Data and Society (formerly Digital Currents) is a hub for information about humanities scholarship and pedagogy in and on digital environments at the University of Michigan. This project brings the Institute for the Humanities together with the School of Information, faculty together with students, and administrators together with classroom instructors to discuss the future of the networked university.
Humanities scholarship that makes use of large corpora of text and image (we won’t say “big data”); the development of digital tools for mapping, visualization, and analysis of literary and artistic works;
investigation into the ways online culture is changing the way we interact with each other, as well as whom we interact with; teaching methods that promote student reflection about that online culture while making use of the best online tools for discussion and learning inside and outside the humanities classroom.
What do all of these methods or projects have in common? That is what the digital currents project is designed to find out: to explore the connections and disconnections between various scholarly approaches to the digital.
We provide a forum for scholars from the University of Michigan and around the country to showcase the work they are doing in four areas: teaching and research, both in and on digital environments.
By in digital environments, we mean: pedagogy and research that uses digital tools to advance humanities scholarship and teaching. From corpus linguistics for writing classes to the creation of an interactive digital archive for documenting performance practices of under-represented people, digital currents means harnessing the possibilities of the digital to advance humanities work for the greater good.
By on digital environments, we mean: research and teaching that advances our consciousness of the effects that ubiquitous media have on our ways of living together in society. Through discussions of media infrastructure around the world and in different eras, as well as workshops that explore the place of the digital in the classroom, digital currents also means raising awareness about the complexity of our digital present and future.