Cultivating the Sympathetic Research Imagination [Munch & Mull Digital Scholarship Discussion Group]
The digital humanities’ emphasis on openness extends to the processes that underlie the work: creating metadata, structuring data, and the “sustained attention to constant tiny yet consequential choices” that such work requires. Liberal arts colleges have long employed a similar approach as part of developing students’ understanding of a field of study and its methods. Projects to create digital archives can especially challenge students to imagine future audiences and researchers, as part of the necessary task of capturing, describing, and presenting cultural artifacts in a new context. Writing in the 2016 Debates in the Digital Humanities, Rachel Sagner Buurma and Anna Tione Levine call for a view of digital humanities that sees, at its core, the “sympathetic research imagination” cultivated in undergraduate liberal arts classrooms and embodied in the creation of a digital archive.
In the wake of the SNCC Digital Gateway project’s conclusion, in the midst of intensifying focus on completing final research projects, and in anticipation of summer research activities by graduates and undergraduates alike, this M&M discussion will consider the essential and energizing role of imagination in humanistic research and ways in which that generative process can be foregrounded and supported in research training.
Munch & Mull is a Libraries-based discussion group that holds weekly, informal, brown-bag lunch conversations around issues, projects, methods, and trends in digital scholarship. All are welcome!
The current M&M schedule of talks is here, https://library.duke.edu/digital/events. For more information about upcoming discussions, join our listserv: https://lists.duke.edu/sympa/subscribe/munch-mull-digihum-reading-group.