How does technology mediate what it means to be human? How has it always done this? The Experimental Humanities (EH) concentration is Bard’s liberal arts-driven answer to the Digital Humanities. EH provides students with the historical context, theoretical background, and analytical and technical skills to engage productively with new forms of humanistic inquiry as they arise. We place emphasis on reconsidering “old” media in light of today’s technologies, and look ahead to the developments on the horizon.
Experimental Humanities is committed to the study of what it means to be human and to the role of experimentation in scholarship, learning, and the arts. The concentration embraces the ethos of “practice” and “making” that characterizes the digital arts and humanities even as it insists on the importance of writing and theory as humanistic practices in their own right. Students moderating into Experimental Humanities do so simultaneously with their primary program, with the option of completing a “practice-rich” Senior Project in conjunction with that program.
To facilitate interdisciplinary inquiry, EH is establishing topic-based research and teaching clusters outside of the divisional and programmatic structures of the college. These clusters provide opportunities for faculty members appointed and evaluated within existing programs (as well as students in existing majors and concentrations) to work collaboratively on thematic projects that span disciplinary boundaries. Anyone interested may be affiliated with these clusters, whether or not they are involved with Experimental Humanities in a formal capacity, and we anticipate they will grow, shift, and change over time depending on the interests and research trajectories of Bard faculty and students.
Our first cluster, initiated in the the 2014-15 school year, deals with the topic of sound and its relation to acoustic technologies. For more information, check out our Sound Cluster page.