#WHYDAH: A SCHOLARLY REFLECTION ON WHY DIGITAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES MATTER

“Digital technologies have expanded the reach of scholarship in the way scholars communicate their research to an audience and present findings, as well as influencing the questions they ask in planning a research project. Text analysis, data and text mining, mapping, data visualization, and a variety of other digital methods and tools make forms of research beyond the traditional text-based article or monograph possible, while also encouraging scholars to consider questions of data storage, visual presentation, and user engagement.” Quoted from the American Historical Association.
"Digital media are transforming literacy, scholarship, teaching, and service, as well as providing new avenues for research, communication, and the creation of networked academic communities. ... These innovations have considerably broadened notions of language, language teaching, text, textual studiel medias, and literary and media objects, the traditional purview of modern language departments. While the use of computers in the modern languages is not a new phenomenon, the transformative adoption of digital information networks, coupled with the proliferation of advanced multimedia tools, has resulted in new literacies, new literary categories, new approaches to language instruction, and new fields of inquiry.” Quoted from the Modern Language Association. Image from Mary Borgo Ton, part of her digital dissertation "Shining Lights: Magic Lanterns and the Missionary Movement. 1839-1868"
"Museums and libraries play a key role in providing and preserving access to digital information. Library users download eBooks, museum visitors view digitally preserved versions of ancient manuscripts, and scholars scour thousands of documents stored in vast library databases. Free broadband in libraries helps rural and remote communities tap into these treasures as well. With input from diverse stakeholders, IMLS is investing in digital technology grants focused on three themes: expanding digital access, digitizing collections, and facilitating open research." Quoted from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Image from Nicolas Valazza's  Banned Books exhibit, presented at the 2019 IDAH Spring Symposium.
"Art and architectural historians increasingly rely on sophisticated information technologies for research and communication about the visual and built environment...The scope of works created with digital media represent a diverse and expanding field including video, computer-based media, time arts, electronic art installations, websites, works in sound, online communities, custom software, games and multi-user environments, and custom hardware-based creations. This is not an exhaustive list, and it should be understood that new forms are constantly emerging and expanding the diversity of the field at a rapid pace." Quoted from the College Art Association of America. Image by Caleb Weintraub, exhibited in the Wells' Library Scholars' Commons as part of his IDAH Fellowship year.

MAKING THE DIGITAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES WORK FOR IU

The Institute for Digital Arts & Humanities (IDAH) supports the critical appropriation and critique of technologies and the use of digitally-inflected methods as they intersect with and alter humanities teaching and research and artistic creation. To do this effectively, IDAH looks to artistic and scholarly disciplinary communities like the ones quoted above to ensure that we align our services in support of existing and emerging digital arts and humanities endeavors. To do this meaningfully, IDAH seeks to collaborate with faculty, students, and staff and partner with multidisciplinary research centers, cultural heritage and memory institutions, and technology units across campus and beyond. IDAH strives to provide a welcoming front door and a safe space to explore, experiment with, and implement digital projects by fostering a building-blocks approach to training and knowledge-sharing, providing input on research questions and creative goals, encouraging innovative approaches to traditional humanities scholarship and artistic production, and guiding open access and open research endeavors, when appropriate.

The events of 2020—ranging from police brutality and human rights violations targeting Black, Brown and Indigenous people to professional and personal disruptions and disenfranchisement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—cannot be ignored as we consider the next three years of our Institute. We have expanded our mission, values and goals to make more explicit work we value in uplifting underrepresented voices and in challenging systemic issues to ensure that people pursuing digital projects are supported, recognized, and respected as a whole. We recognize the pitfalls of technology in this work, but also the affordances that can extend digital arts and humanities projects to the wider public.

IDAH was fortunate that, in the lead up to this period of significant external social and academic upheaval, we were able to make a relatively seamless transition to a new model of directorship. The Council for Library and Information Resources (CLIR) points out in their 2010 Survey of Digital Humanities Centers in the United States that "as the [digital humanities] centers mature, many are experiencing the 'first-generation' transfer of leadership from the centers’ founders. Smooth leadership transitions are directly related to how well the center is positioned financially and politically within its larger infrastructure."

IDAH has remained ahead of the curve at this critical juncture through complementary co-directorship appointments. We are uniquely situated to serve the needs of Indiana University. Dr. Kalani Craig’s experience off the tenure-track blends digital-methods research with an emphasis on innovative pedagogical research. Associate librarian Michelle Dalmau brings digital-methods research to bear in the support of digital publishing and preservation needs, the navigation of best practices for digital scholarship more broadly, and assistance for our constituents as they navigate unique challenges in building sustainable digital projects across a wide variety of academic fields. These complementary skillsets, which overlap in key research areas and diverge in similarly key service and teaching arenas, allow the Institute to better reach a broader audience base. IDAH is equally at home in assisting clinical faculty and associate instructors in the classroom as we are supporting the research aims of PhD candidates and faculty researchers as they explore their digital-methods work. The result is a digital-arts-and-humanities center that is more readily positioned to support both aspects of IU’s joint teaching and research mission. This model of leadership allows us to be more agile in supporting our faculty and students as they explore the intersection of “digital” and the arts and humanities. It offers our constituents a flexible and safe environment as they explore ideas, blend established practices with inventive digital methods, pilot brand-new pedagogical projects, and remix their research for the digital age.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES: IDAH'S VISION, VALUES, AND MISSION

The vision, values and mission we present here have been updated for 2020-2023, and should serve as a guide for evaluating our successes and challenges which emerged from our self-study.
A draft of our strategic plan is presented at the conclusion of this document, as we reiterate our mission moving forward. We would
like to emphasize that our strategic plan is still in draft. We
expect to incorporate review feedback in addition to our self-study findings, which the draft strategic plan reflects, before adopting a final version.


OUR VISION

Foster digitally-inflected creative pursuits, research, and teaching for faculty and students in the arts and humanities, whether they are experimenting for the first time with digital methods or advancing a project for public or scholarly audiences.

OUR VALUES

As the boundaries between technology and lived experience increasingly blur, arts and humanities are an integral part of understanding and shaping this blended world. As such we value:

Connection, Communication and Collaboration. We prioritize people, and the connections between people and partners across our campus and beyond, who are at the heart of digital arts and humanities. We commit to communication modes that support our faculty and students as they explore digital methods, whether novice or expert, through knowledge-sharing, constructive discourse, and intentional listening. We promote reciprocal collaborations as a way of acknowledging and mutually benefitting from shared expertise and intellectual labor as our faculty and students execute new or pursue existing digital projects.

Exploration, Expertise and Enactment. We encourage multifaceted artistic and humanistic exploration, centering creative aspirations and research inquiry as a way to determine technologically-driven modes of analysis and discovery. We support the appropriation of digital arts and humanities methods at ALL LEVELS of expertise through an agile, guided approach to digitally-inflected artistic creation and humanistic inquiry. We help our faculty and students achieve their vision through staged enactments of their projects with an eye toward future resources.

Equity, Inclusivity and Justice. We elevate voices that are historically marginalized while being mindful of intentional silences. We will prioritize opportunities for just and equitable partnerships with underrepresented communities to amplify these stories. We advocate for inclusivity at multiple levels, from facilitating access to computing resources that are traditionally circumscribed to engaging in recovery and reparative work with our faculty and students. We aim to create an environment in which methods core to the arts and humanitiesargumentation, critique, storytellingcan shape or reshape computing systems and practices in support of justice.

OUR MISSION

To Welcome. We welcome all who are interested in applying digital methods as part of humanistic and artistic creation and inquiry.

To Engage. We encourage engagement with digital arts and humanities methods at all levels of experience, from novice to expert, and at all levels of project development, from conception to execution.  

To Learn. We are dedicated to shared mentoring, learning from each other and our partners, and to hands-on approaches that recognize all voices and labor to contribute to digital arts and humanities projects.

