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Digital Humanities Collaboration Featuring EECS Assistant Professor Earns NEH Grant

Amir Sadovnik

Amir Sadovnik

A new set of courses mingling the worlds of computer science and the humanities could soon be offered, with a new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to EECS Assistant Professor of Computer Science Amir Sadovnik, in collaboration with UT faculty members in Humanities and English.

Last year, Sadovnik, UT Humanities Center director Amy Elias, and Associate Professor of English Hilary Havens submitted a proposal to NEH to develop a set of interdisciplinary undergraduate courses integrating the humanities and computer science. The result was a $35,000 grant—one of only three NEH grants awarded in the state of Tennessee this year.

In the study of digital humanities, Sadovnik explained, it’s important to bring humanistic and ethical questions into computing: “‘How do we get our news? How this is going to affect society? Why is it important for me to understand data science?’ The humanities have always participated in multidisciplinary work. What we are doing is broadening the mission of humanities to include a new form of interdisciplinary work.”

Sadovnik, Elias and Havens discuss the new course possibilities the NEH grant opens up