On April 10, 2019, the Harvard University Digital Scholarship Support Group hosted the First Annual Boston-Area Digital Scholarship Symposium, a one-day event featuring faculty presentations on digital scholarship initiatives with an emphasis on the institutional collaborations that made their projects possible.
The Symposium, held in the new 10th floor conference suite of the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, was attended by over 100 faculty, students, and staff from more than a dozen institutions, and featured presentations by representatives of six Boston-area universities, as well as Bates College and Brown University.
In the Symposium’s opening keynote, Robin Kelsey, Dean of Arts and Humanities and Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard, praised participants for highlighting the support and collaboration structures that make digital scholarship possible, and exhorted scholars to continue advancing the methodology of digital scholarship rather than simply “using new media to [present] old content.”
The four presentation sessions covered a wide range of disciplines and projects, from museum collections to music, and from African-American folklore to Classical philology. An interactive poster session was held during the lunch hour, highlighting the work of faculty, students, and staff on such diverse projects as cartographic data and spatial storytelling, computational readings of gender and stereotypes in 18th-20th century novels, and visualizing the linearity of film narratives.
In the closing keynote, organizing committee member Michael Cuthbert, Associate Professor of Music and Faculty Head of Digital Humanities at MIT, announced that the second annual iteration of the event will be held next Spring and hosted by MIT.
Members of the organizing committee from Harvard included Rashmi Singhal, director of Arts and Humanities Research Computing; Marty Schreiner, director of Maps and Media at the Harvard Library; Jeff Emanuel, associate director of Academic Technology; and Cole Crawford, research computing specialist with Arts and Humanities Research Computing.