HIGHLIGHTING DIGITAL ARTS & HUMANITIES ON CAMPUS: FEATURED IDAH PROJECTS

MANGO BOX WITH FEI-HSIEN WANG: Fei-Hsien Wang, an associate professor of History, came to the Institute with an interesting request: assistance in building a life-size replica of a Communist-era mango shrine for her course on modern Chinese history. Chairman Mao rewarded propaganda workers with exotic mangoes that then were fetishized and revered by the recipients. We worked with Fei-Hsien and makerspaces on campus to manufacture a replica of a vessel designed to "preserve" these gifted mangoes and provided input on lesson plans which accompanied the in-class presentation of the box. By blending the digital and the physical—and the past and present—students were able to experience a piece of history in a novel and impactful way (complete with a fruit-scented foam mango).
FRESCO RECONSTRUCTION WITH CORDULA GREWE: 2017-2018 Incubator Awardee and current Faculty Fellow Cordula Grewe (Art History) is working on a digital recreation of the now-destroyed fresco cycles in Munich's Alte Pinakothek museum. Her project has two goals: to support students' digital exploration of themes in European art, and to provide a digital platform for researchers exploring museum curation practices in modern history through an art historical lens. While Cordula's approach to digital reconstruction was both timely and original in 2018, it is even more salient in a world where remote learning and digital research are compulsory.
IDS REPORTING ON THE GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT WITH SYDNEY STUTSMAN: Former HASTAC Scholar and undergraduate student majoring in History and Chemistry Sydney Stutsman used text analysis to interrogate a seven-year run of the Indiana Daily Student (1969-1975) to track IU's evolving response to the gay rights movement. She presented her work at the IDAH 2019 Spring Symposium, and IDAH featured her project during the IU200 Bicentennial Research Expo in September.
PIXELS AND PAINT STROKES EXHIBIT WITH CALEB WEINTRAUB: 2017-2018 Faculty Fellow and current IDAH governance member Caleb Weintraub is an artist and professor of painting at the IU Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design. His fellowship year revolved around a digital research project aimed at investigating differing perspectives and audience perceptions of digitally- versus manually-created art. With assistance from the Institute, Caleb installed a blended exhibit in the Herman B Wells Library as the culmination of his Fellowship year during the Spring of 2018 that prompted audience input through a survey, followed by a focus group, we helped design.  Caleb’s research melded social science methodology, artistic outputs, and humanistic inquiry in ways that were new for IDAH and Caleb.
SCREEN ECOLOGY EXHIBIT WITH STEPH DEBOER: In the Spring of 2019, students from Faculty Fellow Stephanie DeBoer’s MSCH-F204 Screen Cultures class examined various public screens on campus, explored films from the IU Libraries’ Moving Image Archive Educational Film Collection, and reflected upon/re-edited the films’ themes, genres, and techniques and the interplay between these remixed films and passers-by in public settings.  
MUSICAL AND SONIC DIMENSIONS OF GENTRIFICATION WITH ALLIE MARTIN: Dr. Allie Martin’s involvement with the Institute extends back to 2016, when she was awarded a HASTAC Scholarship for her work on “Musical and Sonic Dimensions of Gentrification.” Through audio capture and subsequent analysis, the project explores Washington, D.C.’s relationship to go-go music and audible markers of gentrification. In 2019-2020, Allie received an IDAH Graduate Fellowship, and was awarded her PhD. She went on to accept a tenure-track position at Dartmouth College, jointly appointed in the departments of Music and the Digital Humanities and Social Engagement. The photo above shows the intersection in the Shaw neighborhood of DC where much of Dr. Martin's field research was conducted.  
THE PALIMPSEST PROJECT WITH ALLEN HAHN: Associate professor in Theater, Drama and Contemporary Dance Allen Hahn is a former IDAH Summer Incubator Awardee and Faculty Fellow. His Palimpsest Project is an ambitious mixed-media event that aims to embed people (as participants, performers, players) in historical contexts pertaining to the history of IU’s Bloomington campus, relying on augmented reality, virtual gaming devices, and live performance in ways that situate the people as the everyday heroes and agents of change.  

ILLUSTRATING IDAH'S RESEARCH SUPPORT MODEL: IDENTITY THROUGH OBJECTS HISTORY HARVEST

While we could highlight a number of projects, one in particular offers a snapshot of IDAH’s approach to research support for digital projects: the Fall 2019 History Harvest. History Harvests are public-engagement digitization projects that ask community members if they have something—an object, a memory, a place—that reflects their history. The process of digitization and return to the contributor acknowledges the need to preserve histories that might otherwise never make it into museums or digital collections while still keeping family heirlooms where they belong: with their families.

 The Fall 2019 History Harvest was an event months—if not years—in the making. Dr. Michelle Moyd (associate professor of history and Associate Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society) first approached IDAH in late 2017 to develop a classroom activity that used spatial history and GIS to reorient students in the 18th century’s global Atlantic abolitionist movement. By the time she attended the IDAH Summer Incubator in 2019, Dr. Moyd had drawn on those classroom experiences to inform her own research interests. Her Incubator project sought to use UNL’s established History Harvest model to build a research and public-engagement platform that addressed fundamental questions pertaining to identity, culture, and ‘otherness’ in Indiana. By using her time at the Incubator to better define the project, manage logistical concerns, and establish project partnerships, Dr. Moyd was equipped to pilot the project in the fall semester.

Here, too, pedagogy spaces provided a foot in the door. Prior to taking the History Harvest to the public, Dr. Craig offered a test run a Spring-2019 first-year-research course sponsored by the College of Arts + Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) program. The undergraduates got a taste of IU’s research mission, and our co-directors worked together to explore a balance between community-partnership ethics, digital preservation, sustainability, and digital-methods analysis. Using that experience to iron out the wrinkles, we then hosted the Fall 2019 History Harvest in a dual-enrolled H585 graduate and H301 undergraduate digital history course. IDAH, CRRES, Digital Collections Services, and students in H301 and H585 all partnered to support brought their own objects into the classroom space, learned about the digitization process, discussed best practices for collecting oral histories, recorded and transcribed interview audio, and worked to digitally archive their classmates’ objects and stories.

On the heels of that in-class test run, our now-experienced faculty, research centers' staff, librarians, and students co-hosted a booth for the public at the Arts and Humanities Council’s First Thursday October 2019 event. Additional collection booths in Wells Library were organized over the following two weeks to continue collecting stories and images. We asked members of the IU community to contemplate how their meaningful objects reflected their sense of identity. Did the object have ties to their home city, state, or country? Did the object have a story that connected them to the IU community? What does it mean to belong to the IU community, and how does that facet of identity differ from other—perhaps deeper or more complex—connections? What does it mean to be a Hoosier? Which aspects of the Hoosier identity feel particularly inclusive, and which feel exclusive?

We received wildly varying submissions, ranging from lipstick tubes to football cleats, Brazilian music-making plates to coffee cups, kente cloth to custom paintings of Star Trek’s Gorn. Our students and affiliates transcribed each interview and formatted each photo for inclusion on a Github site, now made available at historyharvest.indiana.edu.

This project was a huge learning experience not just for Dr. Moyd but also for all of the IDAH staff, CRRES affiliates, and H301 students involved. It is a perfect example of the IDAH pipeline model in action. Dr. Moyd was involved with IDAH via workshops and pedagogy consultations prior to her formal enrollment in the Summer Incubator program. It proved a natural partnership for IDAH due to its digital-methods focus and social-justice inflection. One of the CRRES graduate assistants, Jazma Sutton, took the model from the classroom into a nearby community at the border of Indiana and Ohio, a project that has generated an article submission to Digital Humanities Quarterly and will inform her dissertation. Dr. Moyd’s version of the History Harvest project has taken on new pedagogical, research and public-engagement dimensions, with plans in the works to extend the History Harvest collection process into 2021 and beyond. These evolutions and transformations are a crucial part of IDAH’s philosophy of exploration, and it was an honor to support the project all the way from infancy to publishing. Moving forward into the next phase of the Institute’s growth, we carry our experience with the History Harvest forward as a model for the multi-pronged projects and equitable partnerships we seek to cultivate across campus.

Visit the History Harvest at Indiana University

USING THIS DOCUMENT: READER'S GUIDE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS

IDAH ADMINISTRATION AND PROGRAMMING OVER THE YEARS

Provides a general overview of current IDAH practices including a "lay of the land" view of how IDAH operates internally. 

CURRENT PROGRAMMING: AN OVERVIEW OF IDAH'S PROGRAMS

Explains IDAH's approach to programming and details the five main segments of our programming model: Outreach, Research, Pedagogy, Instruction, and Publishing. Includes descriptions of key programs under each category.

PROGRAMMING: IMPACT AND REACH

Visuals and brief summaries about IDAH's on-campus impact, including growth metrics for five key segments of our programming model. 

CENTER SELF-STUDY: METHODS AND BREAKDOWN

Audiovisual overview of the construction of IDAH's self-study chart, along with data collection and analysis methodology. Our self-study has been carefully constructed to reveal how our programs work together to support our vision, values, and mission for the Institute. 

SELF-STUDY RESULTS: SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES

A summary of our self-study findings, broken into successful areas and challenging areas, along with ideas for improvement and a variety of other concerns. Provides a general framework for strengthening IDAH programming to better support future goals. 

SELF-STUDY CONCLUSIONS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Brings together revelations from our self-study and our vision, values, and mission to synthesize a plan for IDAH's next steps. Includes a draft of our Strategic Plan for 2021-2023 that reflects findings from the self-study. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Our heartfelt thanks to the individuals who make IDAH's work possible.

 

PROGRAMMING AND ADMINISTRATION: IDAH'S PAST AND PRESENT

HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

The creation of the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH) in 2007/2008, in which the IUB Libraries along with University Information Technology Services (UITS) were key partners, established a more focused support structure for digital arts and humanities on the Bloomington campus. Above all else, IDAH provided a clear path for artists and humanists interested in exploring technological interventions as part of their research methods and creative outputs. Prior to IDAH, and as early as the mid-1990s, the IUB Libraries fostered and encouraged digital humanities research and inquiry primarily through two units no longer in existence: Library Electronic Text Resource Service (LETRS, 1992-2006) and the Digital Library Program (DLP, 1997-2012). As IDAH continued its work, in residence at the Herman B Wells Library, plans for a “research commons” in the Wells Library continued to percolate with centers like IDAH at its core. In 2012, the College of Arts & Sciences created the Catapult Center for Digital Humanities and Computation Analysis. Catapult, like IDAH, was supported by the IU Libraries, and, at times, the boundaries of both research centers overlapped. By 2014, Catapult came to an end and some of its programming, especially their national-level Speaker Series, was absorbed by IDAH.

