In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Framingham State University.
FRAMINGHAM – Framingham State University has received its second major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in less than six months that will help expand upon the University’s Digital Humanities (DH) efforts.
The latest grant provides $146785 to fund a series of workshops and institutes focused on using digital humanities tools to explore issues of race in America, both historically and in the current moment.
Potential topics of faculty interest for exploration include tracing the transatlantic slave trade, uncovering Native American presence in colonial New England, identifying local abolitionist movements, and showcasing contemporary African American and Latinx literature.
The project aligns with the NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative designed to demonstrate and enhance the critical role the humanities play in our nation, while also supporting projects that will help Americans commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.
As the Project Director, Dr. Bartholomew Brinkman notes, “This grant will empower students, faculty, and the wider university community to investigate race through a variety of digital methods, including network analysis, historical mapping, and the mining of historical documents.
Such efforts dovetail with Univeristy’s ongoing commitment to anti-racism and further promotes the centrality of DH itself.”
Last October, NEH awarded Framingham State University a $192,000 grant to launch a digital humanities center in Whittemore Library to serve students, faculty and the greater community.
The rapidly growing field of Digital Humanities (DH) combines traditional humanities subjects, such as English, history and philosophy, with digital computing tools that expand upon our ability to ask and to answer age-old humanities questions about identity, history and more, according to Brinkman. It involves investigation, analysis, synthesis and presentation of information in electronic form.
The digital humanities can also open new doors for employment and career opportunities for humanities students by teaching them how to work with digital tools and methods that aren’t always emphasized in the traditional classroom.
The first initiative funded by the NEH Grant will be an FSU Faculty Institute on DH and Race during the 2022–2023 academic year. Fifteen FSU faculty, librarians, and other educators from across the humanities will participate in the institute consisting of six 3-hour workshops.
The timing of this institute is important, as it will prepare faculty to teach introductory and advanced digital humanities courses in the University’s newly developed interdisciplinary DH minor with particular attention to issues of race.
Other initiatives funded by the grant include:
* In July 2023, 15 local high school educators will be invited to participate in a two-week
program focused on how DH can be used effectively in the high school classroom,
particularly to investigate issues of race in a US context.
* During the 2023–2024 academic year, 15 representatives from local cultural
organizations, centered in the City of Framingham’s cultural district, will participate in
four workshops (two in the fall, two in the spring) on incorporating DH practices into
cultural preservation and dissemination.
* From fall 2022 through fall 2024, FSU will host a series of monthly public lectures and
workshops, led by emerging DH practitioners from throughout the region and prioritizing
discussions of race and the digital humanities.