Overview

The Digital Humanities are a team sport. The newest component of our team was founded in the fall of 2021: The Digital Humanities Graduate Student Society!  The interdisciplinary MA Specialization in Digital Humanities has been growing in recent years – so much so that we have over 30 students currently enrolled, across a panoply of separate departments. While the students in an individual year come together in the core DH courses, there was a desire for more cohesion, more opportunities to support each other, learn from each other, and, well, have some fun with DH.

The DHGSS was founded by students, for students, to support professional and social development in the field. This FutureFunder will help the DHGSS establish a student-led conference, social activities, extra-curricular learning opportunities, and personal and professional relationships into the future.

The Background

When a student adds the Specialization in DH to their ‘home’ degree program, they take a series of courses with students from across the University to rethink how digital technologies are changing our understanding of art, film, music, literature and popular culture; to explore how new media are shaping our global communities, intercultural dialogues, and individual and collective identities; and to learn what new scholarly tools are available for studying and interpreting these developments.

We offer more breadth in this area than any other Canadian program, accepting applicants from thirteen different Master’s programs at Carleton: Anthropology, Applied Linguistic and Discourse Studies, Art History, Canadian Studies, English Language and Literature, Film Studies, French and Francophone Studies, History, Music and Culture, Public History, Philosophy, Sociology, and Cognitive Science.

This breadth is astonishing, but the students in the 2020 and 2021 cohorts felt that something was missing from our program, and so set out to solve it. They identified that they wanted more opportunities to collaborate with each other, more opportunities to work together, to play together, putting into practice the idea that good learning is social learning.

We put this FutureFunder campaign together to help the DHGSS establish itself on a secure foundation, to support its activities now and into the future.

The Rollout

The DHGSS intends to put on a series of events to support the professional, academic, and social development of students in the DH program, that respond to the evolving needs and desires of the cohort.

They are planning

  • an annual student led graduate DH conference
  • alumni recognition and reconnection nights
  • code-together events
  • practicum outreach and professional development nights
  • wikithons
  • development of student-run publication to highlight and showcase research and project work
  • fun nights to explore DH aspects of popular media and culture

The Impact

Establishing the DHGSS on a secure grounds will help enhance the educational, personal, and professional development of our students. The activities that the DHGSS are proposing will take DH into the community, and indeed expand that community by fostering more connections with the tech scene in Ottawa. The establishment of the DHGSS will help cement Carleton’s leadership in DH education.

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