My panel for Big Berks rejected, I am now tempted into another field: Digital Humanities/History. For some weird reason, RNU has seemingly identified Digital Humanities as a thing of the English Department. They are willing to support English profs in their exploration of DH, but apparently anybody else is automatically suspect. I am about to challenge that on all kinds of levels.
Part of this is an issue of departmental housing. We have what are termed 'historical divisions' (HD) at RNU - the divisions themselves being dissolved back in the 1990s - or maybe even the 1980s. The clumping continues, as the History Dept is still clumped into Social Sciences even though we have - for decades - identified ourselves as more humanistic than social science-types. Recurring talk of combining small departments has always had us noting that we'd rather be down the hall in the Humanities area than with Political Science in SocSci . Part of that is our determination not to be under the thumb of ARC, but mostly because we genuinely see ourselves as a humanity, not a SocSci as it is understood around here. The only down side we see to officially moving to Hum is that we would be under the influence of D, the AdminAssist down there who is... less than helpful. We'd lose J, whom we all adore and on whom we rely for everything.
However, at the present, we are stuck with the HD, and I want to push RNU to let me steer the department towards active engagement with and within DigiHum. MsM is firmly on board; the Dinos aren't even aware of DigiHum and would be horrified at the whole idea. They are, however, 70 years old. One of the two knows how to use email; neither know anything about the uses and promise of the internet, seeing it as a passing fancy that is marginal to the modern world. (Yeah, I know...)
So MsM wants to incorporate DigiHum assignments, projects and assessments into her classes. I'm encouraging that, and pushing her to think more expansively that simply having her students create FB pages for particular historical figures. She has since pushed beyond that, to having them create interactive multi-media maps of a local area that is undergoing gentrification. It's a great idea, but I'm not sure that she's aware of the techno-savvy that will be required of her and the students to pull it off. Nor if we as a university can provide the necessary support.
I too want to start encouraging students to develop DigiHum projects, particularly those that would meet the final creative project criteria that I use for all of my classes. I just have to get the PTB to open their tiny little minds to the idea that DigiHum is not the exclusive domain of the English department....