Andrew W. Mellon Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/UI Partnership

The Obermann Center is an active supporter of the Andrew W. Mellon-funded initiative Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/University of Iowa Partnership. Directed by Jim Elmborg (School of Library and Information Science, Graduate College, UI), Teresa Mangum (Obermann and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, CLAS, UI), and Erik Simpson (English, Grinnell), the grant encourages collaboration between the two institutions with a special emphasis on creative teaching with technology.

During the past year, teams have been working at the Obermann Center, at the UI Libraries’ Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio, and at Grinnell College. This uniquely collaborative grant connects faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, Student Instructional Technology Assistants, graduate and undergraduate researchers, UI undergraduate ICRU Research Fellows, and library staff members at both schools.

To learn about opportunities offered by the grant, visit the Digital Bridges website.

Here are a few highlights from 2015–16:

2015–16 Summer Institutes

In June 2015 and 2016, faculty members, graduate students, and library staff from Grinnell and the UI attended week-long summer institutes at Grinnell. The 2015 Institute introduced a variety of technologies, while the 2016 Institute pursued the theme “Making Meaning with Data in the Humanities and Social Sciences.”

UI participants in the 2016 Institute included Brian Ekdale (Journalism & Mass Communication, CLAS), Barbara Eckstein (English, CLAS), Mariola Espinosa (History, CLAS), Loren Glass (English, CLAS), Lisa Heineman (History, CLAS), Jenna Supp-Montgomerie (Communications and Religious Studies, CLAS), and Mary Wise (History, CLAS).

2015–17 Postdoctoral Fellow

Christina Boyles, a recent PhD from Baylor University and our first postdoctoral fellow, is part of the Digital Bridges team; she also teaches courses for the Graduate Certificate in Public Digital Humanities at the UI. Her research interests include text analysis, digital storytelling, instructional design, and multicultural American literature.

2015–16 Highlighted Events at the University of Iowa

  • “Fashioning Circuits: A Digital Bridges Workshop” — a workshop by Kim Knight, Assistant Professor, Emerging Media and Communications, University of Texas at Dallas
  • “The Human Sciences in STEM Worlds” — a lecture by Jerome McGann, John Stewart Bryan Professor of English, University of Virginia (in collaboration with the Craft, Critique, Culture Conference, UI Department of English)
  • “Bridging Art and Science: STEAM Education in a Digital World” — a lecture by John Unsworth, Vice Provost for Technology and Library Services, Brandeis University (in collaboration with 4Cast and the UI Center for Teaching)

2015–2016 Collaborations at the University of Iowa

  • 2015: Blaine Greteman (English, CLAS, UI), James Lee (English, Grinnell), and David Eichmann (School of Library and Information Science, UI), “Linked Reading: A New Scalable Model for the Digital Humanities”
  • 2015: Diana Cates (Religious Studies, CLAS, UI) and Jim Elmborg (School of Library and Information Science, UI), “Virtual Clinic,” an ethics of care course for nursing students
  • 2016: Kathy Lavezzo (English, CLAS, UI) and Tim Arner (English, Grinnell), “Remappings: Christians and Jews in Early England”
  • 2016: Paul Dilley (Classics & Religious Studies, CLAS, UI) and James Lee (English, Grinnell), “Mining the Renaissance through Multilingual Topic Modeling”

2015–16 Exploratory Awards

  • Michael Hill (English and African American Studies, CLAS, UI) and Shanna Benjamin (English, Grinnell), “Graduate Education of Blacks in the Upper Midwest”
  • Christopher Merrill (English and International Writing Program, UI), Nataša Durovicová (International Writing Program, UI), and Jin Feng (Chinese, Grinnell), “Chinese-Language Literature at the IWP”

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Visit the Digital Bridges website for information about events and opportunities.