The Digital Humanities comprise fields of research where scholars use information technology to examine traditional objects of humanistic study (text, images, data, literature, history, art) and where scholars turn the lenses of humanities scholarship to examine contemporary digital life as an important subject in itself. Andover can take advantage of excellent components and theory developed for higher education to enhance our secondary-school curriculum.
With the support of the Abbot Academy Association, over the course of the coming year, Catherine Tousignant will explore these opportunities by: (1) investigating key databases with relevance for PA courses, including, for example: The Emily Dickinson Archive, The Walt Whitman Archive, 19c Newspapers, The Women Writers Project, etc. and creating resources for other teachers; (2) pursuing opportunities to translate existing PA pilot projects that are using archival and other materials into a richer online database using Omeka (for building databases of digital items), Neatline (for developing maps and visualizations of digitized data), and WordPress (for publishing student writing and online exhibits); and, (3) developing curricular modules in the form of creative assignments that use digital resources that can be used by any teacher in English 200 and 300. For example, these units could focus on the use of large online corpora for the study of poetry, the use of mapping and visualization tools as methods of critical reading, the use of digital writing tools, and assignments that invite students to curate online exhibits. Some of these units may provide an opportunity to partner with colleagues at the Addison, the OWHL archives, and/or the Peabody.