In September 2014, the Wells Library launched the Scholars’ Commons (“research commons”) as a way to offer a cohesive set of services, and diverse, cross-functional sets of expertise needed to advance research across all subject domains and all platforms for inquiry and publishing that exist across campus. This is when the IUB Libraries expanded their support beyond the humanities to digital scholarship writ large. Partnerships with campus units such as University Information Technology Services, the HathiTrust Research Center, IDAH, the Office of Research Administration and others are essential to offering services and expertise in support of scholarship as part of the Scholars’ Commons. In addition to a cohesive set of technologies and services, the IU Scholars’ Commons is intended as a flexible space for building community and sparking interdisciplinary inquiry.

Given that IDAH currently operates as a bootstrap research center that places emphasis on digital skill-acquisition, collaborations and partnerships, and internal and external funding, the Institute aligns quite well with the mission of the Scholars’ Commons. IDAH’s co-location with library services as well as related organizations such as University Information Technology Services and the Center for Teaching and Learning that inhabit the Wells Library allows for more robust project support. In addition to the expertise contributed by library professionals, IDAH benefits greatly from the physical infrastructure in Wells that's set up specifically to support digital scholarship and DAH pedagogy. We regularly use the Libraries' consultations rooms, the presentation/lecture rooms, workshop spaces, maker space, digitization lab, and visualization wall. Scholars’ Commons publicity and registration systems have expanded our ability to reach and track new audiences.


DIRECTORSHIP

In 2017, IDAH adopted a co-director model placing disciplinary and library faculty on equal footing and recognizing the role IUB Libraries have played in support of the digital arts and humanities, not unlike those at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of MarylandCollege Park. Dr. Kalani Craig (History) and Michelle Dalmau (IUB Libraries) were appointed on July 1, 2017 and continue in their respective roles through June 30, 2021.


GOVERNANCE

Recognizing that digital arts and humanities work happens across campus, four original committees were instantiated with cross-campus representation; three of the four continue to serve IDAH:

  • Steering Committee: the broadest committee in IDAH, responsible for helping us publicize IDAH events and bringing feedback from the IU community back to IDAH
  • Policy Subcommittee: responsible for setting IDAH's direction and approving the decisions of the co-directors and the other committees
  • Curriculum Subcommittee: oversees the Digital Arts & Humanities graduate minor and certificate program and provides course listings, peer review and mentoring for the graduate students who participate in IDAH's degree program

These committees represent the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Music, the Media School, the School of Art, Architecture + Design, the School of Information, Computing and Engineering, the Libraries, UITS and two representatives from IUPUI. 


STAFFING

IDAH staffing consists of:

  • 2 half-time co-directors, Craig & Dalmau, sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences and the IUB Libraries respectively
  • 1 full-time staff position, Administrative and Outreach Coordinator held by Ella Robinson, funded in 2019/2020 sponsored by OVPR
  • 2 G901 (dissertation writing) phD-level graduate assistant positions sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences
  • 1 masters-level graduate assistant position (two-year position) sponsored by the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and the IUB Libraries
  • 1-2 IDAH Graduate Fellows (5 hours/week over Fall and Spring semesters) sponsored by OVPR
  • Hourly positions, as needed, ad-hoc

We would like to note that we assign our graduate assistants titles that reflect their expertise and their contributions to IDAH as part of their professional development. These titles include: Digital Methods Specialist, Digital Pedagogy Specialist, etc.

IDAH also benefits from direct contributions from library professionals including digital scholarship, digital pedagogy, metadata, scholarly communication, and subject specialists many of whom contribute to our consultations, workshop series, and Summer Incubator program. We also have active working relationships through co-consultations, HASTAC mentoring and Summer Incubator support with University Information Technology’s 3D Printing, Advanced Visualization Lab and Digital Humanities Cyberinfrastructure.


PROGRAMMING

With Dr. Ellen MacKay’s shortened term as IDAH Director in 2016, the current co-directors had very little lead time to ramp up programming for IDAH over the next three years. We developed an initial roadmap and vision/values/mission that led to the re-emergence of existing programs and services like the IDAH Faculty Fellowship, HASTAC Scholarships, the IDAH Speaker Series, IDAH workshop series, and consultations in partnership with the Libraries’ Digital Collections Services department, and the development of new programs including the IDAH Spring Symposium, the IDAH Incubator, the Digital Arts & Humanities graduate minor and certificate, and IDAH Graduate Fellowship (all described in greater detail below).

Through 2017, IDAH dedicated attention to outreach in the form of brown bag series, co-sponsoring talks, workshop series in partnership with Catapult, and later, the “Catapult Speaker Series.” In 2016, Dr. MacKay ramped up the workshop and Speaker Series and center discussions and skill-acquisition around equity and justice issues, which set the stage for IDAH’s programming today.


FUNDING

Funding for IDAH, either cash or in-kind, stems from four main units on campus: the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR, IDAH’s organizational home), the College of Arts & Sciences, the IUB Libraries, the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, and University Information Technology Services. In addition to official funding streams, IDAH benefits from a host of in-kind contributions from the IUB Libraries including active involvement by several library professionals, physical space, and outreach tools and protocols.

In 2017/2018, the state of IDAH’s budget was not as clearly laid out due to legacy budget practices and turnover of fiscal officers in IDAH. Given that it was the co-directors first year, launching several new programs, we took a conservative approach to spending, which resulted in a surplus that year which we used to fund new temporary positions and experiment with new or expand existing programs. By 2018/2019, our finance tracking and reporting mechanisms vastly improved, and we met our budget forecasts. In 2019/2020, we received additional funding to transition a temporary position into a full-time staff position (Administrative and Outreach Coordinator). In 2019, Dr. Craig received an NSF grant that contributed a portion of indirect costs to IDAH. In 2020/2021, IDAH received additional funding to support the IDAH Graduate Fellowship program. All told, IDAH’s base budget has increased by nearly 50% since 2017.

An accompanying budget narrative (restricted access) provides a detailed overview of how our budget is structured. Detailed budgets for 2017-2019 are also available (restricted access).

CURRENT PROGRAMMING: AN OVERVIEW OF IDAH'S PROGRAMS

OUR PROGRAMMING PHILOSOPHY

IDAH’s mission focuses on research, pedagogy, instruction and publishing (through scholarly communication channels, art exhibitions, etc.) and it’s propelled by our commitment to outreach. By design, our research goals and creative activities rely on approachable outreach channels like quick workshops and #WhyDAH website features. These easily accessible entry points create a hub for digital arts & humanities on the IUB campus, through which scholars and artists can follow customizable, scaffolded pathways to increasingly complex research opportunities. The hub entry point and its pathways are the foundation for our pipeline model, which builds sustainable, permeable competencies in digital arts and humanities creative activities, research and pedagogy. These pipelines also support cross-institutional partnerships, which strengthen a shared knowledge base and extend communities of practice beyond campus boundaries.


THE IDAH ACADEMIC YEAR

IDAH runs programs year-round, with the majority revolving around the academic calendar. Beginning with an introductory workshop series, our event programming incorporates visiting speakers each term, and a demand-based skills workshop series in the Spring followed by our Spring Symposium. Curricular offerings such as the certificate and minor program and fellowship programs for students and faculty affiliates run the full academic year. Consultations are available by appointment in the Fall and Spring semesters, and on a reduced basis during the summer months. Finally, we offer a week-long intensive Summer Incubator in June and then use July and August to cement the details for programming in the upcoming year.

Our fall begins with an introductory workshop series in the first 4 weeks of the year that encourages novice practitioners to incorporate digital arts and humanities methods into their own research or into their course plans for the remainder of the year. From there, our workshop and speaker offerings reorient toward more complex and exploratory topics by way of speaker visits in late fall and late spring, and a spring workshop series that fills gaps in existing programming based on needs identified in consultations.

Consultations are available by appointment year-round, but we have increased availability during the Fall and Spring semesters. Classroom and pedagogical interventions tend to be scheduled during the latter half of the semester, though this varies by course and instructor.

Certificates and minors are awarded at graduation, either in December or May. We maintain current course listings for the program, and update these each semester in February and September, prior to the course registration window. We recommend that current candidates meet with us for guidance once these course listings are published.

In previous years, fellows in our Faculty Fellowship program were expected to complete a 10-month term, from August to May. However, our proposed revision would ask Fellows to stay on for a year and a half. A new cohort would be welcomed each January, and would finish their term the following May. If approved, a new cohort will be welcomed in January of 2021. Our hope is that this revision will increase networking among Fellows and allow for more sustained progress over the course of a Fellowship. Our HASTAC Scholars operate on a 10-month schedule, from August to May. We hold monthly meetings, with exceptions for Thanksgiving and Winter break when necessary. Both HASTAC Scholarships and Faculty Fellowships culminate in April with participation in the IDAH Spring Symposium.

