Whittier’s Digital Liberal Arts Center (DigLibArts) is an initiative to enhance the liberal arts at Whittier College by empowering faculty, staff, librarians, and students to make full and better use of the digital technologies that are reshaping pedagogical approaches and transforming research throughout the liberal arts. The center is designed to support and inspire faculty (by providing personal assistance, workshop training and stipends, and tools) to integrate digital technologies into their pedagogy and to build relationships with other liberal arts colleges developing similar initiatives.
We endeavor to foster an environment for what William Pannapacker and Rafael Alvarado have termed the “digital liberal arts.” We believe that digital tools and methods are naturally complementary to the liberal arts curriculum, which, by nature, encourages interdisciplinarity, collaboration, experimentation, and community.
As a Hispanic serving institution involved in our local community, DigLibArts at Whittier College is committed to putting digital tools and methods to use to benefit the College’s diverse student body, faculty, staff, and the wider community.
Additionally, we embrace a broad understanding of the “digital” to go beyond popular techno-deterministic usage, and to encourage a range of activities and practices that reflect the diversity of the digital, from fingers to pixel. This includes production, or “making,” that weaves in understandings from the situated knowledge of social justice efforts informed by feminist, queer, postcolonial, critical, race and ethnic studies.
Ultimately DigLibArts has defined its major goals for the coming years as the following:
- To increase the number of faculty who meaningfully integrate digital technologies into their pedagogy to engage students as co-learners and co-teachers
- To enhance the ability of faculty innovators and first adopters to extend their work further and make new innovations
- To continue to develop an interactive, collaborative faculty and library community supporting the development of new initiatives through a variety of workshops, media literacy programs, conferences and symposia, courses, mini-grants, and student employment opportunities
- To build an inviting physical space staffed with helpful scholar-practitioners that encourages collaborative work, experimentation, and play
- To utilize the network of existing relationships with other liberal arts colleges and consortia to share positive results and learn from each other
- To demonstration how the liberal arts participates in larger dialogues about digital scholarship and teaching
- To showcase, preserve, and share innovative uses of digital pedagogy, student scholarship, and collaborative work.