Building (Digital) Bridges: A Collaboration between Research and Teaching-Centered Institutions

Christina Boyles (University of Iowa)

While many digital humanities projects involve collaboration, few have combined the efforts of large research institutions and small liberal arts colleges. With the assistance of the Mellon Foundation, however, the University of Iowa and Grinnell College have established such a partnership, seeking “to weave the digital humanities more deeply and thoughtfully into the curriculum at both institutions while also building cross-institutional bridges to connect Grinnell College and the University of Iowa intellectually and pedagogically […particularly by] learn[ing] what forms of collaboration best serve the humanities.”

Although this project is in its early stages, its successes thus far have been promising. Notably, these two institutions hosted a summer workshop to discuss and debate best teaching practices using digital technologies. Participants benefited from hearing the viewpoints of faculty members at both a research-centered and a teaching-focused institutions and arranged to implement changes into their curriculum based on these discussions.

This presentation, therefore, will trace the effectiveness of the University of Iowa and Grinnell College’s collaboration by collecting and analyzing feedback from institute participants. It will also discuss future plans for the partnership, particularly the additional collaborations that occur throughout the beginning of the fall semester. In doing so, it seeks to propose a model for successful future collaborations between research and teaching institutions of higher education.