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NEH Digital Humanities Grantees in the News

December 15, 2008 | By Brett Bobley

In the past few weeks, I’ve been following two big news stories involving NEH grantees. 

On November 12, there were articles in both the NY Times and the London Times Online about the Rome Reborn project, which was created by the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia. The articles included interviews with project director Bernie Frischer who noted that Rome Reborn is now available to the general public via the popular Google Earth platform. In related news, Google announced the Ancient Rome 3D Curriculum Competition, which will award prizes to K-12 educators who best combine the Rome Reborn materials with their classroom curricula. IATH has received numerous NEH grants, including a major Digital Humanities Challenge Grant in 2006. Congratulations to the IATH staff for this accomplishment!

“We’ve been Slashdotted!” These words usually signal a combination of both fear and joy for any webmaster. In case you haven’t heard the term before, Slashdotted means that your Web site is suddenly overwhelmed by thousands of visitors who read about you on the popular Internet technology news site, Slashdot. On December 9, the University of California at Santa Barbara found itself Slashdotted when thousands of people tried to access their scholarly Web site, The Agrippa Files, which documents the history of the well-known book and poem released in 1992 by William Gibson, Dennis Ashbaugh, and Kevin Begos, Jr. The reason for the sudden surge in visitors? A major new discovery about the poem announced by three NEH grantees, Matt Kirschenbaum, Alan Liu, and Doug Reside. The announcement was picked up not only by Slashdot, but also by Boing Boing and several other high-profile news and blog sites. Kirschenbaum, from the University of Maryland, received an NEH Fellowship for his research on Gibson (recently published in his book Mechanisms). Liu, from UCSB received an NEH Teaching and Learning Resources grant for his Transcriptions project, of which The Agrippa Files is a part, and Reside, also from Maryland, is the project director for two Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants. Congratulations to all!

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