Students in an honors course on “Introduction to Digital Humanities” at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania have written for the Student Voices section of 4Humanities a “Manifesto” on why they “believe that teaching digital humanities to undergraduate students is critically important” for showing “digital natives,” as they call themselves, how to broaden the connection between the humanities and the wider world of knowledge and society.
Today, we need collaboration, not lectures; we need to learn concepts, not singular facts; we need networking and socialization, not isolation; we need interactive learning, not to sit back and listen. We need new outcome objectives, not standardized tests…. Because it’s different for everyone. The science major approaches things differently than the literature major — this diversity is foundational to Digital Humanities.
The literary scholar will tell you what Howl means; the historian will give you context on the sociopolitical climate of the time; the chemist will test for drug residue on the original manuscripts; the computer scientist will create a Java-enhanced website; all of them will transcribe those manuscripts in TEI-XML; and none of this will be done alone.
Through our Digital Humanities experience, we’ve learned that Humanities is interdisciplinary and collaborative.
(Read the full “Manifesto,” sent to and published on 4Humanities. Go to course site.)
The manifesto was written as the final collaborative assignment in the course, which was taught by Stephanie Schlitz, Associate Professor of Linguistics and English at Bloomsburg U. Schlitz shares her reflections on the course in posts on her blog on “the final exam where I’m blissfully superfluous” and “Ten reasons why we should teach DH to undergraduate students.”