Digital humanities hoists a large umbrella over several academic disciplines, which allows for ample collaboration.
Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have benefited from working with digital humanities faculty; however, they wanted a greater role in forming interdisciplinary experiences for themselves. That’s why the Digital Humanities Student Association has been formed to help bridge the gaps for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the subject.
The group’s founders started meeting in fall 2014, and the group achieved Recognized Student Organization status in December.
Elizabeth Lorang, associate professor of libraries, faculty fellow in the Center for Research in the Digital Humanities and faculty adviser to the group, said that the group fills a need to raise student involvement.
“One of the goals of the group is to foster student collaboration across the departments and to effect that through organizing different events that are focused on education and training, and to foster a larger awareness of and interest in the digital humanities,” Lorang said.
Without a student organization such as the DHSA, few opportunities exist for students to meet other students interested in digital humanities. Gabi Kiriloff, an English doctoral student, said the growth of UNL’s digital humanities community was a key reason the group was needed.
“It’s a nice way to stay in touch with people who are outside of my department,” she said.
The group’s inaugural event is April’s Digital Humanities Boot Camp, which will include sessions and labs on a variety of digital humanities subjects, presented to be accessible to students who may not be familiar with digital humanities. The History Grad Student Association previously organized the boot camp, but the DHSA volunteered to take over the planning in order to expand it.
Members are also generating ideas for conferences and participation in campus and world events. The group is a partner in the March’s Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon during National Women’s Week and members are thinking of ways to engage in Open Access Week later this year.
“I would also like to find ways for students to be able to share their work with each other, to facilitate that on a regular basis,” Joseba Moreno, a member of the department of modern languages and literatures, said.
Already, interest in the organization is spreading.
“We are starting to grow, especially now that word has gone out,” member Stephanie Camerone said. “Our next boot camp meeting will be attended by our first undergraduate representative, which will be great … we definitely want to get them involved.”