Sustaining Digital Humanities Centers, Labs and Institutes

1. Abstract

In this two hour tutorial, the facilitators will raise questions that are germane to digital humanities centers, labs and institutes regardless of location, size, or stage of development. These begin with the general question of how can digital humanities support institutional goals, such as cross-department collaboration, diversity and interdisciplinary research, while at the same time being distinctive and forward looking. The intention is to facilitate discussion about these key issues and others, such as the cultural context in which centers operate, and the opportunities of working within different national research systems and what can be learned from these. Our goal is to encourage participants to share their very different experiences.

Among discussion points will be funding and sustainability, which kinds of funding arrangements are possible, and what models exist to inform those starting a new center, lab or institute or retooling an existing center, lab or institute. This will lead to a consideration of the difference between infrastructure and operations funding vs. funding for research or pedagogy. Other discussion points include the importance of building a digital humanities community, ideas for ensuring wide engagement, the value of creating policies and a governance structure, and developing partnerships and connections through professional associations and diverse communities. We will also spend some time discussing how centers can be a catalyst for developing skills in graduates for new careers, international exchanges, visiting scholarships and postdoctoral research fellowships.

Katherine L. Walter (, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Paul Arthur (, Edith Cowan University and Carrie Heitman (, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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