Student innovations shine at Digital Humanities showcase

Imagine using computer mapping, virtual floor plans and 3D renderings to document building a house out of salvaged material. Or creating a program that can sift through thousands of proverbs and learn to compose its own. All of this and much more is happening within the Five College Digital Humanities (5CollDH) program. Students from each of the five campuses will present their work on these and other projects at the first-ever Digital Humanities Student Symposium Friday, April 18 from 2 to 6 pm at Smith College’s Seelye 201.

“The student showcase is one of our most exciting events of the year,” says Marisa Parham, 5CollDH program director and associate professor at Amherst College. “In an ideal world, digital humanities projects enlarge the humanities by enabling us to bring new intellectual perspective to old questions. Our student projects embody that experience."

Supporting innovative work at the intersection of computing, digital technologies and humanities is the goal of the young 5CollDH program, which offers fellowships and project funding for students and faculty members, and residencies for scholars. At the symposium, students will discuss everything from digital criticism to artificial intelligence, designing apps and mapping sustainability through art, design, and engineering. They will share their insights on how these projects have shaped their learning and how they took their digital projects from idea to action.

The student presenters and their areas of study are:
Elizabeth Alexander, Black Studies & English, Amherst College
Richelle Cohen, Linguistics & Computer Science, UMass Amherst
Sarah Hastings, Architectural Studies, Mount Holyoke College
Gavriella Levy Haskell, Art History & Computer Science, Smith College
Marii Nyröp, Digital Media & Cultural Theory, Hampshire College

While the event is free and open to the public, there is a workshop at 2 pm geared toward helping students learn how to apply for a 5CollDH fellowship. The presentations will begin at 3 pm and will be followed by a reception.

Launched in 2011 with support from the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation, 5CollDH seeks new ways to move freely across boundaries between humanities scholarship, design and technology. The program has supported 14 projects ranging from social advocacy to digitization to geographic information systems. You can find out more about them on their website, or by following them on Twitter @5CollDH.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Moro, 585-3111,