Hacking the Symposium Format

 One of our goals for this symposium was to welcome all participants, including audience members, into the discussions that have developed during the years of this grant (2015-2018) about the collaborations, pedagogical innovations, and research opportunities the digital humanities make possible. Therefore, the sessions were designed to be highly interactive. We asked national experts whose work inspired our process and projects to open a series of roundtables by offering their insights and posing questions about the roundtable topic, using their current projects as grounding case studies. We then heard presentations by colleagues from the University of Iowa and Grinnell College on discoveries they made about collaboration, resources for digital tools, and digital scholarship and pedagogy through their Digital Bridges projects. (If you visit the main Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry website, you’ll find a Projects page that includes short video interviews with many of our Grinnell and University of Iowa faculty.) The symposium also included plenty of time for rich, interactive conversations about current and potential applications of technology and our individual, institutional, and collective dreams for the future of the digital arts and humanities on university campuses and beyond.

We are especially grateful for the participation of our colleagues in the libraries at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. They have been critical to the success of the grant. As always, we are also deeply grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the staff members of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies for their support. We also thank the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research for a matching grant that provided fuel (coffee and pastries) throughout the grant and the symposium.


Wednesday, August 8

Location: Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room A (123 S. Linn St, Iowa City)


Welcome to the University of Iowa

Joe Kearney, Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences (UI)

Digital Bridges Overview: Commuting Between Campuses

Erik Simpson, Teresa Mangum, and Jim Elmborg: Original Co-PIs


Futures of Digital Humanities

A roundtable discussion featuring symposium guests
Moderated by Teresa Mangum (UI)

Matthew Battles, Patricia Fumerton, James Lee, Alan Liu,
Élika Ortega, Miriam Posner, Roopika Risam





Visiting Scholar: Roopika Risam (Salem State University)
Torn Apart / Separados 

Caleb Elfenbein (Grinnell) and Jason Harshman (University of Iowa)
Mapping Islamophobia in the Social Studies Classroom

Barbara Eckstein (UI), Liz Rodrigues (Grinnell), Caglar Koylu (UI)
The People’s Weather Map and Social Media Data

Tim Arner (Grinnell) and Rob Shepard (UI)—pedagogical collaboration with Kathy Lavezzo (UI) and Lisa Lampert-Weissig (UCSD) on their project
Remappings–Christians and Jews in Early England

Nick Phillips (Grinnell)
Digital Cartographies of Spanish Detective Fiction
and Language Pedagogy



Location: Clinton St. Social Club (18 1/2 S. Clinton St., Iowa City)

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cash bar \


Screening of 3-Minute Digital Stories from Our StoryCenter Workshops

Location: Iowa Theater, Iowa Memorial Union (125 N. Madison, Iowa City)
Moderated by Jen Shook (Oklahoma State University)

Celeste Miller, Dance (Grinnell)
“The Lake”

Lisa Heineman, History and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (UI)
“Children, Transported”

Jessica Welburn Paige, Sociology (UI)
“Die Hard Detroit”

Aiden Bettine, History (UI)
“To Build an Archive”

Kim Marra, American Studies and Theatre Arts (UI)
“Race-Horse Theory” and “Pull of Horses”

Stephanie Jones, Education (Grinnell/in absentia)


Thursday, August 9

Location: MERGE (136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City)


Teaching Textual Analysis

Visiting Scholar: Patricia Fumerton (UCSB)
Say that Again?: EBBA and Textual Analysis

Fred Boehmke (UI) and Paul Dilley (UI)
Big Ideas: Information, Society, and Culture

Matthew Hannah (Purdue University)
Tinkering with Texts

Erik Simpson (Grinnell)
Digital Pedagogy, Literary Methods

Samuel A. Rebelsky (Grinnell)
Digital Humanities in the Introductory Computer Science Classroom




Screens, Bodies, Movement, and Medicine

Location: MERGE (136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City)

Visiting Scholar: Miriam Posner (UCLA)
Early African American Race Film Database 

Diana Cates (UI)
The Virtual Clinic or Philosophy Meets Nursing

Celeste Miller (Grinnell)
Digital Bridges to Dance

Carolyn Lewis (Grinnell)
The History of Sexuality Archive

Tammy Nyden (Grinnell)
Mothers on the Frontline and Mental Health Policy and Outreach


Lunch and Travel to Grinnell College


DH and the Arts

Location: Digital Laboratory, Forum Building (1119 6th Ave., Grinnell)

Visiting Scholar: Matthew Battles (Harvard University)
Earth Measurer: Biodiversity Loss and Computational Abundance

Joyce Tsai (UI) in collaboration with Jenny Anger (Grinnell)

Museums Without Walls (Tsai) and
Virtual Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (Anger)

Matthew Kluber (Grinnell)
Drawing Structures with 3D Printing

Lee Emma Running (Grinnell)
“Cure” and Digital Filmmaking

Kim Marra (UI), Mark Anderson (UI), Wade Hampton (UI)
“Pull of Horses” Video




Tour of Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College


Dinner at Grinnell (registration required)

Location: Prairie Canary Restaurant & Bar (924 Main St., Grinnell)

Return to Iowa City


Friday, August 10

Location: MERGE (136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City)


Librarian Leaders and the Digital Humanities

Moderated by Deborah Whaley (UI)

Mark Christel (Grinnell)

Liz Rodrigues (Grinnell)

Robert Shepard (UI)

Nikki White (UI)




Digital Affordance/Cultural Resistance

Location: MERGE (136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City)

Visiting Scholar: Élika Ortega (Northeastern University)
Media and Cultural Hybridity in the Digital Humanities

James Lee (U of Cincinnati), Blaine Greteman (UI), Dave Eichmann (UI)
Linked Reading: Shakeosphere and The Global Renaissance

Mirzam Pérez (Grinnell)
Digital Humanities in the Spanish Literature Classroom:
Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Faculty-Student Collaborations

Christina Boyles (Michigan State University)
When History Repeats Itself: Maria and the Hurricane of 1928

Heather Cooper (UI) and Dellyssa Edinboro (UI)
Colored Conventions Project


Agenda Lunch

Invited guests, UI administrators, and organizers met to discuss the challenges of evaluating and “counting” digital work as part of regular tenure and promotion reviews. See our recommendations on the main Digital Bridges badge.



Introduction: Erik Simpson

Alan Liu (UCSB)

Open and Reproducible Workflows for the Digital Humanities–

A 35,000-Foot Altitude View\

Location: MERGE (136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City)

Can digital humanities projects that collect, analyze, and present cultural materials make their provenance and data workflows transparent to others for reproduction or adaptation? How can the digital humanities learn from the workflow management systems of the “in silico” sciences? And how should they be different from the sciences? Ultimately, what is the combined humanistic and scientific meaning of open research–epistemological, infrastructural, institutional, and sociocultural–to which DH contributes? Extrapolating from the example of the “WhatEvery1Says” (WE1S) project, which he directs, Alan Liu offers a vision of how open, reproducible workflows in data science can be of broad interest to humanists, archivists, and others.





Closing Reflections

Location: MERGE (136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City)

Moderated by Jim Elmborg, Teresa Mangum, and Erik Simpson

A roundtable discussion featuring
Matthew Battles, Patricia Fumerton, James Lee, Alan Liu,
Élika Ortega, Miriam Posner, Roopika Risam