Students in the Winterthur Program practice the digital humanities in a variety of ways. Upon completing the Winterthur Program, Fellows will be fluent in a number of technologies that will enable them to share their work in engaging and accessible ways.
1. Material Matters
While at Winterthur, Fellows control and contribute to, the students’ Material Culture blog Material Matters. The site gives Fellows a professional platform on which to share their research, projects, and field-based learning trips. Students have the opportunity to synthesize and share papers, connoisseurship block object analyses, thesis research, and internship experiences. As the site has a large and varied audience, publishing on the site gives Fellows the opportunity to practice writing about their research in an accessible manner.
While on field-based learning trips such as London, Fellows also journal their experiences in the form of daily blog posts.
Additionally, Material Matters gives Winterthur Fellows an online venue to post their bios, which can in turn link to other projects they have done. The Fellows can then diversify and control their professional online profile.
Finally, Fellows will be using Material Matters to interview alumni about their path after the Winterthur Program. We are certain these will be valuable connections for the Fellows and will give them a terrific view into future possibilities.
Material Matters will continue to evolve as a creative outlet for Winterthur Fellows to share their innovative work, and may become a hub for Material Culture research.
2. The Student Multimedia Design Center
The Winterthur Program faculty highly encourage Fellows to take advantage of the University of Delaware’s terrific Student Multimedia Design Center. The Multimedia Design Center is located at Morris Library, and features: ongoing offerings of technology workshops for students, IT and creative professionals available to assist, new hardware and software, computers with all new creative softwares, recording and editing labs for sound and video content, and technology available to loan for offsite work. Winterthur Fellows have made particular use of the equipment, as well as audio and visual recording and editing labs, for projects that involve interviews, creating podcasts, creating websites, and creating films. Fellows have then uploaded these projects onto sharing platforms such as Vimeo and Soundcloud, and subsequently shared them on Material Matters.
In some classes, such as Material Life in America, Fellows will often learn new publishing techniques with which to share their work such as creating e-books. The class of 2015, for example, were able to each write a chapter of an e-book, with each chapter being an object they analyzed in-depth from the Museum collection. This volume was then published through Apple Books as an e-publication.
In addition to having the Fellows write a short biography to interpret their academic and professional backgrounds that will be published on Material Matters. The Program will also be encouraging students to create their own electronic portfolios. The Program holds several Brown Bag Lunches to instruct Fellows on the available tools for creating the content of an e-portfolio, available platforms and layouts, and recommended content.
Throughout the Program, Fellows will build a project portfolio that can be shared electronically. Many of the Fellows’ presentations, for example, will be filmed. Fellows can then edit and upload photos to showcase their public speaking skills. The Winterthur Program faculty are aware that the Fellows need to be able to showcase their skills and interests, and thus incorporate the Digital Humanities into their syllabus in order for projects to be easily translatable into e-portfolios.
Nearing the end of their first year, when Fellows have chosen their thesis topic, they have the chance to apply for the Delaware Public Humanities Institute (DELPHI). Run by the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware, DELPHI is a two-week session in which recipients are taught how to hone their digital and public presentation skills. This includes learning how to do press and media interviews about their chosen topic of research. DELPHI recipients are also given a $4,500 grant to successfully complete their research, incorporate the digital humanities into that research, and present on that research at a chosen institution/organization. DELPHI is one of many opportunities for the students to receive funding for their research, as well as gain professional and sought after skills.