Blog Post

The Future of Undergraduate Digital Humanities

The 2013 Digital Humanities conference may include a panel on The Future of Undergraduate Digital Humanities.  That's us!  Here are some great questions from Brian Croxall and Kate Singer's proposal invitation that would be a great springboard for us to talk about... maybe a small group of HASTAC Scholars could collaboratively author a post on one or more questions, and/or interview one of the authors about their prospective panel?


  • What are best practices for project-based, research approaches in the undergraduate classroom?
  • What are the most important trends and practices in digital pedagogy across disciplines?
  • What departmental / university infrastructure and support are necessary for a digital humanities undergraduate curriculum?
  • Should undergraduate digital humanities work primarily consist of a computational means of studying humanities or a means of studying digital culture?
  • Is digital humanities a methodology or a topic of study? How can the two approaches be best integrated in the undergraduate classroom?
  • How do we integrate both digital humanities as a computational praxis and also digital culture as a topic of study?
  • How do we redesign curricula to incorporate both dh courses and incursions into traditional disciplines?
  • How might we envision curricula to be redesigned in the future with digital tools and digital critical thinking in mind?
  • Is digital humanities something that should be based within particular departments? Or is it something that should be taught across all humanities undergraduate departments?
  • How can we prepare students for work at the graduate level?
  • How does digital pedagogy sit under the big tent of digital humanities?


You can read Brian Croxall and Kate Singer's full panel proposal here.

And, you can access the Digital Humanities Conference CFP here. This year's theme is "Freedom to Explore."



PS Thanks to Fiona for the link!



Thanks Bridget for this post, which I've been meaning to respond to for a while. This is an excellent list of questions and I hope that the panel is accepted.

I've been intermittently Tweeting Next Gen DH voices over the past year, and I'm thinking a hashtag might be useful -- #NextGenDH?

What follows is a reflection on two problems with the way I see the majority of DHers posing these questions, plus some links to those who are the exceptions to the pattern, a call for more such links, and a pitch for an undergraudate DH event, Re:humanities 13 (#rehum13).

Problem #1: scholar-teachers tend not to think of undergraduates themselves as resources in finding answers to these questions. Although the answers will have a significant impact on the future of our undergraduates (and the pipeline of DH scholar-teachers), we rarely include undergraduates themselves in this conversation. Yet every one of the questions Bridget poses is illuminated by what Next Gen DHers think.

Problem #2: Because of this, we don't tend to build undergraduates into our scholarly communications networks in DH in any systematic way. I've known of two DHC proposals that included sophisticated undergraduate DHers with a conference track-record already; neither made it through the DHC review process. And that includes the "Big Tent" theme year.

Exceptions I know of to these patterns (please post additional ones):

• The small set of undergraduate HASTAC scholars Bridget proposes linking together in some way; their posts give us a hint of how insightful and illuminating it would be to include them in our analysis of Bridget's questions, and more visible aggregation of those posts under Bridget's headings might be useful.

• for the past several years, NITLE has steadily made efforts to foreground undergraduate work and voices in its programming. See for example this thoughtful panel, "Re: Humanities Alumni in a Networked World" (I hope they will post a video recap).
Re:Humanities, an annual symposium of, for, and by undergraduate DH researchers, hosted by Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr. Here's the CFP for 2013, April 4-5. Re:humanities (#rehum13) is a venue in which your undergraduates can build intellectual community with other undergraduates working at a high level in DH. And where we, as scholar-teachers, can hear Next Gen DH at its most concentrated, lively, and generative -- sharing their sense of the answers to Bridget's questions. The colleges provide support structures but this event is entirely student planned and run.
Please circulate this CFP and the hashtag with undergraduates you may know of pursung DH questions in their own work. The undergraduates running this conference have worked hard to raise sufficient funding to help defray travel costs for their peers; students who are accepted will receive partial travel support, free lodging, and food.





Thanks so much for the CFP!  This conference sounds fabulous, particularly in its emphasis on student voices.  I can't agree more--which is why I'll keep this short. : )  HASTAC Scholars in this group: please chime in with your thoughts!  Are any of these questions interesting to you?  Which ones? Why?

One point of clarification: I can't take credit for these great questions.  The panel proposal and questions are from Brian Croxall and Kate Singer.  They've assembled a compelling list of issues, and I hope our HASTAC Scholars can start a pre-conference conversation!

Thanks so much for your post!  I've had the pleasure of participating in a handful of NITLE webinars, and every one has been fabulous.  I wonder if there is a way to feature NITLE in these conversations? 

Within our own little group, I can recommend Ben Berger's excellent post on the Blake Browser as an example of undergraduate students playing a real, active role in DH work--check it out here.


I completely agree that NITLE is an important piece of the conversation for this topic...and that's why one of the speakers on the panel—should it prove successful—is Rebecca Frost Davis from NITLE.

I'll certainly be interested to hear what HASTAC Scholars thoughts about this are as we get closer to DH 2013.


Thanks for noticing our CFP for the 2013 Digital Humanities Conference, Bridget. It's worth noting that while we have hopes that the panel will be a part of the program in Lincoln that we have only submitted a proposal. They are currently under review by the program committee and the army of reviewers that make the DH Conference program run. We have a good slate of panelists from a variety of different institutions, but we won't know until February if we're accepted.

That being said, I really do feel that this is an important subject for the digital humanities to confront and any attention given to the subject from HASTAC and its scholars is welcome.


Thanks for your clarification!  I've re-worded accordingly.

It's a great series of questions, and I hope our HASTAC group might offer some student perspectives on these issues.

I'll think good thoughts for you in February! Thanks again for your response.


This conference and proposed panel look so exciting, all.  I sadly won't be able to attend the conference because of a schedule conflict.  But I would look forward to the possibility of  taking part in the types of pre-conference conversations via HASTAC if possible, as Bridget suggests here.  --Andy


When I read the question "How does digital pedagogy sit under the big tent of digital humanities?", I wonder if it needs to be reversed. Does digital humanities sit under the big tent of digital pedagogy?

Also, while I think the question "How can we prepare students for work at the graduate level?" is a good question to ask, does it need to be expanded? Should it be something along the lines of how can we prepare students for work after graudation? How do the skills one learns through working on DH projects as an undergrad better prepare one to work in the private sector?