IDAH's lower-traffic summer offers the opportunity to host an intensive, week-long program each June, the IDAH Summer Incubator. We also set aside July and early August to finalize plans and programs for the upcoming academic year. These summer months also provide time to internally reflect and assess before returning to the bustle of pre-semester orientations in mid-to-late August.

We rely on an internal visualization to orient us and help us plan how all of these programs will intersect in our calendar, both during the summer and during the year. This visualization uses a slightly different breakdown of programs than the rest of our third-year review, largely for the sake of practical planning rather than program assessment.


OUTREACH

Outreach is central to how we work in IDAH. While all of our programs reflect an outreach component, the IDAH Speaker Series is our primary outreach event.  In addition to the Speakers Series, we participate in other campus initiatives like GIS Day, the Arts & Humanities Council’s First Thursday, and many others. We also engage in more targeted outreach as part of new faculty and new graduate student orientations. 

We invite digital artists and humanities scholars from around the country for lectures and workshops in the Fall and Spring semesters. Prompted by justice issues and framed by themes such as Making (2017/2018), Marking (2018/2019), and Mapping Materialities (2019/2020) in the Arts & Humanities, the annual Speaker Series are meant to promote dialogue between the arts and humanities  and serve as inspiration for our colleagues across campus. To date, we have hosted 10 scholars who have collectively led 21 presentations and workshops.

Most of the presentation and workshops from the Speaker Series are archived on the IDAH web site. You can also get to the presentation slides and recordings for the Speaker Series through IDAH’s community space in the IUScholarWorks Institutional Repository.


RESEARCH

In 2017, we revamped existing IDAH programs like the Faculty Fellowship, Digital Project Consultations, and the HASTAC program, and introduced two new research-oriented programs: the Summer Incubator and IDAH Graduate Fellowship.

The IDAH Faculty Fellowship program allows faculty to develop a digital or digitally-inflected research project over the course of a year through course release and research funding with a special focus on Associate rank and the inclusion of their digital project as part of their tenure and/or promotion to Full rank as a way to normalize these types of intellectual outputs.

We mentor and support a cohort of students, both graduate and undergraduate, through the national HASTAC program. The HASTAC Scholars develop a digital project of their own design, network with other digital artists and humanities scholars on campus, participate in workshop and IDAH events, and share their work at IU and with the online, international HASTAC community.

Introduced in Fall 2019, the IDAH Graduate Fellowship program enables former HASTAC scholars to continue to build upon their HASTAC projects as well as give them hands-on training with different facets of working in a digital arts and humanities center. We emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of digital arts and humanities work and help them build a set of research, analytical, and technical skills which can be used within their home disciplines and beyond.

The IDAH Summer Incubator is an intensive week-long program designed to help IUB faculty and graduate students kick-start their digitally-inflected projects. Experts from across campus—as well as students hired for specific technical skills—assist participants as they grapple with both the practical and conceptual aspects of their work. The program emphasizes the importance of project management through the project charter, data gathering and cleaning, and building a prototype, and encourages all awardees to leave at the end of the week with the necessary project plans and a functioning piece of their project. As a key part of IDAH’s pipeline approach to project funding, the Incubator also supports participants as they explore options for internal and external funding.

We offer 4-6 hours per week of one-on-one digital project consultations with students and scholars during the Fall and Spring semesters. These consults are based in both digital research and digital pedagogy, with select consultations leading to grant collaborations. We often invite IDAH affiliates such as library subject specialists to participate whenever possible for the initial meeting, and often send referrals to other research units on campus like the Social Science Research Commons, University Information Technology Services’ Advanced Visualization Lab, and others. 


PEDAGOGY

While pedagogy and instruction have some overlap, we find it helpful to differentiate between the two. Our pedagogy practices are focused on formal digital-methods classroom practices for students, a platform that also includes research centered on these digital-methods pedagogy practices. To that end, we offer both short-term and semester-long assessments with and without in-classroom support for instructors who wish to incorporate digital arts and humanities in their classrooms in any capacity. We do this by offering consultations dedicated to digital pedagogy and by collaborating with instructors and subject and functional librarians in developing curricular activities. We believe, and there is evidence to support, that digital pedagogy more readily leads to digital research adoption, both for students and faculty.

IUB affiliates can schedule digital pedagogy consultations either as part of our digital project consultation hours or as separate meetings. Depending on the goals of the class, consultations to develop a digital pedagogy component can range from 1-5 separate meetings or remote exchanges, with an average of 3 consultations per class intervention.

Stemming from consultations, and usually in partnership with library professionals, IDAH staff and instructors work together to develop active learning scenarios, class activities, class assignments, lesson plans, assessment plans and syllabi (depending on the nature of the intervention). IDAH has supported courses with a 1-time, 75-minute class intervention introducing a digital method, multiple class interventions in support of digitally-inflected class assignments or final projects, and have begun planning with instructors and faculty more fully-integrated digitally-inflected courses.

Through partnership with the School of Education, many of our classroom interventions are documented and recorded for educational research. We are interested in seeing how incorporating digital methods and research in the classroom impacts traditional humanities training and education.


INSTRUCTION

Where pedagogy is rooted in producing best-practices formal classroom practices and research, our instruction programs are focused on the professionalization and credentialing of digital-methods competencies, whether those are academic or not. IDAH workshops are informal routes to professionalization; as such, they are designed to be broadly responsive to the immediate needs artists and scholars interested in expanding their horizons. The Graduate Minor/Certificate, and by extension, the undergraduate custom minor or major, formalize this knowledge acquisition with a well-rounded set of degree-bearing coursework.

The Digital Arts and Humanities Graduate Certificate and PhD Minor is designed for students with little to no programming or technical experience who wish to acquire new competency in digital arts and humanities, as well as for students with a strong history in digital methods who wish to deepen its application to humanities scholarship or arts production. Students engage in either digital creative activities, digital humanities scholarship and research dissemination, or critical studies in the digital arts and humanities. In addition to managing the program and tracks of study, IDAH staff serve as advisors to prospective and enrolled students. IDAH administers this program with help from the Curriculum subcommittee.

We have been in conversation with the College of Arts and Sciences Individualized Major Program in supporting undergraduates interested in focusing on digital arts or digital humanities course of study. We have also begun to explore a Digital Arts and Humanities major or minor following IUPUI’s Digital Humanities minor program including a collaborative study abroad program focusing on Digital Cultural Heritage

This four-part workshop series occurs during the fall semester and serves as an introduction to digital research, pedagogy, data and scholarly communication.

This workshop series is responsive, based on interests and needs that surface during consultations. In 2017/2018, we created a workshop series dedicated to humanities data. In 2018/2019, we created a workshop series dedicated to network analysis. Though our 2019/2020 spring workshops were interrupted by the pandemic, we intended to focus on sound-based digital methods.

 

We also develop ad-hoc workshops in response to needs or as a complement to parallel programs offered by other centers or units. In 2018, we co-sponsored a “Collection as Data” workshop series with the IU Libraries and gave workshops in response to the Marking theme in honor of Frankenstein’s bicentennial: “The Franken-Assignment: Going Beyond the Essay” and “FrankensTEIn: Teaching Archival Material through Markup.” Both of these themed workshops were led by IDAH Digital Pedagogy Specialist, Mary Borgo Ton. 

Most of these workshops are archived on the IDAH web site. You can also get to the presentation slides and recordings for the workshops through IDAH’s community space in the IUScholarWorks Institutional Repository.


PUBLISHING

At IDAH, we support publishing in the broadest possible sense of the word: to make academic work public, in forms ranging from art exhibitions and performances with a digital component to digital editions or digital archives. One facet of this publication process emphasizes the importance of peer-review in the arts and humanities. Our contributions here are still in their nascent stages, in part because of the lead time that a research or creative activity requires before then undergoing an often-lengthy peer review process. The field of digital humanities is equally invested in peer-review considerations that are aligned with open-access goals: open peer review processes, promotion and tenure gained through alternative forms of peer review, and altmetrics all play a role in IDAH workshops as we present our affiliates with publishing options. Our publication focus also includes the framing of born-digital work as the equal to published monographs or journal articles in terms of rigor and research value. We look for ways to support both traditional and alternative forms of publishing, often as complements to one another. We encourage open forms of publishing but not at the expense of safety or privacy. Finally, we uphold the publishing processthe data gathering and curation, the annotations and interpretationsas we do the final product. This notion of publishing is built into all of our programs, but we do set the stage for publishing as part of our annual IDAH Spring Symposium.

The IDAH Spring Symposium serves as a culmination of our Faculty Fellowship and HASTAC scholarship year as well as a venue for peer-review of capstone projects for students enrolled in the Digital Arts and Humanities Certificate program. The symposium consists of lightning talks and posters by our HASTAC scholars and Certificate students, keynotes and exhibitions by our faculty fellows, and a spotlight presentation by former IDAH faculty fellow or HASTAC scholar.  These presentations are published through Indiana University’s Institutional Repository, IUScholarWorks, and provides persistent, citable access to digital research projects at their various stages.

