Digital humanities research initiative in worksFerguson, John  | Aug 15, 2016
A team of researchers from the School of Information, College of Liberal Arts and UT Libraries is planning a new digital humanities research initiative at UT Austin.
Led by iSchool Assistant Professor Tanya Clement, the DH@UT Pop-Up Institute will harness expertise and resources from across campus to build a digital humanities ecosystem for innovative research in the liberal arts.
Digital research in the humanities examines the cultural impact of new media and information technology and uses that technology to answer research questions. The DH@UT Pop-Up Institute will consist of a national digital humanities training institute open to both UT and external participants, followed by an intensive planning session carried out by an interdisciplinary group of UT staff and faculty, with consultation by recognized experts in the construction and maintenance of digital humanities infrastructure.
DH@UT is one of the three interdisciplinary initiatives announced by UT’s Office of the Vice President for Research in August. Pop-Up Institutes are a campus-wide research initiative designed to address specific research goals. Multidisciplinary teams at UT Austin will spend the upcoming academic year preparing for a burst of activity focused on a specific area of research. These Institutes will then “pop up” for one month—longer than an academic conference, but less than a dedicated research center or program.
“This novel approach gives distinguished researchers the time and space to work together outside of traditional disciplines and think about an important problem in a new way,” said Dan Jaffe, vice president for research at UT Austin. “I am confident we will see remarkable results and build new connections across campus.”
The Office of the Vice President for Research will host a town hall meeting to introduce the Institutes and their team members on Sept. 15. The event is open to the UT community and will provide campus researchers an opportunity to contribute their perspectives to the new institutes.
iSchool, English Department to offer dual master's degreeFerguson, John  | Jul 29, 2016
The School of Information has added its seventh dual master’s degree. The new program, a partnership with the Department of English, is geared toward students who wish to combine a research interest in English with the professional and intellectual opportunities available in the field of Information Studies.
“Developments in information science impact every area of human inquiry, and this new program offers students the opportunity to study and work at the cutting edge of digital humanities scholarship,” said Andrew Dillon, iSchool dean and professor.
Areas with particularly strong overlap between English and Information Studies include bibliography and textural criticism, digital literacy, popular culture and cultural studies, rhetoric, and the study of women, gender and literature, said program coordinator Tanya Clement, an associate professor in the iSchool and a foremost scholar in the field of digital humanities.
“People in English studies are experts in language and how it’s used in cultural artifacts,” Clement said. “Because of the nature of computers, which work best with language and text, there’s a natural fit between the two fields.”
Clement said the program will prepare graduates for careers as information professionals and should appeal to students with ambitions in information organization, database design, digital humanities, usability and information policy, among other areas.
“We’re hoping this degree will create additional possibilities for students to study the humanities who worry about job placement or working outside of academia,” Clement said.
With a coursework requirement of 30 hours in English and 31 hours in the iSchool, the dual program will allow students to complete both a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Science Information in Information Studies in three academic years, which is at least one semester less than it takes to complete the two degrees individually. The program will begin admitting students—including those who are already enrolled in either individual program—in Fall 2018.
In addition to English, the School of Information offers dual-degree opportunities that pair Information Studies with a number of disciplines:
- Master of Science in Information Studies / MA in English
- Master of Science in Information Studies / MA in Latin American Studies
- Master of Science in Information Studies / MA in Women's and Gender Studies
- Master of Science in Information Studies / MA in Middle Eastern Studies
- Master of Science in Information Studies / Juris Doctor UT School of Law
- Master of Science in Information Studies / Master of Global Policy Studies
- Master of Science in Information Studies / Master of Public Affairs
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Information Studies
For more information about the iSchool’s dual master’s degree offerings, visit https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/programs/dual_degrees.
Tanya Clement Awarded A Second NEH GrantFeb 03, 2014
Even digitized, unprocessed sound collections, which hold important cultural artifacts such as poetry readings, story telling, speeches, oral histories, and other performances of the spoken word remain largely inaccessible.
In order to increase access to recordings of significance to the humanities, Tanya Clement at the University of Texas School of Information in collaboration with David Tcheng and Loretta Auvil at the Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign have received $250,000 of funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the HiPSTAS Research and Development with Repositories (HRDR) project. Support for the HRDR project will further the work of HiPSTAS, which is currently being funded by an NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities grant to develop and evaluate a computational system for librarians and archivists for discovering and cataloging sound collections.
The HRDR project will include three primary products:
- a release of ARLO (Automated Recognition with Layered Optimization) that leverages machine learning and visualizations to augment the creation of descriptive metadata for use with a variety of repositories (such as a MySQL database, Fedora, or CONTENTdm);
- a Drupal ARLO module for Mukurtu, an open source content management system, specifically designed for use by indigenous communities worldwide;
- a white paper that details best practices for automatically generating descriptive metadata for spoken word digital audio collections in the humanities.