How does technology mediate what it means to be human? The Experimental Humanities (EH) concentration is Bard’s liberal arts–driven answer to the Digital Humanities. Digital Humanities is an evolving field that typically employs digital tools and research methods to investigate humanities subjects. In addition, EH engages with media and technology forms from across historical periods, combining experimental research methods with critical thinking about how such forms function as a part of cultural, social, and political inquiry. We encourage the reconsideration of older media in light of today’s technologies and look ahead to the developments on the horizon.
- – Critical thinking about media and technology and their productive intersections
- – The relationship between digital methodologies and humanities scholarship
- – Collaboration between traditionally disparate disciplines such as Computer Science, Literature, and the Arts
- – The role of experimentation, often associated with the sciences and the arts, in humanities research
Experimental Humanities students take two core courses, Introduction to Media and History of Experiment, which provide them with a critical and historical framework with which to approach electives from across the college. 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 adding a practice-rich component to their 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. Other ongoing clusters include surveillance, food, and alternate / virtual reality.