PROGRAMMING IMPACT AND REACH

IDAH workshop and speaker series attendance data since 2017.
IDAH consultation data since 2014.
IDAH awardee data since 2010.
IDAH grant submission data since 2017.
IDAH pedagogical intervention data since 2017.
IDAH student support data since 2017.

We have made a selection of visualizations available on BOX based on metrics we actively collect in order to assess our programs. With three years of assessment data available to us, one of our goals for the 2020-2021 year is a cross-tabulation of the longitudinal data points for each program, along with the creation of “journey stories” to better understand how our affiliates leverage the pipelines we provide. Below, we provide a brief textual synopsis of these visualizations, noting that the visualizations themselves contain additional impact information.

In addition to our impact synopsis below, please consult our annual reviews (restricted access) for 2017, 2018 and 2019. The reviews will provide additional details including more information about impact. 

Between 2017-2020, IDAH has had nearly 600 people sign in to our workshops and Speaker Series events. Attendance data for the Institute's early years is scarce, but records from 2016-2017 suggest numbers have been holding steady since. Although 2019-2020 shows a sharp decline in total attendance, we attribute this partially to the fact that several of our spring workshops and lectures were disrupted or cancelled due to COVID-19.

Since 2017, IDAH has held over 340 consultation sessions with consultees from all over campus. We offer at least four scheduled sessions each week during Fall and Spring semesters with the option to request additional consultations as needed. Schools served include:

  • the College of Arts and Sciences,
  • the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design,
  • the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies,
  • the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering,
  • the School of Education,
  • the Maurer School of Law,
  • the Media School,
  • the Jacobs School of Music, and
  • the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The consultation program rapidly grew after IDAH began consulting jointly with the IUB Libraries’ Digital Collections Services department in August of 2017, and has quickly reached capacity. We are regularly booked weeks in advance. The Institute piloted a flexible office-hours style addition to our consultation schedule in January of 2020, but COVID-19 limited our opportunities to determine its efficacy. We hope to reinstitute these extra hours when the University returns to its normal schedule.

The number of awards distributed by IDAH each year has increased significantly . IDAH has awarded 52 fellowships, scholarships and Incubator awards since the 2017-2018 academic year. This is more than the previous seven academic years (2010-2016) combined. Between the Faculty Fellowship program, the HASTAC Scholarship program, the Graduate Fellowship program, and the Summer Incubator, IDAH has distributed a total of over $190,000 in research funding and course releases for students and faculty over the course of three years.

Though we have little data on grant submissions and awards in prior iterations of IDAH, we have seen an increase in successful submissions since 2017. None of the Institute’s applications were successful in 2017; however, in 2018 and 2019, IDAH and IDAH affiliates have received a number of both external and internal grants to support a wide variety of research projects. In total, the Institute has been involved with over two and a half million dollars' worth of submissions between 2017 and 2019.

Introduced in 2017, IDAH committed to support digital pedagogy interventions through consultations and classroom visits as a way to introduce faculty and students to the research potential when leveraging digital methods for teaching and learning. To date we have logged over 60 pedagogy consultations that led to over 20 class visits. Several instructors have returned to IDAH over the last three years for ongoing classroom collaborations.  Other instructors have transitioned to exploring digital methods in their own research through other IDAH programming like research consultations, IDAH Summer Incubator and the IDAH Faculty Fellowship.

Introduced in late 2017, IDAH’s certificate and minor program has provided credentialing for 13 IU alumni. We have seen a significant uptick in enrollment and interest for the program, and regularly attend new student orientations each August to publicize the program and recruit new enrollees. In 2018-2019 alone, we had 8 students enrolled in either the certificate or minor, and an additional 3 had declared their intent to enroll. Besides formal credentialing, IDAH has significantly enhanced or assisted in the completion of 44 terminal degree projects through our consulting and HASTAC Scholarship programs.

CENTER SELF-STUDY: METHODS AND BREAKDOWN

ABOUT THE SELF-STUDY

A full-resolution PNG of the self-study chart is available via Box.

Referencing LaBoskey’s “Methodology of self-study and Its Theoretical Underpinnings” (2004) and following Pinnegar’s framing of a self-study as a “methodology for studying professional practice settings,” we examined IDAH through the following actions set forth by LaBoskey: self-initiated, self-focused, improvement-aimed, interactive, and ultimately qualitative, as we used survey data to inform pointed discussions about our Institute. Our self-study employed two modes of data collection, 1) an anonymous survey administered to IDAH staff – seven individuals at the time consisting of the co-directors, the graduate assistants, and the graduate fellows, and 2) assessment strategies data collected from attendance tracking, consultation logs, and post-workshop assessments. The survey framed twenty questions across four over-arching categories informed by our mission: overall center goals, welcoming, engaging, and learning. The questions (listed below) were thematically grouped by our more specific areas of programming: outreach, research, pedagogy, instruction and publishing.

The survey data was aggregated by our office administrator, determining average scores based on Likert scales: for overall program strength, programs were ranked from 1-3, not at all developed to highly developed. For each evaluative category question along the Y-axis, programs were assigned a value of 1-4, strongly agree to strongly disagree. We compiled the other assessment metrics we use for our annual reporting and for this report. We then met to collectively review how our mission and programs/activities were ranked and compared that with the assessment data we collected.

This graph represents the combined perceptive results of our self-study. On the left are our five areas of programming – outreach, research, pedagogy, instruction and publishing – with their related activities grouped under each category. The dots located next to the activity indicates the program’s overall strength. The lightly shaded rectangles represent a developing, partial, or occasional activity, while the heavily shaded rectangles represent a highly developed, complete, or persistent activity. If no rectangle exists, it means that that activity is not a current priority in that category.

The first column, “Goals,” considers the four goals under which IDAH operates: sustainability, pipeline building, community building, and curriculum development. Our guiding question for this column was, “how does this program support IDAH’s core goals?” The second column focuses on our first core pillar: “Welcoming.” We considered how our programming impacted novice, intermediate, and advanced digital arts and humanities scholars, how well-developed were our audiences, and how well-developed were our partnerships. Our guiding question for this column was, “who does this program involve, and how involved are they?” The third column represents our second core pillar, “Engaging.” We considered how our programming introduced newcomers to the realm of digital arts and humanities, how were connections fostered within IU, how was project execution encouraged, how was funding development fostered, and how were connections extended beyond IU. Our guiding question for this section was “how does this program involve its participants?” The last column focuses on our final core pillar, “Learning.” We considered how each program cultivated technical skills, encouraged workflow development, encouraged participants to use best practices, taught project management skills, and exposed participants to new ideas. Our final guiding question for this category was “what practical skills will participants take away from this program?”

EVALUATIVE CATEGORIES FOR OUR PROGRAMMING (X-AXIS)

GUIDING SECTION QUESTION: How does this program support IDAH's core goals?

CHART CATEGORIES

  • Sustainability: Does this program build sustainability?
  • Pipeline: Does this program build IDAH's pipeline?
  • Community: Does this program build community?
  • Curriculum: Does this program build curriculum?

GUIDING SECTION QUESTION: Who does this program involve, and how involved are they?

CHART CATEGORIES

  • Novice: Does this program support novice DAH practitioners?
  • Intermediate: Does this program support intermediate DAH practitioners?
  • Advanced: Does this program support advanced DAH practitioners?
  • Audience: Is our audience for this program well-developed?
  • Partners: Are our partnerships for this program well-developed?

GUIDING SECTION QUESTION: How does this activity involve its participants?

CHART CATEGORIES

  • Introduce Newcomers: Does this program introduce newcomers to DAH methods?
  • Internal Connections: Does this activity foster connections within IU?
  • Encourage Execution: Does this activity encourage project execution?
  • Funding Development: Does this activity foster funding development?
  • External Connections: Does this activity foster connections external to IU?

GUIDING SECTION QUESTION: What practical skills will participants take away from this program?

CHART CATEGORIES

  • Technical Skills: does this program teach technical or technological skills?
  • Workflow Development: does this program encourage workflow development?
  • Best Practices: does this program encourage participants to use best practices?
  • Project Management: does this program teach participants project management skills?
  • New Ideas: does this program expose participants to new ideas?

 

SELF-STUDY RESULTS: SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES

After a series of discussions in which we analyzed the survey and other assessment data, we leveraged data visualization techniques to convey a bird’s eye view of IDAH’s strengths and weaknesses.


SUCCESSES

In terms of individual items, the perceived strongest evaluative categories were sustainability, pipeline development, community building, intermediate and advanced digital humanities practitioner support, connections internal to IU, and encouraging workflow development and best practices. The perceived strongest programs were the Speaker Series, consultations, digital pedagogy support, the Summer Incubator, the HASTAC Scholarship program, the Faculty Fellowship program, and DAH publishing solutions. 

A snapshot highlighting successful evaluative categories from IDAH's self-study chart. Larger images and details included in the accordion below.
A snapshot highlighting successful programs from IDAH's self-study chart. Larger images and details included in the accordion below.

