Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

Digital Humanities at the Crossroads of America

December 1st, 2020

By: Matthew N. Hannah

Over the past year or so, I’ve been engaged in a series of conversations facilitated by Indiana Humanities in Indianapolis, which brought together various digital humanities (DH) efforts around the state to discuss future possibilities for collaboration. As a result of those conversations, and under the leadership of James Connolly (Ball State), I’m excited to announce the official launch of the Indiana Digital Humanities Initiative (INDHI). Like our colleagues in New York and California, who have successfully organized impressive statewide DH consortia, INDHI will foster statewide collaboration and coordination around events, initiatives, institutes, grants, and programming across the state of Indiana. As a discipline, DH represents a wide range of scholarly and public efforts to apply computational methods to the study of the humanities and to encourage humanistic forms of critique around issues of technology and media.

INDHI logo designed by Kalani Craig and Ella Robinson (Indiana University)

As many of you know, Purdue has been developing its digital humanities efforts over the past few years with an impressive array of projects, grants, conferences, and, most recently, curricula. We have become a hub for innovative projects in the humanities in keeping with Purdue’s Boiler spirit. Joining INDHI as a founding member will allow us to showcase our efforts and partner with equally impressive initiatives at other universities, public libraries, humanities centers, historical societies, and cultural organizations in a shared spirit of teaching and research in this exciting area. As with our leadership in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, Purdue’s partnership with INDHI promises to foreground our commitment to place Indiana square in the middle of DH work in the region, a place Indiana has long been comfortable in as the “Crossroads of America.” Read more about INDHI at our official press release and see what our colleagues are up to at our founding members’ projects page. There is so much great work happening around the state.

Digital Humanities Studio, Purdue University (West Lafayette)
Digital Humanities Studio, Purdue University (West Lafayette)

We have already begun to see the fruits of our collaboration with the launch last year of the Digital Humanities Research Institute at Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College, an event that brought scholars from around the region to South Bend for an intensive weeklong workshop. Purdue had planned a similar event for May, with a follow-up planned at Indiana University in 2021, but the impacts of COVID-19 have delayed us from hosting it. In organizing these institutes, we came to imagine new possibilities for coordination at a higher level. Such collaborative efforts will only grow as we formalize our relationship with other institutions and initiatives across Indiana and around the region, and we anticipate that Indiana will soon become the crossroads of digital humanities.

INDHI’s advisory board meets regularly to plan new initiatives and outreach events in both digital and public humanities around the state. The initial phase of the consortium is comprised of DH representatives from Ball State University, Indiana University, Purdue University (Fort Wayne), Purdue University (West Lafayette), University of Indianapolis, University of Notre Dame, the Indianapolis Public Library, The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), the Indiana Humanities Center, and many more. In future expansions of the consortium, we hope to reach out to historical societies, museums, and colleges around the state in an effort to develop a robust statewide project meeting the needs of humanities scholars and teachers.   

If you have a digital project, teach a course, or know about an initiatives you’d like to see featured on the Purdue University West Lafayette projects page, please contact Matthew Hannah at