Janet Thomas Simons, Gregory Lord and Kerri Grimaldi (Hamilton College)
Culture, Liberal Arts, and Society Scholars (CLASS) is an undergraduate research internship program in the digital humanities awarded to students through Hamilton College’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi).
CLASS is based on three-broad areas of scholarly inquiry and their intersection with digital technologies: 1) Culture, 2) Liberal Arts, and 3) Society. It begins with course connections in our Cinema and Media Studies program but then removes the confines of the semester to promote deep understanding of digital humanities research within a specific field of interest.
CLASS offers students sustained research opportunities coupled with two unique internship experiences. CLASS awards span two summers and the intervening academic year. In a two-week intensive training program at Hamilton the first summer of the CLASS award, students survey mature digital humanities projects, discuss readings, and explore technologies related to specific research goals. Students then work full-time on their research projects with their mentor (DHi Research Project Director) and with members of DHi’s Collection Development Team for the remainder of the summer. In the following academic year, students continue their collaborative research and learn digital research approaches appropriate to their research questions. In their second CLASS summer, usually after their junior year, students apply their skills in a novel environment with an internship off campus. These experiences lay the foundation for senior theses integrating digital research approaches and digital scholarship. CLASS student bios and examples of recent student projects are at http://dhinitiative.org/projects/class.