We aim to build a flourishing environment for innovative exploration at the intersection of digital technology and humanities research. We provide resources and training in the practices and tools of the digital humanities. We promote public scholarship and partnership-building. We facilitate externally funded research. And we welcome everyone, from the curious to the novice to the expert.
The digital humanities does not stop at the edge of campus. Indeed, the dream of using of digital technologies to address the basic problems of the human experience is common to a wide range of cultural institutions and public organizations. The IDRH pursues authentic and inclusive collaborations with partners on- and off-campus. We seek to learn from our partners, listen to them, and work with them on problems of common concern. We believe that public collaboration drives innovation and increases the likelihood that the digital humanities can speak to our world’s most enduring problems.
Storytelling is a cultural activity so central to the human experience that the inaugural issue of History of the Humanities (2016) declared it a basic human capacity. It enables the fashioning of personal identity, the creation of cultural continuity, and the possibility of political agency. And yet stories also divide us. Many stories remain ignored or silence. Still others are weaponized; intended to erase histories of difference, of protest, or of alternative ways of living. The summer of 2020 has brought both the promise and peril of storytelling to the forefront of the public imagination. Contests over what monuments are allowed to stand in public spaces and controversies over what flags will fly over public buildings betray of a fundamental anxiety about what stories get told from the public stage.
Digital technologies have super-charged the power of stories to serve either exclusion or inclusion, justice or privilege. The IDRH is committed to turning the power of stories to the common good. We work with a wide range of partners across our region to amplify new stories, provide resources for those who need them, and engage our community in an ongoing, collaborative conversation about the ethics, politics, and techniques of digital storytelling.