Undergraduate Students and Digital Humanities

When I began my own research project as a second-year undergraduate, I set out to map the world of Dante’s Commedia through the use of GIS software. However, I eventually left that project behind and pivoted into a more traditional topic and goal. Although I am pleased with how my undergraduate thesis turned out, I would like to talk about undergraduates and projects in digital humanities. As the bar continues to be raised for undergraduate research projects, I wonder how digital skills can enhance and shape future work. This discussion will likely yield more questions than I can predict—here are some of my own to get us started:

  • What types of results do instructors consider digital humanities projects?
  • What kinds of traditional disciplines and courses lend themselves to these projects?
  • What type of skill set would students need in order to do these projects?
  • What resources and support can ensure the success of undergraduate work in the digital humanities?
  • How early is too early to get started?

Despite focusing this proposal on the undergraduate experience, I think the questions I have outlined could also be extended to other levels of students and instructors themselves.

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Categories: Mapping, Project Management, Research Methods, Session Proposals, Session: Talk, Teaching |
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About Catelyn Cantrell

I'm a soon-to-be graduate from UF in Medieval Studies and Geography. I also intern for an education technology startup housed in the Florida Innovation Hub here in Gainesville. Though I've worked on multiple research projects regarding Dante and medieval spatial thought, but I see myself teaching in the most immediate future. This summer, I am entering the English ProTeach program at UF in order to learn how to help students understand, analyze and create different kinds of texts. Although I may consider becoming involved in education research later on, my current goal is to become a highly-qualified English teacher. I built my undergraduate career on understanding how medieval poetry reflects the spatial thought of the time period, but now I am interested in answering another, related question—how can the knowledge I built be useful and relevant to the rapidly changing world around me?

3 Responses to Undergraduate Students and Digital Humanities

  1. This is a great and much needed discussion session about the myths and realities of digital natives. Super!

  2. Catelyn, I am teaching a Special Topics English Composition course this Fall, so I am looking forward to chatting with you and the group that comes for this session. My course will have a DH component, and I would love to hear your experience in your class. What were frustrations for students in acquiring digital skills? And of course, love the question you pose above: what kinds of resources and supports do students need in order to do undergrad research in DH?

  3. I’d also like to ask a related question: is there a line between “multimedia projects” and “DH projects”? And from a pedagogy POV, do we hamper intellectual curiosity by including DH projects in the classroom that will be graded?

    I love your sense of this issue Catelyn, and hope we can tackle your questions effectively!

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