Senate approves master's program in digital humanities
establishment of a new master's degree in digital humanities was
announced at the Feb. 21 Faculty
Senate meeting. The degree will be offered through the College
and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences' interdisciplinary Media
Studies Program, pending approval from U.Va.'s Board
of Visitors and the state.
new degree will provide students with experience in recognizing
and solving problems in humanities computing, as well as hands-on
experience in designing and creating digital media, according
to John Unsworth, associate professor of English and director
of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Students
who complete this degree might go on to further graduate work,
a Ph.D. in a traditional humanities discipline for example, or
they might seek employment in publishing, communications, commerce
or cultural institutions.
have become an integral part of the teaching of literature, history,
religious studies and other disciplines, and the next generation
of scholarly editions of major American authors will be electronic
editions, the senate's Academic Affairs Committee wrote in endorsing
the new degree.
"The master's degree in digital humanities will prepare graduate
students to meet this immediate cultural need, and offer them
the training to apply information technology to the intellectual
content of the humanities, and to experiment with the analytical
possibilities that information technology offers the humanities,"
The program will be a two-year cycle of core courses and electives.
Students will take at least 27 hours of course work at the 500-
to 900-level, participate in a one-credit internship and lead
a one-credit teaching seminar. They will also enroll in several
non-topical research courses, for a total of 48 credit hours,
and work with a faculty adviser to develop a thesis project. Upon
completion of the program, students will have familiarity with
major computer operating systems and specialized software applications,
such as visual programming software, multimedia authoring tools
and databases, as well as with mark-up and programming languages.
estimated annual budget for the new program is $291,777. This
amount includes the cost of two additional faculty members, five
teaching assistant fellowships, administration of entrance exams,
and a summer programming course. Fifteen students a year will
be accepted into the program.
Earlier at the meeting, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III discussed
the role U.Va. might play in distance education at the international
level, largely in Asia, in the not-so-distant future. "It's
a major issue now of top-tier institutions," he said. Vice
President and Provost Peter Low is leading a team examining
the feasibility of such ventures, Casteen said. Three consortia
of institutions "look promising," he said. They are:
Universitas 21 (commonly referred to as U21) UNext, and Fathom.
To learn more about them, see their Web sites at: http://www.nott.ac.uk/~brzww/u21/u21_proposals.html,
The University would propose a course "we want to provide to the
consortia," Casteen said in response to a question from Faculty
Senate Chair Patricia Werhane. "I haven't seen anything so far
that takes away from the control deans and department heads have
in developing courses," he said. "We're not being asked to give
up anything, rather to do business in a different medium."
also gave an update on searches now under way for top-level University
posts and mentioned that he had recently attended the first meeting
for U.Va.'s new basketball arena.
at the meeting, two Darden School business students solicited
comments from faculty for a survey they're conducting through
a volunteer, student-run consulting organization. The survey will
gauge the demand for a new faculty dining facility at U.Va., similar
to the defunct Garden Room, and interest in membership to the
newly renovated Colonnade Club. The survey, to be distributed
via e-mail by Faculty Senate representatives, should be returned
by March 9.
complete minutes of the meeting, go to http://www.virginia.edu/faculty