thanks to Jeffrey W. McClurken and Jim Groom for sharing and discussing this Quality Enhancement Proposal as it was under consideration by the university. Ultimately, another proposal was selected. The DKI is not dead, however, and the proposal’s findings will deeply inform curriculum and cocurricular development at the college.
5. Two other NEH-funded faculty development projects—“Water and Work: The History and Ecology of Downtown Brooklyn” and “Along the Shore: Changing and Preserving the Landmarks of Brooklyn’s Industrial Waterfront”—also served as prototypes for the grant.
6. See Steve Brier’s essay, “Where’s the Pedagogy? The Role of Teaching and Learning in the Digital Humanities,” in this volume for more on CUNY’s tradition of innovative pedagogy.
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