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UGA to launch major initiatives in digital humanities during DIGI@UGA Day

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, in partnership with the UGA Libraries and the UGA Press, will launch its new Digital Humanities Lab on April 17 at 2 p.m. on the third floor of the main library as part of DIGI@UGA Day.

The day’s events will include the announcement of a new interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate program in digital humanities, a Digital Humanities Symposium, the opening of the UGA Digital Arts Library’s Textual Machines exhibit and, at 5 p.m., a public reception at the new home of the Willson Center, 1260 S. Lumpkin St.

The field of digital humanities emphasizes the building of tools and resources such as digital archives, Web applications and mobile applications and their use in the service of advancing humanistic knowledge and making it available to the public.

The Willson Center Digital Humanities Lab, known informally as the DigiLab, will be a state-of-the-art instruction space as well as an incubator and publicity hub for nationally recognized digital humanities projects. Opening for use this summer, it will be outfitted with flexible workspaces for individual or collaborative projects and with advanced technological resources.

The Digital Humanities Research and Innovation certificate program will bring together courses taught across a range of humanities disciplines—including English, history, classics, geography, Romance languages, theater and film studies, historic preservation, art and music—under the course prefix DIGI. The program will begin this fall.

The DigiLab and the DIGI certificate program both grew out of the Digital Humanities Initiative, a Willson Center Faculty Research Cluster chaired by Stephen Berry, Gregory Chair of the Civil War Era in the history department; William Kretzschmar, Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities in the English department; and Claudio Saunt, Richard B. Russell Professor in American History and chair of the history department.

“This is the culmination of great work by a great many,” said Berry, who chairs the DigiLab’s steering committee. “Expanding on the pioneering digital humanities projects of Bill Kretzschmar and Barbara McCaskill and in partnership with UGA Libraries, UGA Press and everyone at the Willson Center, we are taking a dramatic leap forward for faculty and students who want to step away from the lecture hall and build things together.”

The launch event and symposium will take place in the reading room on the third floor of the main library, opposite the DigiLab. After opening remarks by organizers of the DigiLab and DIGI certificate programs, the symposium will feature talks by visiting scholars and innovators in digital humanities. Detailed information on the speakers is available at http://willson.uga.edu/event/dhuga-day.

The Textual Machines exhibit, showcasing holdings from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Digital Arts Library, including early modern movable books, modern artists’ books and electronic literature, will be on display April 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the DigiLab. It is presented as part of the concurrent Textual Machines Symposium, a collaborative effort of the Digital Arts Library and the Symposium on the Book. For more information on the exhibit and the symposium, visit http://digitalartslibrary.com/events-and-exhibits.

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information, see http://willson.uga.edu/.