SUCCESSFUL EVALUATIVE CATEGORIES

self-study-values-strengths-goals.png


We’ve seen early evidence that IDAH’s pipeline model is working—first-time consultees come back for second and third consultations, graduate consultees regularly enroll in our certificate and minor programs, veteran consultees apply for funding programs like the Summer Incubator, and funding program participants go on to apply for Faculty Fellowships and external and internal funding. We are launching a formal assessment of the IDAH pipeline in fall of 2020 in preparation for upcoming conference presentations and publication. This pipeline development naturally contributes also to a culture of community among DAH practitioners on campus.

These anecdotal successes in pipeline building contribute to IDAH's inherent long-term sustainability, and the vast majority of our individual activitiesfrom workshops to research programs to grant making to open-access publishingare explicitly structured to support the continued evolution of DAH on campus and beyond. Our "baked-in" approach to sustainability likely contributed to high ratings across this category.

self-study-values-strengths-welcoming.png


For those that are already interested in or engaged in digital arts and humanities research and pedagogy, our programming is incredibly useful. We often get consults for more advanced projects that need more advanced needs, such as technical support or sustainability concerns.With the expansion of our flash consults and sandbox hours, we also give more advanced scholars a chance to come in and as brief questions as needed, freeing up our extended consultation sessions for new digital arts and humanities practitioners.

self-study-values-strengths-engaging.png


INTERNAL CONNECTIONS

IDAH’s situation in the library puts us in the best position to refer our audience to other resources on campus. Our collaborative consult model means we can invite relevant personnel to advise the consultee. We have referred our audience to such resources as subject librarians, maker spaces, and UITS technical support. This collaborative model means that our audience has an incredibly diverse set of resources to turn to with their research questions.

PROJECT EXECUTION

With these resources at their disposal, we further encourage our audience to see their projects through to the end. Whether it's simply an assignment for class, a graduate capstone project, or a component of a dissertation or dossier, we encourage digital arts and humanities practitioners to execute their projects to the best of their abilities. Finished projects now include poster presentations, published articles, and digital exhibits, all fostered through IDAH's pipeline.

self-study-values-strengths-learning.png


IDAH's framework for digital humanities scholarship emphasizes the importance of research questions above all elseavoiding the pitfall of technology for technology's sake. While we make space for technical exploration during our workshops and events, this extremely practical approach to research is in large part what makes IDAH accessible to our constituents regardless of their academic background or familiarity with digital techniques. 

 


SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS

selfstudy-strengths-programs-outreach.png


After a period of revitalization in 2017, IDAH’s guest speaker lectures are consistently well-attended by an academically diverse audience that includes faculty, students, and staff, and our outreach and advertisement pipeline is well-established. We curate our speaker series to explore new ideas and unconventional uses of DH across the digital landscape. 

selfstudy-strengths-programs-research.png


CONSULTATIONS

Since 2017, IDAH’s joint consultation model with IU Libraries’ Digital Collections Services has been extremely well-received, and the program has grown at an exponential rate. Subscription increased by 70% between 2017 and 2019, and IDAH has served a total of nearly 350 consultees during the same period. It is clear from the growth—and maxing—of consult subscription that there is a need for a welcoming, but expert, environment in which people can experiment with integrating their disciplinary expertise and a digital method.

INCUBATOR

The week-long Summer Incubator is a newly developed program first launched in the summer of 2018 and is the most visible example of IDAH's pragmatism in action. The Incubator provides an intensive collaborative environment designed to kickstart early-stage digital projects that otherwise might not have the opportunity to get off the ground. Feedback from the Incubator’s first two cohorts has been overwhelmingly positive, and many alumni have gone on to receive internal or external funding for their projects.

FACULTY FELLOWSHIPS

Over the years, the Faculty Fellowship program has evolved to address both digital project support and intellectual recognition of those digital projects as part of tenure and promotion. Former fellows often refer colleagues to the program, further increasing the program’s sustainability, and there’s a pipeline from the Summer Incubator to the Faculty Fellowship that positions fellows to hit the ground running. Based on feedback we have received from recent cohorts, we plan to revitalize the program even further to better support future Faculty Fellows by extending the fellowship year by an additional semester and providing set hours of dedicated technical support to ensure projects do not stall.

HASTAC SCHOLARSHIP

Since 2017, the IDAH HASTAC program has grown considerably. We receive 10-20 applications on average, signaling that demand for the HASTAC Scholarship program has increased. The applications are top-notch and our sponsorship numbers have ranged between 7-10 over the last three years. Feedback from awardees (restricted access) has been consistently positive, and funding was expanded in 2018 due to its success.

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS

Perhaps the most established of IDAH's programs, we hire two College graduate assistants each year, along with one SICE/ILS graduate assistant. Job placement for this program has been very successful with alumni going on to fill positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of California-Santa Cruz, and University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

selfstudy-strengths-programs-pedagogy.png

DIGITAL PEDAGOGY SUPPORT

The feedback we have received from our pedagogy consultations and in-class interventions have been overwhelmingly positive. Faculty often ask us back year after year to develop their digital curriculum further. We also receive feedback from the students themselves, talking about how much they enjoyed learning a new digital method and wondering how they can keep working with a particular tool. To better support digital pedagogy in the future, our staff is developing teaching templates for faculty to include in their curriculum for either long- or short-term projects, something we think will be very beneficial as we participate in online teaching environments.

selfstudy-strengths-programs-iinstruction.png

WORKSHOP SERIES

Much like our Speaker Series, our workshops are well-developed and well-attended, with an established and consistent audience base. We developed an introductory fall workshop series that welcomes both novice practitioners and the digitally-curious, while our spring workshop series focuses on meeting emerging needs and interests by responding to consultation trends from the prior semester. This multi-pronged approach to programming has proven effective in both welcoming new practitioners and engaging with seasoned artists and scholars and feedback collected over the years (restricted, only 2019 is digitally compiled) confirms we are largely meeting the needs of our audiences.

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE AND MINOR

Though it scored highly on our self-study survey, it is worth mentioning that IDAH’s certificate and minor program was designed primarily with humanities Ph.D. candidates in mind. While the program is on the upswing, the nature of its focus can pose barriers to some students, particularly those studying in the fields of art and informatics. We have addressed these barriers in other parts of our pipeline model, but this issue warrants further consideration as the Institute moves forward.

selfstudy-strengths-programs-publishing.png


While scoring highly in our self-study, it is worth noting that digital publishing solutions are generally targeted toward more advanced digital arts and humanities practitioners with near-complete projects. While this is part of our digital publishing consideration, our main goal is sustainability. Publication-as-process is therefore the ultimate end result of our pipeline model. We encourage folks in the early stages of a digital project to think about their process and data as publishable in one form. Mid-stage practitioners can foster community engagement both internal and external to IU depending on their platform and encourage use of their work in curriculum. In this way, we address the issue that many researchers don’t consider digital publishing solutions until their project is nearly complete. As we continue to adapt our programming goals, we hope to continue to encourage our audience to consider digital publishing solutions at all stages of their projects so that our affiliates think of the publishing process as encompassing visibility and sustainability.


CHALLENGES

In terms of areas for improvement, the perceived weakest evaluative categories are building curriculum, supporting novice digital humanities practitioners, developing center partnerships, fostering funding development, promoting connections external to IU, and new ideas and project generation. The perceived weakest programs include public humanities as social justice, center partnerships, grant making and support, digital pedagogy as research, the undergraduate independent study program, and OA consulting and sustainable project repositories. Below, we have provided visuals and summaries of our perceived successes, challenges, and ultimate conclusions as a result of our self-study and surrounding discussions.

A snapshot highlighting challenging evaluative categories from IDAH's self-study chart. Larger images and details included in the accordion below.
A snapshot highlighting challenging programs from IDAH's self-study chart. Larger images and details included in the accordion below.

CHALLENGING EVALUATIVE CATEGORIES

self-study-values-weaknesses-goals.png


There was some internal confusion surrounding what "curriculum programming" could mean. For some, it was formal course enrollment. For others, it was hard to find the line between educational research and curriculum development. Ultimately, it was decided that a lot of what we do is affected by curriculum programming. Activities that we engaged in that could be considered part of our curriculum program were overlooked as informal curricular practices. However, at a minimum, our self-study reveals that the Institute would benefit from a rigorous discussion of how our individual programs can advance curricular development on a practical level.

self-study-values-weaknesses-welcoming.png


SUPPORTING NOVICE PRACTITIONERS

While it was generally indicated that IDAH programming is effective in supporting both intermediate and advanced practitioners, there was a consensus among our staff that the Institute could be doing more to support novice digital artists and humanists. We have only one core programour fall "Introduction to DH" workshop seriesthat is explicitly designed for novices. An investigation into the development of additional offerings for this portion of our audience is warranted, and is especially crucial as IDAH begins to center sustainability efforts over the next several years.  

