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Regents approve humanities research center for A&M’s College of Liberal Arts

Facility will be devoted to digital research, President Michael K. Young says

The College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University has been approved to establish the Center of Digital Humanities Research by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents.

The center, which will be supervised directly by the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, was among several items approved during the regent’s regular meeting in College Station on Thursday. Professor of English Laura Mandell will serve as its director.

In a report submitted to the regents by President Michael K. Young, university officials said the center will be “devoted to fostering digital research among humanities faculty and students, as well as their collaborators in fields outside the humanities: computer science, the sciences, and visualization, among others.”

 It is also planned to serve as a space for faculty to collaborate on research, funding and grant proposals, provide the opportunity for big data research and equip faculty with the support and resources needed to develop software for teaching, research and publication.

The new center is expected to position A&M to be more competitive with peer institutions, including the Stanford Lit Lab, the Matrix Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University and the University of Nebraska’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, according to university documents.

Among the new center’s stated goals are to commit to education and outreach, identify and develop the university’s research strengths, provide training and professional development to faculty and students, offer targeted project development.

Services it will provide range from making state-of-the-art research equipment available to exposing faculty to new ideas through lectures, events workshops and more.

The center is set to be funded through the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture for three salary positions and an annual budget that will be paid by the Vice President for Research Office’s Initial University Multidisciplinary Research Initiatives and the College of Liberal Arts.

The Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture, which was created in 2011, is the base from which the center is being established. The initiative’s leadership has been awarded more than $1 million in grant funding to support its mission.

By elevating the initiative to the status of a center, university officials said they believe it will “enhance the ability to highlight the public face of humanities research at Texas A&M,” “facilitate efforts to develop Digital Humanities curriculum for students in all humanities fields” and “give a competitive edge to affiliated faculty seeking research grants.”

Currently, the initiative has 11 affiliated faculty members who its staff continues to support as it transitions into a center. There are plans to consider the support of nine additional faculty members whom officials describe as having “active research and innovation in the field of Digital Humanities.”

To learn more about the work conducted by the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture over the past six years, visit

Originally posted here.