Five College Digital Humanities Presents:

THE NEW RIGOR

About the Event
what-it-is

THE NEW RIGOR

 A conversation about linking our DIGITAL SCHOLARSHIP
to useful structures of support and evaluation

  

This one-day conference is a first step toward developing a community sense of how we might construe rigor flexibly, while also supporting the creative energies that drive scholarly insight.  If you could build from scratch, what structure of evaluation or assessment—in terms of peer review, tenure and promotion, or student research experience—would encourage you to do digital work?

  

WHAT IS ACTUALLY HELPFUL?

where-when

WHERE & WHEN

MAY 2, 2015
12:00 – 4:00PM

(after the student symposium)

PRUYNE / FAYERWEATHER
AMHERST COLLEGE

10:00am opening address
10:30am student digital fellowship presentations (more here)
12:15pm channeled discussion sections
1:00pm luncheon
1:45pm brief group reports & open conversation
3:00pm catered reception in student project gallery

 

why-it-matters

WHY IT MATTERS

The New Rigor is an opportunity for a variety of academic stakeholders to self-consciously approach matters of evaluation and assessment. This is a three part process, beginning with the May 2nd event, continuing online through the summer, and culminating with a closing conference in fall 2015.

The growing accessibility of digital technology has been met with an increased willingness on the part of scholars to integrate new digital methods into their interpretive and presentational practice. And, in a great many cases, the idea of digital innovation has been generously supported by departments and academic units across higher education.

At the same time, the academic structures that are supposed to support scholarly work have not been able to keep pace, thus often making the pursuit of digital work unreasonable, unless that work is undertaken as additional to the other kinds of scholarship already vetted by any given field or discipline. Indeed, when we ask staff and untenured faculty what holds them back from doing digital work, concern regarding how their work will “count” is consistently named as a hindrance to engaging the digital humanities.

But working to map extant systems of assessment onto new kinds of scholarship not only assumes that such translation is possible, it also implies that we are in fact satisfied with what we already have. With that in mind, The New Rigor requires us take digital projects’ various resistances to standardized assessment as fundamentally instructive. “Academia” moves generationally and hierarchically, and it is perhaps inevitable that many of our practices are, frankly, inherited habits of mind. Not all bad but, regardless, often unconscious. If you could start from scratch, what structure of evaluation or assessment—in terms of peer review, tenure and promotion, or student research experience—would encourage you to do digital work? How might we construe evaluation and assessment as generative processes, rather than as merely restrictive ones?

The May 2, 2015 conversation is a first step toward developing a community sense of how we might construe rigor flexibly, as a tenet that supports the creative energies that drive different kinds of scholarly insight. We would like to hear from arts and humanities faculty at all levels, and also from the numerous staff members invested in creating and supporting digital work. We are also asking undergraduate and graduate students to join this endeavor, because complex questions about evaluation and assessment determine their paths as well. Each stakeholder group will be engaged in a moderated conversation tailored to that group’s concerns. By so doing, we hope to create safe spaces for honestly engaging the problems that matter most to each group.

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ATTEND


This event is open to anyone who is interested. The day is free for members of Five College institutions, $35 for academic stakeholders from other communities, and free for webcam participants.

Regardless, we ask that all participants register by noon on 4/24/15.

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