International Network of Digital Humanities Centers

April 24th, 2007 by Tom Elliott

Making the rounds on various lists this morning is a call for participation in “an international network of digital humanities centers.” Julia Flanders et al. write:

If you represent something that you would consider a digital humanities center, anywhere in the world, we are interested in including you in a developing network of such centers.  The purpose of this network is cooperative and collaborative action that will benefit digital humanities and allied fields in general, and centers as humanities cyberinfrastructure in particular.  It comes out of a meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Maryland, College Park, April 12-13, 2007 in Washington, D.C., responding in part to the report of the American Council of Learned Societies report on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences, published in 2006.

The rest of the message, including contact information for response, follows here …

We leave the definition of “digital humanities” up to you, but we intend to be inclusive, and we know that there will be cross-over into the social sciences, media studies, digital arts, and other related areas.  If you think your center is a digital humanities center, in whole or in part, then we’d be glad to have you as part of the network.  This might include humanities centers with a strong interest in or focus on digital platforms.  The definition of “center” is only slightly more prescriptive: a center should be larger than a single project, and it should have some history or promise of persistence.

Some early initiatives are likely to include

  • workshops and training opportunities for faculty, staff, and students
  • developing collaborative teams that are, in effect, pre-positioned to apply for predictable multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary, multi-national funding opportunities, beginning with an upcoming RFP that invites applications for supercomputing in the humanities
  • exchanging information about tools development, best practices, organizational strategies, standards efforts, and new digital collections, through a digital humanities portal

There is no membership fee, and the network is not a constituent of any other organization, but members should consider contributing some time or resource to the network.

You may respond to this invitation by sending email to centernet-owner@lists.digitalhumanities.org and if you do respond, please indicate

  • the name of your center, your title with respect to it, and the center’s home institution or organization
  • the areas or disciplines in which your center works or has worked
  • the number of staff employed by your center

We would also appreciate it if you would answer two other questions:

  • what might your center be willing and able to contribute to the network of centers?
  • would you be willing to serve in an organizing role with respect to the network.

Finally, you might want to have a look at the different types of centers represented at

http://digitalhumanities.pbwiki.com/Centers%20by%20type

and if yours is not there, tell us in what category to list it, and we’ll add it, or if the right category doesn’t exist, suggest one.

Thanks very much,

Julia Flanders
Neil Fraistat
Matt Kirschenbaum
Mark Kornbluh
John Unsworth

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