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Digital Humanities Symposium to enliven teaching in the humanities
Posted 09/05/2017 12:16PM

Misericordia University and the newly formed Digital Humanities and Pedagogy Working Group invites area educators to participate in a Digital Humanities and Pedagogy Symposium designed to introduce them to tools that will enliven teaching in the humanities. Combining technological workshops and pedagogical sessions, the symposium introduces participants to the ways digital tools are integrated into a classroom environment. Sponsored by the Soyka Fund for the Humanities at Misericordia University, the two-day event is Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29-30.

Dr. Michelle Moravec is delivering the keynote address.

"By definition, digital humanities is the process of visualizing data in a way that allows old questions to be answered in new ways and allows those in the humanities to reach a wider range of constituents," said Jennifer M. Black, Ph.D., assistant professor of History and Government. "By integrating digital tools into our teaching, we can provide students with relevant ways to help them better understand and apply what they have learned in humanities courses. We also hope to bring the humanities community together and allow them to share their research more widely."

Dr. Black co-chairs the Digital Humanities and Pedagogy Working Group with Ryan Watson, Ph.D., assistant professor of film and visual media in the Department of Fine Arts.

Examples of digital humanities projects involving Misericordia University students are located at www.dhpmisericordia.org. They include, "Ambassadors of Goodwill: The American Friends Service Committee Abroad," a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the American Friends Service Committee; "Social Justice and Human Rights in Film & New Media," a fine arts class project; and "Mapping Historic Pittston," a summer research fellowship project that traced the history of Main Street in Pittston using an interactive map that allows viewers to see how the city has changed over the years.

The symposium begins Sept. 29 with a welcome and a series of technology workshops for collegiate students, staff and faculty, and area educators from 2:30–5:30 p.m. in the Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 218-219 of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall.

The sessions include "Getting Started with WordPress," presented by Rachel Urbanowicz, assistant professor of mass communications and design at Misericordia University.

Alicia Peaker, digital scholarship specialist at Bryn Mawr College, is offering an introductory workshop on Scalar, a multi-media web platform. Peaker previously held the position of Mellon Council on Library and Information Resources/Digital Library Federation postdoctoral fellow in the digital liberal arts at Middlebury College in Vermont. She has also served as the co-director for "Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive," (www.northeastern.edu/nulab/our-marathon-the-boston-bombing-digital-archive-2/) and project manager for the "Women Writers Project," (www.wwp.northeastern.edu).

Charlotte Nunes, director of Digital Scholarship Services in Skillman Library at Lafayette College in Easton, and a research fellow on the Modernist Archives Publishing Project, is presenting, "Introduction to Creating Digital Exhibits: An Omeka Lab." Prior to her current position, Nunes held a Mellon/Council on Library and Information Resources postdoctoral fellowship in digital scholarship at Southwestern University.

Dr. Black is presenting, "Creating Maps & Timelines." Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to all of the hands-on workshops.

The keynote by Dr. Michelle Moravec, associate professor of history at Rosemont College in Philadelphia, is open to the public. She is offering the keynote address, "Digital Humanities in the Classroom," at 7 p.m. in the Catherine Evans McGowan Room of the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library. The lecture is free, and open to the public. Dr. Moravec sits on the American Historical Association's Digital History Standards Committee and serves as the digital history editor for "Women and Social Movements." She has completed five digital history projects since starting to work in digital humanities in 2012, and has been teaching digital humanities at the undergraduate level since 2013. Under her co-direction, students at Rosemont College recently completed a multi-year website project devoted to the history of the college chapel. Currently, she is working with students on a project investigating World War I through women's scrapbooks and autograph albums.

A series of teaching workshops specially designed for collegiate educators is on Saturday, Sept. 30 beginning at 8:30 a.m. in rooms 218-219 of Insalaco Hall. The schedule includes, "Course Integration," by Dr. Moravec; "Tools for Pedagogy & Research," by Nunes, and "Models for University Digital Humanities Programs," by Peaker. Lunch will be provided. The concluding session, "Open Workshop with Symposium Leaders," from 1-2:30 p.m., provides participants the opportunity to ask questions and further discuss the topics presented throughout the two-day event.

The symposium is free, but reservations for the workshops are required due to limited seating. To make a reservation, please contact Rita Molino at rmolino@misericordia.edu. For additional information, please contact Dr. Watson at rwatson@misericordia.edu, (570) 674-6309.

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