The Digital Matters Lab’s purpose is three-fold. First, to serve as the locus for computationally enhanced humanities research and pedagogy, with a strength in cultural criticism and theory. Second, to provide a space for undergraduate, graduate, and faculty to learn both method and methodologies of humanities-centered information technology. And third, to link the humanities with other disciplines and the broader community. The lab will support scholars working in textual, visual, and aural domains.
Identity. The University of Utah’s approach to building a digital studies lab is both informed by, and in response to, its predecessors at peer institutions. By foregrounding critical discourse, the Digital Matters Lab avoids building digital tools for display value, or simply digitizing material; instead, each project will be first viewed through the lens of whether it engages with, and furthers critical discourse by generating new critical inquiry or uncovering neglected scholarly terrain.
Workspace. In this space, we provide research opportunities and incentives (course credit, research assistantships, etc.) for undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines. The lab and its resources is accessible to faculty interested in learning digital humanities methods. To that end, workshops on software tools and platforms, with incentives for participating faculty, are held regularly.
Outreach. Bridging the humanities with the local and broader public is partially addressed by focusing on the character of Utah’s population and technology sector. Projects designed to speak or address the unique strengths and interests of the local and state population will have a built-in audience, but the Digital Matters Lab aims to be the “last mile” connecting digital humanities research with the intellectual layperson by funneling research through several media platforms (podcasts, online video, and showcases).