The Georgia Institute of Technology announced that its Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) has received a 3-year, $1.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue and expand its innovative work in the digital humanities.
The grant follows $1 million in initial funding from the Mellon Foundation in 2015 to establish the DILAC, a leading center for exploring new forms of humanistic inquiry located at one of the world’s foremost engineering universities.
The funding will enable the Center to expand its successful efforts to use digital projects to engage undergraduate students in the liberal arts, said Jacqueline Royster, dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and the DILAC’s principal investigator and executive director.
“Our Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center has proven successful in sustaining important discussion and work in the digital humanities,” Royster said. “This grant will enable us to continue building on that success.”
Since its creation in 2016, the Center has involved more than 622 undergraduate students with class-based assignments. It has hosted approximately 350 undergraduate students for learning hackathons, guest lectures, and other events, funded 23 faculty-led projects across Ivan Allen College and introduced 18 graduate fellows drawn from Ivan Allen College, the College of Design, and the College of Computing to concepts and methods in digital humanities.
Where other university-level digital humanities centers are primarily focused on bringing technical skills to liberal arts students and faculty, the Georgia Tech DILAC focuses on helping integrate humanistic inquiry into science, engineering, and other non-humanities disciplines, said Janet Murray, DILAC’s project director and co-principal investigator.
“We are thrilled by the generous, sustained support of the Mellon Foundation, which will allow us to continue the innovative work of DILAC in involving undergraduates in the liberal arts through digital projects,” said Murray. “By expanding our exciting work in community-based digital archive projects, encouraging new collaborations with scientists and engineers at Georgia Tech, and convening digital liberal arts scholars from across the Southeast and beyond, we will be in an even better position to share expertise and accelerate the development of more expressive digital knowledge structures.”
The grant will be used to fund accelerator workshops and an annual symposium to help build community and expertise among scholars at Georgia Tech, as well as the Southeast and beyond, who seek to lead digital humanities projects involving archives, maps, virtual reality, and other digital genres.
Funding also will be used to build the Center’s capacity in archive-based projects by expanding outreach and hiring a dedicated digital humanities technologist to help overcome limitations of existing archival software.
It also will fund faculty summer fellowships for Ivan Allen College faculty, Brittain Fellows, and postdoctoral fellows working in the Global Languages and Cultures program in the School of Modern Languages.