One of the most significant reasons for having a THATCamp organized specifically for liberal arts colleges is to address the not uncommon isolation of digital humanists at smaller institutions. Some – maybe many – of those attending THATCamp LAC may be the only person doing DH in their department, and so are without the support structures found at larger research institutions or major DH centers. Such isolation can easily leave lone DHers without access to or awareness about ongoing projects, standards, technology, and expertise for their own work.
THATCamp LAC will itself help by forging connections and discussing the dynamics of the profession, but one other initiative that would be useful to discuss here is DHCommons.org, a digital humanities collaboration initiative and hub that was born out of THATCamp Chicago. DHCommons hopes to connect isolated digital humanists and break down larger silos on several fronts:
- A new hub at dhcommons.org to help digital humanists discover and contact potential collaborators and to find and join projects.
- Microgrants to encourage scholars to develop curriculum in conjunction with existing projects, travel to partner digital humanities centers for training or project mentoring, etc.
- Expertise sharing among schools without digital humanities infrastructure to promote mentorship and expansion of the field
Both myself and others from the core group organizing this effort – Rebecca Davis, Quinn Dombrowski, and Ryan Cordell – will be at THATCamp LAC and would love to have input on two fronts. First, we seek the opinion of DHers who are at LACs as to how this site and initiative might be made (more) useful to you, how we might encourage participation among DHers at small institutions, how we might create or improve functionality of the site, etc.
We would also like to get your direct participation in DHCommons.org if you have (or know of) an ongoing DH project that could benefit from collaboration of any kind. One of the major efforts in getting the hub off the ground is populating it with projects in order to show functionality to others in the DH community. We’d like for anyone interested to add his or her projects, thoughts, and opinions during a panel.