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Digital Humanities: Interdisciplinary DH Workgroup 2013-2014

Spring 2014 Dates


University Center for the Humanities 

Interdisciplinary Workgroup on the Digital Humanities

Spring 2014

UC for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall

12-1 pm

Each week will be 30 minute presentation, 30 minute discussion, housekeeping, updates on projects. Guest speakers to be announced at a later date. 

 Jan. 30:

         Review of the four sessions for newcomers

         Action Items as identified in the last meeting:

          1.   WMU Resources / People Identification

Survey faculty/staff

Start gathering Names, contact, function, research, projects, office of tech types

Develop a work flow chart – WMU centric to document Kate already started. i.e. add names of people to specific tasks

          2.   Develop a grad course, grad certificate or badge

                        Identifying courses for certificate

                        Identifying people who will put together modules, presentations

                        Look at dh intro course for inspiration, sample syllabi

                        Find materials

                        Home for this class – grad College?

                        Timeline: submit request to Grad committee in fall to get into catalog.

Feb 13  : 

Feb 27: Work on project management document/ Staff/faculty/Grad Student Survey

March 13: Work on Project Managment Docuement

March 27

April 10

Digital Humanitites Work Group 2013

 All Sessions are Free and Meet in the University Center for the Humanities, Knauss Hall 2500

Please RSVP and indicate which sessions you would like to attend.




Fall 2013

An Interdisciplinary Work Group

Exploring WMU's Mission and Vision in the

Digital Humanities



Many faculty members of Western are interested in the area of digital humanities yet there has not yet been a campus-wide forum for practical discussions about incubating and developing viable projects. The primary purpose of the Interdisciplinary Digital Humanities Work Group is to collect information in order to assess the opportunities and challenges for supporting digital humanities projects at Western and to develop an outline of recommendations for supporting these efforts. This forum will bring together, for the first time, experts and interested parties.

Project/problem based discussion our goal is to identify a vision, resources, teaching & research potential, funding opportunities, methodology

The group will meet once a month during the fall semester 2013.  We will consider continuing the discussion in the spring semester depending on feedback/needs of participants.

Defining the Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities, once referred to as "Humanities Computing", is the intersection of computing, research, and teaching in the fields of the humanities. It is the use of computing to engage with texts. Brett Bobley, Director of the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities, describes DH as “an umbrella term for a number of different activities that surround technology and humanities scholarship…includ[ing] topics like open access to materials, intellectual property rights,…digital libraries, data mining, born-digital preservation, multimedia publication, visualization…technology for teaching and learning…and many others” (Gavin, Smith & Bobley 2012. pp61-66). It can be as simple as digitizing texts to make them available to a wider audience to a much more complicated presentation that promotes sophisticated analysis.

Session One

September 18, 5-7pm

Defining WMU's vision and mission in the Digital Humanities


Introduction to Digital Humanities : Kate, Ilse

Digital Projects already on campus:

African American History Book. ( Manual of Freedmen's Progress) Mitch Kachun (History) 

Gower Project  Eve Salisbury (English)

Literary Worlds Project : Todd Kuchta (English): Elaborate Process (collaboration, funding, teaching materials, publication opportunities overview.

Luna and Content DM from University Libraries Digital Collection:  Access via the libraries. Kate Langan (University Libraries) Software information: ContentDM , Luna.

Work Group

Group/Small Group :  Looking at other institutions mission statements and models, what do we want for WMU.

Session Two

October 16, 5-7pm

Navigating the Digital Diaspora: Identifying Opportunities and Expertise

across Colleges and Disciplines

Funding, institutional support, technology

What should faculty expect from administrative teams or other academic support units such as the University Libraries or OIT?  What can administrators expect from faculty?  How do we build partnerships and breakdown barriers? How does a digital humanities project translate into T&P? (the vague “other type of publication”?)

This session will be mediated by faculty and administrator to be determined. Potential guests include members from the following:  OVPR, CRICPE, CAS, Libraries, Barbara Cockrell, Jim Gilchrist, Katherine Joslin, Ed Martini, Tim Greene, Andrea Beach. Lisa Cohen-Minnick, Paul Howell, Andrew Kienitz (OVPR).

Session 3

November 20, 5-7pm

Digital Humanities in the Classroom : Implications for Teaching and Learning

Is there a difference in how undergraduate and graduate students interact with or what they expect from digital humanities projects?  For example, graduate students approached the University Libraries to develop a program to help them become more conversant in the area of digital humanities so as to be better prepared for the job market.  Would it be possible to develop an interdisciplinary class for dig hum? A project based class supported by grad college? Graduate college scholarship to start a project? Attract students, increase employability.  

Guest speakers: Sue Stapleton, Allen Webb

Session 4 

December 11, 5-7pm

Who’s Afraid of the Digital Wolf?

Implementing a Digital Humanities Project from Cradle to Grave

This final discussion will take into consideration the logistical aspects of a digital humanities project and explore things such as work flow, funding, and technical expertise. Potential Guests: University Librarians, Geography GIS department member, Computer Science faculty, If there is expressed interest, the Interdisciplinary Digital Humanities Group will also consider extending the discussion to more meeting times as well as identify sub-committees 

We hope to be able to identify a workflow or process that can be developed into a document or manual to help interested faculty.

Looking ahead

If there is expressed interest, the Interdisciplinary Digital Humanities Group will also consider extending the discussion to more meeting times as well as identify sub-committees 

We hope to be able to identify a work flow or process that can be developed into a document or manual to help interested faculty.


Kate Langan Assistant Professor, Humanities Librarian, University Libraries. 


Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar Doctoral Associate: Graduate College & Department of English


Questions / RSVP

Space is limited. Please RSVP and indicate which sessions you would like to attend.

Please contact Kate with any questions you may have.  269-387-5823 Waldo Library # 1011, 


Subject Guide

Kate Langan
kathleen dot langan at wmich dot edu
1st Floor Waldo Library, 1052

Office hours by appointment
Website / Blog Page

About Ilse

Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar ( is a Ph.D. candidate in English whose research focuses on Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse languages, literatures, and cultures. She also currently serves as a Doctoral Associate for the Graduate College, where she has been focusing on increasing the Graduate College's presence in social media. Currently, she is collaborating with faculty in the University Libraries faculty developing workshops for graduate students on the digital.

Session 2 Notes

Session 3 Notes

Session 4 Notes