Transforming Digital Humanities

My project can be transformative by digging out the history and reckoning with some of the negative parts of the past of the buildings I am studying and the organizations that have occupied them. For example with 227 Carlisle Street the Alpha Chi Rho organization is a fraternity on campus, but they have gotten into trouble many times and have been kicked off campus twice before, and currently have lost their house with no foreseeable future of getting it back as a result of their bad behavior. Even though this project is about the house, it can still highlight all of its history of what occurred in it not just the good parts. I can also reckon with issues that are brought up today that occurred in the past in their relation to the house. An example of this is the recent surface of the picture of an Alpha Chi Rho member wearing a Nazi uniform for a Halloween party was discovered. The brother was identified to be a big alumni donor to the College and the campus community had to decide what it wanted to do about that. This can be transformative because it is criticizing the fraternities which support a traditional white male view.

I don’t think that much of this program needs to be changed in order to make it more transformative, because it really gives people the ability to choose a project that interests them allowing a large array of projects to exist. But I do think it could make sure to bring in a diverse array of workshop leaders. The projects that we looked at as examples focused on a wide array of issues, from being based in history to being based on current political issues which is good. I think the most important thing that can be done is to make sure that these opportunities to do digital projects are open to everyone on campus and to make sure it is not only white students making these digital projects.

In the original discussion of Digital Humanities and if it is or is not scholarship my opinion has not changed much. I still firmly believe that it should be considered scholarship and that it is a great way for academic institutions to be more inclusive of people who are typically excluded from traditional academic institutions. It has made me want to do more Digital Humanities projects that look at Gettysburg and the way that minorities are represented within the educational system, like how much of the collection in Special Collections features items that are from people of color or deal with issues of race. And how much of that is used in classes? It would help to transform institutions if they knew the diversity of what they are teaching with.

One Reply to “Transforming Digital Humanities”

  1. Thanks for the feedback. Ivana from the 2018 cohort did a project on diversity at Gettysburg, and if you’re interested, I’m sure we can arrange to have you do some work with it! It’s always a challenge to bring a diverse range of viewpoints to this program, which is why we have you read a wide range of things from many different scholars from different backgrounds. I’m really glad that the majority of students who have gone through this program have been willing to take a critical approach of DH, either in a wide or local context.

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