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Academy event will explore digital humanities teaching

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Emory University, will host a discussion on "Teaching and the Digital Humanities" on Thursday, April 2, at the Emory University Conference Center Hotel.

A coffee reception and digital display of ongoing work from Emory's Center for Digital Scholarship begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by a program from 10 a.m. to noon, featuring presentations by outstanding digital teacher/scholars on their current work.

Admission is free, but attendees must pre-register by emailing Gary Hauk,, by Monday, March 31.

Emory President James Wagner will welcome participants, and Academy President Jonathan Fanton will introduce the program, which will be moderated by Erika Farr, head of digital archives at Emory's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.

Presenters will include:

  • Anne Cong-Huyen, digital scholar, Whittier College
  • Angel Nieves, associate professor of Africana studies, Hamilton College
  • William G. Thomas, Angle Chair in the Humanities and professor of history, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Jessica Johnson, assistant professor, Michigan State University

The presentations will be followed by responses and discussion by:

  • G. Wayne Clough, former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; and
  • Stephen Nichols, James M. Beall Professor of French and Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.

Also scheduled at Emory later that day will be a regional forum of the Academy's "Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education." The project currently is developing "recommendations for ensuring that public universities continue to serve the nation as engines of economic development and opportunity for Americans from all backgrounds."

A dozen college and university presidents, presidents emerita/us, chancellors and education leaders will gather in a closed session with Lincoln Project co-chairs Mary Sue Coleman, president emerita, University of Michigan; Bob Birgeneau, chancellor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; and Academy President Fanton. 

"We're gathering testimony from university presidents about what's happening to campus research and student access as state and federal funding diminishes," says John Tessitore, program director, Humanities & Education and senior advisor to Fanton. "The forum will give us perspective from southern states about the different textures of what they're experiencing."

The regional forums in Atlanta and other parts of the country are part of the Academy's research in preparation for a series of publications over the next few months with findings and recommendations, says Tessitore. The hope, he says, is that the regional forums will help inform the Academy's publications, particularly its final report early in 2016

The Lincoln Project held its first regional forum in Charlottesville, Virginia, in October 2014, and other forums are scheduled in Texas and New York. "We're trying to put together a 50-state picture of what's going on in public higher education," Tessitore says.

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