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New Connections in Digital and Public Humanities

We are thrilled to partner with Vanderbilt University's Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy to host a Mellon Institute in Digital and Public Humanities workshop to train early-career scholars in the use and development of digital public humanities projects. Upcoming workshops will result in digitized artifacts for a travelling exhibit as well as the creation of an oral history archive to collect and present the stories of Tennesseans.

Institute scholars will visit the Tennessee State Museum exhibit, Slaves and Slave Holders of Wessyngton Plantation, to digitize and create 3D models of artifacts contained in the exhibit. The exhibit will eventually tour to museums across the state, though some of the artifacts are too large or fragile to travel. 3D modeling will allow visitors to the traveling exhibit to experience and explore these artifacts in the digital world. 

But the digital humanities encompass far more than the 3D rendering of museum objects. Scholars are electronically mining texts from Shakespeare to Gertrude Stein, discovering new contexts and connections that were heretofore hidden from plain view. Likewise, the digital humanities can create a space for shared community and shared stories that is easily accessible to the general public.

Recently, Humanities Tennessee partnered with the Nashville Public Library, StoryCorp, and Casa Azafran to collect the stories of Nashville’s immigrant population. With the assistance of the Institute scholars, excerpts of many of these interviews will be used to establish a text-searchable oral history archive on Humanities Tennessee’s website. Our goal is to continue building this cache of stories as we work with program partners around the state, providing a unique platform of connected Tennessee experience from which to build or inform our public programs.