PARTNER CONNECTIONS

Though IDAH has spent the last three years building programmatic ties with a select number of partners, including the IU Libraries and the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, much work remains to be done in terms of strengthening partnerships across the University. This work is vital not only to broaden IDAH's audience base, but also to seed campus with DAH resources, curricula, and practitioners from the ground up. We are committed to identifying and pursuing potential partnerships as part of our multi-year Strategic Plan.

self-study-values-weaknesses-engaging.png


FUNDING DEVELOPMENT

While we have been careful to build our pipeline to promote funding development—both for the center and for our constituents—our rankings revealed that this priority is not sufficiently emphasized through our programs. The Summer Incubator and grant making scored well in this category, but we should consider how we can use the remainder of our programming to highlight internal and external funding opportunities. 

FOSTERING EXTERNAL CONNECTIONS

 It is clear from our rankings that we feel we do quite well when it comes to internal referrals and connections. However, connections external to the University are somewhat neglected. As we seek to bolster IDAH's reputation beyond campus, we must evaluate how we can use our existing programs to cultivate relationships state-wide and beyond.

self-study-values-weaknesses-learning.png


Our pipeline model is geared towards the advancement of existing projects, leading to funding development and publishing opportunities. However, we have perhaps not stopped to consider how we can best expose our audience to new ideas that are crucial for project generation. Embedding departments with newly established practitioners is certainly one answer, but many of our own programming opportunities are for people who are already in the midst of a previously-conceived project. How can the Institute reshape our programming to allow for the types of exploratory and creative learning that lead to the generation of new project ideas? As we move forward into the next phase of our growth, we should be careful to evaluate how we can support this goal both internally as well as through other departmental connections.


CHALLENGING PROGRAMS

selfstudy-weaknesses-programs-outreach.pngCENTER PARNTERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Though IDAH has spent the last three years aligning and differentiating digital arts and humanities with a select number of partners of service-oriented partners, including the IU Libraries, IU Makerspaces and University Information Technology Services, IDAH recognizes that the campus as a wholethrough research centers and similar entitiesexcels in areas of knowledge and skills that complement digital arts and humanities work. Our goal is to expand those partnerships, but also establish consistent referral protocols as needed to ensure that IDAH affiliates receive all the guidance needed to see through their projects.

PUBLIC HUMANITIES AS SOCIAL JUSTICE

The utilization of public humanities as an avenue for promoting social justice is key to advancing the values laid out in our strategic plan. Our Speaker Series explores issues in which digital and justice intersect. In 2017/2018, we invited Dr. Shirin Vossoughi to talk about equity in makerspaces. We followed her talk with Dr. Kimberly Martin who provided a feminist framing of makerspaces. In 2018/2019, we invited Dr. Kari Kraus to discuss her research in metalepsis and its civic import especially with respect to youth. Dr. Kathryn Tomasek followed with a series of events rooted in democratizing the undergraduate class through digital methods appropriation. Later that year, we invited artist, Caroline Sinders, to talk about biased algorithms and how to combat that by creating feminist data sets. In 2019/2020, we partnered other sectors of campus for GIS day to explore activist mapping with visiting scholars, Maira Álvarez and Sylvia Fernandez.

We are eager to engage in public-facing digital arts and humanities and justice projects and extend other programming to explicitly elevate work in these two areas. As highlighted in our introduction, we have made some early efforts in this area through our partnership with the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society on the “Identity through Objects” History Harvest. This project was a modest success and strengthened IDAH's partnership with CRRES. It led to dissertation support for CRRESS graduate student affiliates. Still more needs to be done. Taking what we know from the History Harvest forward into 2021 and beyond, we must make a concerted effort to incorporate public humanities into not only our outreach programming but also into our internal fellowships and scholarships, curriculum generation, and partnership development.

selfstudy-weaknesses-programs-research.png

GRANT MAKING AND SUPPORT

Similar to the curriculum issues, there was some confusion as to how each of us ranked what grant making and support meant. Is this the IDAH office applying for grants, or are we supporting our audience in grant making endeavors? We have crafted a deliberate funding pipeline in which we tap internal grants to develop more advanced proof-of-concept or prototype in hopes to demonstrate to external funders a viable and valuable roadmap for next steps. We have supported or received a number of internal grants to date. We recognize that we have not yet routed external grants led by IDAH affiliates through our office. This is partly due to the necessary work in revitalizing IDAH the last three years, and the tricky timing in knowing whether to apply now or wait until the next round. As IDAH and our affiliates grow together in the next three years, we should see increased submissions for external funding. Whether we are applying for grants of our own or supporting researchers as they go through the grant application process, we can work on submitting as many grants as possible.

IDAH GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

As we increasingly support digital dissertations at IUB and encounter as many graduate students as faculty in our consultations, we are committed to creating as many funding opportunities as possible for our graduate students. The IDAH Graduate Fellowship was promoted by extended the HASTAC program to a full two years, as intended. We are unable to do this and fund the whole cohort for two years, but we can award up to two Graduate Fellowships as a way to formalize mentoring, and provide opportunities for more digital skill acquisition, and, in turn, help IDAH by leading workshops and assisting with consultations. As our newest formal opportunity for graduate students, our Graduate Fellowship program needs attention and refinement. Though our initial cohort of two scholars enjoyed their time as Fellows, we are in the process of reviewing the structure of the Fellowship to maximize mutual productivity and benefit.

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DIGITAL PEDAGOGY AS RESEARCH

Incorporating digital methods and research in the classroom is still a relatively new practice. So while it supports three of our four goals and heavily supports learning practices, there is still a lot more that could be done, especially concerning engagement. We could consider partnering with other research centers on campus, or even centers external to IU, to further evaluate digital teaching practices. We could see if introducing digital tools in the classroom encourages students to further pursue digital arts and humanities scholarship. As this kind of educational research is still new, we know that are many opportunities to improve this program in the future.

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While our consultations are open to scholars of all levels and we regularly seek out undergraduates for inclusion in our HASTAC program, much could be done to improve outreach and engagement at the undergraduate level. The undergraduate digital history courses in which we’ve hosted History Harvests have been the site of several surveys that have helped us understand what draws undergraduates to the study of digital history. We have also been in talks with the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Informatics about developing an undergraduate digital humanities major or minor. Finally, we have offered several undergraduates an extension of their History Harvest work as hourly undergraduate research assistants, as well as a full-semester Spring 2020 internship that provided a site for a double-major capstone project.

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OPEN ACCESS CONSULTING

At IDAH, we continue to promote the advantages of open scholarship as a way of sharing creative and research pursuits more openly with both the academy and the public. We are also mindful of concerns our affiliates have when contemplating if and when (and which part) of their work can be shared more openly without compromising tenure and promotion and without being at odds with their peers. We are still establishing the balance between the standard practices of many humanities departments which values the monograph, and the potential for significant academic impact for digital research projects. Artists and humanists often engage in more productive open access discussion and explore their options in consults that include the Libraries’ Scholarly Communications experts. At present, we draw on Scholarly Communication when we or our consultees have explicit questions about institutional repository or open access publishing. In order to increase emphasis on open access from the very beginning stages of project development, we will likely need to reconsider how and when we work with Scholarly Communication librarians.

SUSTAINABLE PROJECT REPOSITORIES

At a minimum, we actively look for ways for our affiliates to manage data they create as part of their digital projects. Depending on the data, some of these content repository options are available through the Libraries. However, digital art and humanities work entails multiple layers of outputs and interpretations beyond the data itself for which there is not system-wide sustainable solution. In those cases, we look to GitHub or cloud-storage for versioning and managing not just the data itself but the many layers of data enrichment and analysis. Our approach to sustainability is very much a patchwork sometimes at odds with our grand commitment to sustainability. We have some work in at least codifying a daisy-chain approach to sustainability not uncommon in the digital arts and humanities. We also face huge gaps in sustainability and digital preservation of fully-digital projects like a Scalar-based digital dissertation or a digital recovery project that uses Omeka. It is not always enough to preserve the data. We need to be proactive in how we capture the digital as a whole especially if that alone embodies the scholarly record as is increasingly the case with digital dissertations.


OTHER NOTABLE CHALLENGES

Though not addressed directly through our Self-Study Survey due to their administrative or structural nature, the following items encompass several notable challenges the Institute expects to face in the coming years. These items have cropped up repeatedly during internal discussions and warrant further investigation.

IDAH aims to strike a balance between digital arts and humanities works emerging from disciplinary contexts and serving as a hub for this kind of work across campus. Historically, digital arts and humanities projects have been diffused on the Bloomington campus. Some of the longer standing projects may not recognize IDAH as a center that can help. Emerging projects are increasingly finding their way through IDAH, but we don’t have the capacity to embed in the scores of disciplinary departments in which this work is taking or could take place. In addition, we’re still grappling with existing expectations and preconceptions about digital arts and humanities from previous generations of IDAH, and how that work has been supported by the Libraries or University Information Technology Services. We have seen improvements over the past three years, but this challenge should be explicitly addressed as we consider ways to improve IDAH messaging and advertising.

