Swarthmore to Host Student Symposium on Digital Humanities

By Stacey Kutish
Henry Linder '12
Henry Linder '12

Students at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges will hold the second annual undergraduate symposium on the digital humanities, Re: Humanities, at Swarthmore College on Mar. 29 and 30. Re: Humanities is the only digital humanities conference in the country organized by undergraduate students interested in the effects of digital media on academia and specifically intended as a place for them to present their research.

Re: Humanities 2012 will include student participants from eight colleges and universities around the United States who will share research projects that address the use of digital media in academia. Topics include studies of how to digitize texts, how good design can be implemented in academic projects, and the impact of digital media on the street art subculture. The symposium will also feature keynote talks by Alexandra Juhasz, creator of the book Learning From YouTube, and Katherine Harris, author of TechnoRomanticism: Creating Digital Editions in an Undergraduate Classroom. These lectures and a student poster session are free and open to the public.

"I got involved as someone who's more oriented towards the 'digital' end of the digital humanities, and that's been a really interesting angle to come from," says organizer and Lancaster, Pa., native Henry Linder, noting his math/stats major makes him unique among his fellow collaborators. "The digital humanities is an exciting way of approaching the humanities with an eye for exploiting the expressive possibilities of technology. I've had a chance to really explore what it means for technology to be used to humanist ends, as well as what it means for the humanities to appear in digital settings. It's a relatively new field and at the conference we'll have talks by undergraduates who are helping to define the very concept of 'digital humanities' and pushing the boundaries of how we express ourselves digitally."