Through seminar-style discussions with leading scholars in digital humanities, hands-on workshops on core technical competencies, and project development labs, participants will become familiar with working from the command line, collaborating with git, programming with Python, querying structured data, creating maps, and analyzing texts computationally. You will also become part of a growing network of institute leaders by developing your own DHRI based on our open, core curriculum to be led at your home institution or organization.
In June 2018, GC Digital Initiatives hosted sixteen faculty, librarians, museum administrators, and staff at The Graduate Center, CUNY, for a ten-day, in-person institute. Funded through an NEH Institutes in Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities award, the Digital Humanities Research Institute (DHRI) provided professional development training that combined a pedagogical approach and core set of curricular materials. Participants organized local versions of DHRI using our core curriculum or creating their own lessons, reflecting their communities' interests and needs. Applicants to the program were asked to provide letters of support from their home institution committing to the local event, and GC Digital Initiatives committed to providing 20 hours of individual support to participants throughout the academic year.
In 2020–21, we are repeating the DHRI with a new set of fifteen faculty, librarians, museum administrators, and staff.
When the first DHRI cohort returned to The Graduate Center in June 2019, they shared reflections about how their experience as part of the project impacted their professional development and future career goals. DHRI's ambition was to help humanities practitioners tasked with "building DH community" in their local organizations emerge as leaders. The feedback we received overwhelmingly demonstrated that every member of the cohort felt that their participation in the project helped to establish or strengthen their leadership role in DH locally. More significantly, the cohort reported feeling that their participation in the network of DHRI organizations was also an opportunity for leadership. As a collective, we agreed that a title change from "participant" to "Community Leader" better reflected the role that they wished to play in expanding DH communities of practice. Additionally, the cohort described that the experience improved their confidence as learners, teachers, researchers, and leaders, because they understood what it meant to know enough without needing to know everything. Many attendees reported an increase in title or recognition, additional funding, and greater clout among colleagues and administrators. Additional professional development outcomes noted by the cohort included: new pedagogical strategies to integrate into their teaching, new ideas about graduate education and open access to share with their local institution, and an increased ability to locate and leverage alternative resources locally.
The cohort consistently reported that the most significant value came from the connections they made at the June 2018 meeting in New York, and the network of support that has developed since. Exit interviews in June 2018 demonstrate a significant change from the anxieties reported by the same cohort a year earlier. Before attending DHRI, many reported they felt isolated, saying, "I'm the only one doing this on my campus," and they felt anxious about whether or not there would be interest or if they could find collaborators. However, intergroup connections among the DHRI Network Community Leaders and with the CUNY Graduate Center fellows and staff resulted in a completely different response in 2019. Combined with the support pledged by their local organizations and the prestige of attending an NEH-funded institute, Community Leaders felt confident making connections within and outside their home institutions. For example, the South Bend DHRI combined efforts from St. Mary's College and the University of Notre Dame, which led to applications for additional funding through the Indiana State Humanities Council and matching funds from their institutions. Those funds allowed them to hire graduate students from nearby Loyola University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago. Those whose institutions were unable to provide additional funding or local collaborators could turn to their DHRI Network partners for encouragement, advice, and help.