Partially due to the Institute’s small size, it can be challenging to stay up-to-date with emerging issues and developing digital technologies, such as 3D modeling, augmented reality, and digital public engagement. While partnerships with other centers can fill some of these gaps, the time investment required to stay on top of emerging techniques poses a significant barrier even when training is readily available.

The Institute currently operates with three half-time graduate assistants, two half-time co-directors, and one full-time administrative coordinator who was hired in late 2019. To support the high-level work IDAH performs, IDAH’s current staffing model requires intensive training for graduate assistants, most of whom leave the Institute after only one or two years. During the first year of each GA’s appointment, the co-directors are responsible for both training and for performing the duties the GAs take on after their training completes. The benefit of such in-depth training is that the graduate students leave IDAH with substantial experience and expertise that will help them with future job placement. While this is valuable service to IU more narrowly and to the academy at large, the overhead of training new assistants every two years while maintaining IDAH’s work at full capacity will become increasingly unsustainable. Funding to hire an additional full-time consultation coordinator and part-time developers would go a long way in providing longer-term stability.

The other challenge we face with the graduate assistant positions is their uncertainty for renewal. These positions are provided by the College, School of Informatics and the Libraries and require renegotiation every few years. IDAH needs multi-year continuity to continue running such a wide range of programs at such a high level.

Many digital-humanities initiatives have extended their purview to the Arts; the Digital Research in the Humanities (DRH) network in the United Kingdom (Digital Research in the Humanities and the Arts) did so in 2006. Like many of these initiatives, IDAH has struggled to bring the arts and humanities together around digital concerns in cohesive ways. On taking on the co-directorship in 2017, the co-directors discussed this weakness and committed to re-centering the digital arts for IDAH. Our Speaker Series was the first site of this commitment. We kicked off our new directorship in IDAH with Making in the Arts and Humanities as a way to very explicitly signal the dedication. Since then, we have endeavored to signal a commitment to the arts through our selection of Fellows, Scholars and Incubator Awardees, and through governance representation. However, IDAH has yet to find a consistent path to support for digital arts in a way that fully lives up to our stated goals. One factor is the appropriation of technology in the arts versus the humanities; the tools leveraged in the arts are often highly complex and specialized. A second factor is IDAH’s historically humanist-oriented leadership; most, like us, have a deep appreciation for the arts, talent and inclination to dive into some of the more complex technology with our artist affiliates, but this history suggests a need to explore more fully how campus demand for digital methods falls along humanist and artistic lines. These leadership structures could change in the future so artists appropriating digital techniques recognize themselves in IDAH, but in the meantime, a digital artist residency may offer a better way to understand the deeper needs artists bring to the digital-methods table.

SELF-STUDY CONCLUSIONS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Because it is technology adjacent, digital arts and humanities is a rapidly changing field. These changes are further complicated by a reliance on a combination of industry-standard approaches and tailored customizations to meet specific research and creative needs. The critique of broader technology trends through locally identified needs is vital to our now-articulated social justice and equity mission. Without a clear sense of how broad technology trends come to bear on the people with whom we interact every day, our research and pedagogy practices will only reinforce the existing inequities that are so common to technology-adjacent fields.

As such, we are committed to an ongoing assessment program that combines standardized assessment practices of our center impact with the humanistic perceptual assessment methods we developed for our self-study. This approach allowed us to identify a number of programs that appeared successful when measured via traditional metrics but will contribute even more to the IU campus as a result of the conversations and negotiations that our self-study approach prompted. Data will not and cannot drive everything we do. We have to combine our assessment data with our understanding of how assessment data and human experience intersect and use that expertise in order to maintain alignment between our programs and our goals. Combining these two approaches into a unified assessment program will continue to support the snap decisions we need to make in order to stay flexible and in a rapidly changing field.

As IDAH looks to the future, then, we do so with a clear sense of the challenges and successes we have identified, and with a better understanding of how our program questions and goals can help us restructure our values and mission. These challenges and emerging issues—particularly as we consider how the diffuse nature of digital arts and humanities at IU will intersect with work in the public humanities—will require ongoing conversations about program development, overall goals, and program sustainability. As we continue to solidify community-building and cross-campus partnerships at Indiana University, we have identified communities for increased external involvement. IDAH now has representation in the Indiana Humanities Council as part of their digital humanities working group. Conversations have already been fruitful and we have started planning state-wide “digital humanities carpentry” training across the state, extending programs we sponsor locally like our Summer Incubator for a wider audience. Beyond the state, IDAH would benefit from reengaging with groups like the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), specifically CenterNet, and actively participate in the various ADHO working groups that align with our mission like Global DH. Our orientation toward public humanities might also create a more welcoming environment for artists who are by definition already challenging socio-historical conventions in a public-facing manner.

These conversations have directly translated to the expanded mission we presented above, which includes three new value statements that address Connection, Collaboration, and Communication; Exploration, Expertise, and Execution; and Inclusivity, Equity, and Social Justice. Together with the information and study results presented above, we have used these conversations to formulate a draft version of a Strategic Plan, which we present for consideration and feedback. This Strategic Plan lays out next steps as we enter a new phase in IDAH’s development.

Despite the great strides in building connections between practitioners in the digital arts and humanities community at IU, IDAH's work is still in its early stages. Three years has given us the time to develop a solid foundation for the skill- and curriculum-building efforts that will sustain the digital arts and humanities community at IU. We also find ourselves working to incorporate the dramatic changes that 2020 has wrought; these changes render the digital more prevalent in daily life than even before and opens up digital spaces more broadly to social-justice considerations. As fellow researchers and artists respond to these changes by reorienting themselves and their goals in these digital spaces, IDAH's focus on public-humanities engagement through research and creative activity will, we hope, inspire new digital-humanities practitioners as they imagine how they can more equitably shape this space.

At the same time, they will need more than inspiration. As we think about the practical outcomes in response to our mission in light of all 2020's disruptions, we hope to build on IDAH's current foundation to address the gaps we have identified in sustainability for Faculty Fellowships, in curriculum building for undergraduates and graduates in 2-year professional programs to support a research and engagement pipeline, and in public-service projects that expand the audience for digital arts and humanities practitioners.

In short, as with the last 3 years of our work, we want to build our pipelines, expand their reach, and create a community of practitioners that is self-sustaining so that we can direct our efforts toward the changes that are inevitable in digital arts and humanities work. IDAH will need to address the crucial entry and advancement points in our pipeline; attendance at our consulting hours clearly demonstrates a need for a welcoming, but expert, environment in which people can experiment with integrating digital methods into their disciplinary expertise. These experimentations offer slow-growth potential, require an extensive amount of generosity and collaboration from both parties, and will call on IDAH to continually assess and re-articulate the stages of our pipeline in order to support these practitioners as they transfer skills learned in informal spaces to the more formal spaces of well-funded research and creative activity.

CODING FOR BEGINNERS: How do we programmatically acknowledge that coding is a significant part of the digital humanities, while still making our programming accessible to those with no prior coding experience? To date, we have not focused our instructional programming on code, preferring instead to allow other organizations on campus to fill this need. However, we welcome the committee's suggestions on how to strike a balance in our programming that will suit both technologically advanced practitioners and those that prefer a more analog approach. 

SUPPORTING THE ARTS: Despite rapid program growth and reliable audience involvement, the Institute has struggled to consistently engage with the digital arts. How can we make our programming more relevant to the interests of digital artists? What can we do to better support their emerging needs?

FORMAL VERSUS INFORMAL CURRICULUM: During self-study discussions, a recurring point of contention was the definition of "curriculum." Out of this arose a new question: how can we address the gaps between our formal and informal curricular opportunities? How can we better structure our curricular programming to support the scholars who might otherwise fall between the lines? Specifically, how can we use curricular opportunities to be more inclusive of the digital arts?

FUNDING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: Now more than ever, with the arts and humanities facing shifting finances and shrinking funding pools, what more can we be doing to bolster IDAH's financial stability? Though we are already working to cement IDAH's grant funding pipeline, we would like to solicit the committee's feedback on other possibilities for strengthening our funding base.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Firstly, we'd like to acknowledge that we would often be lost without the input and expertise graciously offered to us by our consulting partners: Nick Homenda, Julie Hardesty, Theresa Quill, Meg Meiman, Leanne Nay, Caitlyn Smallwood, Kara Alexander, Emily Meanwell, Chris Eller, Tassie Gniady, Scott Libson, Jamie Wittenberg, Sara Hare, Mireille Djenno, and countless others.

Secondly, we'd like to express our gratitude to the leadership and staff at OVPR who make our work possible: Ed Comentale, Jeff Zaleski, Sherry Knighton-Schwandt, Alicia Adelman, Peggy Maschino, Jennifer Burns, and the rest of the OVPR staff.

Thirdly, we'd like to recognize our contributing partners at the IU Libraries, College of Arts and Sciences, University Information Technology Services, and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, who make our work infinitely easier.

And finally, we are so thankful to our amazing and brilliant faculty, students, and scholars for making our work worthwhile.

AUTHORS & CONTRIBUTORS

Kalani Craig, Michelle Dalmau, Sara Duke and Ella Robinson collaboratively compiled data, conducted analysis, and authored this report.