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Posted: June 27, 2017 Shift for a Digital Humanities Leader

In 2011, the Modern Language Association created a new office, focused on scholarly communication in the digital age. Kathleen Fitzpatrick is now ending her time leading that office to move to Michigan State University as director of digital humanities and a professor of English. In her role at the MLA and as an author, Fitzpatrick has been a leading voice on digital humanities issues. She answered some questions from Inside Higher Ed about the field and her next steps.

Q: What are some of the big challenges ahead to encourage continued growth of the digital humanities?

A: There are two major challenges that I have my eye on right now, though no doubt there are many others. The first is sustainability: over the last decade, support has been available for the development of new tools and platforms to enable digital scholarship -- but now that software all needs to be maintained and updated, and doing so requires ongoing resources of a kind that aren’t usually compelling to funding agencies. So in the same way that we have long encouraged scholars to think (usually in collaboration with folks in their libraries) about preservation from the very beginning of a digital project, we also need to encourage ourselves to think about how software projects will be sustained beyond the period of their initial release.

The second challenge is more immediate, and more dangerous: one of the key funding agencies that has enabled the development of the digital humanities as we know it today is the National Endowment for the Humanities. Programs across the agency -- including, of course, programs in the Office of Digital Humanities, but also programs in research, education and preservation and access -- have supported both institutions and individual scholars in studying and teaching at the intersection of technology and the humanities, and have collectively made possible an extraordinary percentage of the digital humanities work being done today. We must work together to fight the dismantling of the agency’s legacy and the elimination of its future.

Posted: June 27, 2017 New baseball film chronicles life of African Americans, Afro-Latinos who followed Jackie Robinson’s footsteps
Miami Herald

His story has been well chronicled in Hollywood including the 2013 film 42. But Robinson, who died in 1972, was hardly alone in his struggle.

A new documentary, A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball's Desegregation, chronicles the experiences of African-American and Afro-Latino players who followed Robinson’s footsteps into baseball.

Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Gaspar González (Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami, Havana House), the film features interviews with pioneering players such as Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Grover “Deacon” Jones, Jimmy Wynn, Orlando Cepeda, and Tony Pérez, who often played their minor-league ball in small, remote towns where racial segregation remained a fact of life well into the 1960s.

The advisors of the film, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities include, Matthew Frye Jacobson and Jonathan Holloway, distinguished members of the history faculty at Yale University.

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Posted: June 27, 2017 OCTC’s Common Reading selection for Fall 2017, The Circle, by Dave Eggers
The Ohio County Monitor

The Owensboro Community and Technical College Common Reading for Fall 2017 will be the international best seller, The Circle, a novel by Dave Eggers.  OCTC selected The Circle as a capstone to celebrate the successful completion of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant for Two-Year Colleges. The college was one of the first community colleges awarded the NEH grant in 2010. The college and community raised over $400,000 locally to meet the “match” goal of $200,000 from NEH.

Posted: June 27, 2017 UWF Researcher To Study Ancient Skeletons Near Pompeii
WUWF 88.1, Florida

Dr. Kristina Killgrove, a researcher from the University of West Florida, is preparing for the trip of a lifetime. She’s heading to Italy soon to study skeletal remains of victims of the 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius volcano eruption.  

Killgrove is a biological anthropologist and assistant professor in UWF’s Anthropology Department. Her classes include Intro to Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, and Human Osteology.

After a colleague from the University of Michigan contacted her about joining the study research project in Italy, she applied for and received a prestigious summer stipend of $6,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. (She also received funding from UWF’s Center for Research and Economic Opportunity.)

Posted: June 27, 2017 Former Arabic and Islamic Studies Chair Appointed SFS-Q Dean
The Hoya

Ahmad S. Dallal, a history professor at the American University of Beirut, will serve as the new dean of the School of Foreign Service in Qatar starting Sept. 1. Dallal previously served as provost of the American University in Beirut from 2009 to 2015, after serving as chair of Georgetown’s Arabic and Islamic Studies department from 2003 to 2009.

Dallal’s work focuses on both past and present Islamic culture. Dallal has published three books and over 40 articles on the history of Islamic thought and law, and has also served as an adviser to the planning committee of the primary exhibition at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.

Dallal said he will look to both strengthen SFS-Q’s existing presence in Qatar and seek paths to expansion.

Dallal has received several awards for his work, including being named a Carnegie Scholar and receiving a Fellowship on Traditions of Reform in Eighteenth-Century Islamic Thought from the National Endowment for the Humanities.