Read the 2017-18 Annual Report
As a collaborative multidisciplinary research center within the College of Arts and Sciences, we take our mission seriously to foster research and teaching through research projects, public programs, and courses at the intersection of humanities and computing. New initiatives this past year have revealed the amazing diversity of humanities programming at Loyola. In September we launched the online Humanities Datebook, which compiles the various humanities-related events and programs across the university (over 200 this year!) and arrives each Monday morning in Loyolans’ inboxes. The CTSDH’s eight active research projects and nearly thirty public programs have provided opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to learn about the manifold ways digital platforms, sources, and tools are helping us rethink ongoing humanistic questions about identity, justice, and knowledge production.
Who is involved in the digital humanities is just as important as what is undertaken. Studies show the number of young women interested in technology declines precipitously over their teenage years. This is a dangerous trend for many reasons, not least of which is the tech sector is one of the fastest growing in the country. To combat this imbalance, CTSDH Student Fellows proposed and launched, with funding from the Plan2020 Student Innovation Fund, a Loyola chapter of the national organization of Girls Who Code. Young women in 6th through 11th grade from Rogers Park and Edgewater came to campus every Saturday morning over the school year for free classes on coding and robotics. Our work continues at the university level. Remembering the poet Audre Lorde’s dictum, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” we gathered nearly a hundred students, librarians, and academics from around Chicagoland in March for Transformative Digital Humanities: Feminist Interventions in Structure, Representation, and Practice. Conversations coming out of this conference about creating a more inclusive DH will continue. Descriptions of these activities and much, much more follow in our 2017-18 Annual Report.
Even with these successes, there is still much more work to be done. As we enter the third year of our ambitious 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, it is important to understand and assess the needs and desires of our audiences as the Center seeks to maximize its resources. We took our first steps towards assessing our work with a survey about the CTSDH’s programs and research projects administered at the end of the spring semester. This will guide our work in the fall. In addition, we have some important new initiatives planned for the coming academic year:
- Undertaking a study and revision of the curriculum of our Master’s in Digital Humanities Program, the first since the program was launched in 2011;
- Hosting the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, a premier national gathering of scholars working at the intersection of humanities and technology;
- Collaborating with University Archives and the Women and Leadership Archive in preparation for the sesquicentennial of Loyola in 2020;
- Expanding our programming from the Lakeshore campus to the Water Tower Campus;
- Continuing to press the university to invest in the work that we do through administrative, research, and student support.
Enjoy the summer. We look forward to seeing you in the new semester at the CTSDH!
Kyle Roberts, Director, CTSDH
Elizabeth Hopwood, Assistant Director, CTSDH