1. Undergraduate Digital Showcase / First-Year Feature Project
The CSUN College of Humanities offers several courses that facilitate the creation of digital projects by students, including the different levels of freshman writing that comprise the new Stretch curriculum. In order to provide public recognition for the exemplary work being done by CSUN students, the Center for the Digital Humanities is creating an “Undergraduate Digital Showcase” for the best digital projects by undergraduate students. The program is being undertaken as part of the Humanities Undergraduate Outreach Project of the 4Humanities initiative, a multi-institution consortium that advocates for the Humanities.
The Undergraduate Digital Showcase will display five of the best student projects on the Center for the Digital Humanities web site, and the showcase may also be duplicated on the 4Humanities site. A “First-Year Feature” subcategory will highlight the most outstanding digital project by a first-year student on a subject in the Humanities or a closely related field. All formats are accepted, and projects can either be individually or collaboratively authored. Projects must be nominated by a faculty member.
2. CSUN Mini-Documentary Backpack Project
This project facilitates the making of short, mini-documentaries that promote humanities scholarship by giving a narrative voice to the research process. These mini-films will depict the process of doing humanities research through interviews with students and scholars as they work on their scholarly activities. In addition to interviews, the films will show methods, and may include debate and dialogue with other students and/or scholars. Each film will cover one research project. In essence, these documentaries would bring the “human” back to humanities work by showing real people engaging in scholarly activities. These short films could be posted on the 4Humanties website, CSUN’s Center for the Digital Humanities website, and elsewhere.
o The film must be about 5 minutes long (no more than 7 minutes).*
o The film must explore the process of scholarly “discovery” or “invention.”
o The film must show the research process.
o If the project is placed within the public sphere (through a conference, publication, reading, presentation, etc) within the time-frame of the documentary, the film will also depict this process.
The idea is to produce short, easy-to-watch films that are accessible to students and the larger public, and that can thus promote the value inherent in humanities research activities to as large an audience as possible. Making these activities more visible and less mysterious will both encourage students to engage in the same scholarly activities as depicted in the films, and promote to the public the value of these activities for society in general. At CSUN (or whatever future schools also implement this project), these documentary films will have a further benefit of showcasing the quality research taking place at a non-research-intensive university and helping to justify this work to administrators and the general public.