Digital and Big Data Subcommittee Update

by Beth Leonardo, Graduate Student, Department of English

The DH/Big Data subcommittee is a diverse group of faculty and graduate students dedicated to the development of digital skills at URI. Representing the departments of Art and Art History, Computer Science, English, and Writing and Rhetoric as well as the University Libraries, this subcommittee is dedicated to cultivating digital tools at URI as a means of creating and sharing knowledge across disciplines. We see the digital humanities as an integral part of next generation PhDs and we are continually impressed by how convinced those outside of English are that humanities PhDs versed in digital skills are already in high demand.

We are currently focused on two central goals. First, by assessing learning outcomes and program structures at universities with the top DH programs in the country, we have identified the skills necessary to make PhDs competitive in an ever more digital world. We have compiled a list of these skills to discuss at our next meeting. Secondly, we have been collaborating with faculty across the university to identify courses and technological resources already in existence at URI that might cross over to meet the skills that we have identified. Thanks to new hires and the development of two new computer science minors, both part of URI’s Big Data Initiative, as well as the University Library’s commitment to continued development of DH resources, we see a range of options and opportunities to suggest to the core URI NEH planning grant committee.