Session Proposal: Converting the DH Agnostic

My institution has a newly-established Digital Scholarship Lab that falls under the umbrella of Digital Scholarship and Special Collections. Since this is such a new endeavor (three months old), the concept and “brand” of digital scholarship (and specifically digital humanities) is still forming in the minds of library faculty and staff as well as teaching faculty and graduate students at our university. My colleague, Donna Lanclos, and I are interested in exploring a few questions:
-How can we, as digital humanists, gain buy-in from colleagues and faculty who may not see the value in digital scholarship (or who may be hostile to the whole idea)?
-What are some methods, talking points, elevator talks, etc. we can use as digital humanists and digital scholars?
-How can we gently introduce technophobic folks to the world of digital scholarship and digital humanities?
These are just a few starting points — I would love to hear how you have engaged new and varied constituencies in digital humanities and discuss new ideas and possibilites.

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About Kristy Dixon

I've worked in digital librarianship since 2003. I am interested in metadata, linked data, issues in user-generated content, and social media applications for digital libraries and digital scholarship, among a whole lot of other stuff. I like tacos, Alabama football, my cats, other people's cats, other people's dogs, and trashy reality television.

One Response to Session Proposal: Converting the DH Agnostic

  1. donnalanclos says:

    So our session ended up being a lot more show-and-tell than we originally thought–we talked about the reorganization of part of the UNC Charlotte Atkins library into our Digital Scholarship Lab ( For that new department, only one new hire (thus far) has been carried out–the rest of the staffing was done by repurposing expertise from other parts of the library.

    We discussed in our small group issues of disruption among library staff, and also a struggle to define and claim a mission that has not traditionally existed within libraries, necessarily. There were people from universities whose digital scholarship is located within individual departments, or in ITS departments, or centers for teaching and learning. At UNC Charlotte, we were going for some sort of central “neutral ground” that allows the stage to be set for digital scholarship in all of its varied forms

    We thought we’d talk more about “digital scholarship” in contrast (or at least, in comparison) to “digital humanities” and I think that’s still a discussion I’d like to have. There are both political and disciplinary reasons to choose one over another, and each has implications for signaling to other scholars what might (or might not) be possible in terms of collaborations across and within certain fields (for instance, we had an attendee to our session who was attracted by the fact that we said “scholarship” not “humanities,” because “I don’t work in the humanities.”

    When Atkins library claimed digital scholarship as turf, we centered ourselves as a place where scholars at UNCC (and, we hope, from elsewhere) can meet and work together with tools we discover, provide, and explore along with them.

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