“What can undergraduates do with digital media at a liberal arts college?”

Students at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges met in November 2010 for a two-day symposium titled “Re:Humanities”, billed as “of, by, and for undergraduates, featuring innovative digital research.” As Evan McGonagill (Bryn Mawr, 2010) said in introductory remarks, the conference was an attempt to show how the digital humanities could be deliberately applied to undergraduate education “with the ultimate goal of creating a network of undergraduate digital humanists.”

Re:Humanities Undergraduate SymposiumBesides the Web site for the symposium, a YouTube video recaps highlights, including glimpses of the following student projects:

  • Early Novels Database
  • Comparative Japanese Film Archive
  • Soweto ’76 to Homovisiones: Digital Historical Preservation
  • Speaking Without Thinking: The Present State of the Humanities and Computer Science
  • Writing and Digital Media in Multicultural Contexts
  • Watching the Wire: Storytelling in the Digital Age
  • Reader 2.0: Readerly Identity in the Digital Age
  • Bernstein conducts Mahler: Film Recordings as Texts in the Analysis of Reception History

The video also features the students talking articulately about the value of combining digital work with the humanities, including the value that such work might provide in bridging between the academy and general society. In his comments, Ethan Joseph (Haverford) asked reflectively, “how do we make what we’re doing in the classroom somehow valuable to those outside of the classroom? … The world inside and the world outside—I mean, it’s the same world. We’re talking about the same things, we’re looking at the same things, we’re watching the same things.”

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