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Bard Looks To Advance Experimental Humanities

Bard College's digital humanities initiative — called Experimental Humanities — is getting a boost from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The college was just awarded an $800,000 grant to support the initiative, which, according to Bard, is a "forward-thinking response to the new technological realities facing higher education and the liberal arts. Drawing upon contemporary digital tools and the rich traditions of humanities inquiry, Experimental Humanities is committed to the study of how technologies mediate our understanding of what it means to be human."

The 2-year-old Experimental Humanities is an interdisciplinary concentration involving the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, with courses ranging from The Science of Creativity (Biology 122) to Digital Animation (Film 203) to Introduction to Computing (Computer Science 117). Courses that are part of the concentreation also focus on such diverse topics as religion, race, celebrity, architecture, video production, music history, Arthurian legends and the intersection of art and technology, among others.

Its aim, according to the college,

With the $800,000 infusion, bard is looking to transform the program "into a hub for scholarly, curricular, and artistic innovations designed to open new directions in multimodal faculty research and student programming as well as to further enrich opportunities for hands-on, practice-rich collaborative work between students and faculty," according to the college. "Over the 40-month life of the grant, Experimental Humanities will develop a new model for the integration of technology and traditional humanistic inquiry at liberal arts colleges. While maintaining the ethos of 'practice' and 'making' that characterizes digital humanities initiatives, Bard's Experimental Humanities initiative also includes the critical study of media and the history of scholarly and artistic experimentation in its curricular requirements."

Bard, located in Annandale-on-Hudson in New York, offers more than 40 bachelor of arts programs and mor ethan a dozen graduate programs. It serves about 2,000 undergraduate students.


About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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