Promotion of Digital Humanities by the Bavarian Government

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Foto: Lev Manovich

In the years 2016 to 2020, the Bavarian State Ministry for Education, Science and the Arts will promote a cooperative study program in the field of digital humanities, which is planned by the Universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Regensburg and Munich, with an initial funding of up to 3.6 million euros. This funding is financed by the Bavarian Government’s “Digital Campus Bavaria” innovation program, which aims at supporting the Bavarian universities in the development of information technology infrastructure or the establishment of new study courses in digital technologies.

The cooperative study program incorporates the research field of the Digital Humanities, which has been developed in the past years at FAU, with the participation of the social sciences. The term “Digital Humanities” describes how to use modern information technologies and digital resources for scientific work in the humanities and cultural sciences. Students benefit in particular from the cooperation of the three universities by cross-site events, annual summer schools, and the opening of courses across the locations and degree programs.

The overall coordination of the project lies with Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stein-Kecks (Institute for Art History). At the same time, she is the spokesperson of the Interdisciplinary Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, which is responsible for the conceptualisation and implementation of the course.

Core areas and target groups

In detail, the degree programs that are involved develop different core areas of content and focus on specific target groups. In Erlangen, the Bachelor’s degree program “Digitale Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften”, which until now has only been available as second-subject program, will be expanded. The degree program is broadly designed and introduces into the new research field by interdisciplinary cross-linking. Through the cooperation with the Faculty of Engineering, the degree program gains a distinctive IT profile. The thematic focus is on the areas of image and media, language and text as well as space and society. Practical and project-oriented modules aim at an application-oriented interlinking of computer science and digital humanities and social sciences, with a special focus also being placed on the reflection of the effects of digitization on society and science. Individual focus in a free electoral area leads to specific deepening, also with regard to the combination with a further subject from the degree program offered by the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology. The profound technical and methodological competences in dealing with digital technologies in science and society open up attractive perspectives for students in dynamically growing research and work areas at the interfaces of technology, society and culture.