University of Iowa Professor to Speak on Digital Humanities

Event Details


Date: April 16, 2010

Times: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Gilbert Science Center (room 100), Augustana College campus

Ticket Info: This event is free and open to the public.

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Dr. Ed Folsom, Roy J. Carver Professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa, is the keynote speaker for the Augustana Symposium Saturday, April 17.

As one of the founders of the Walt Whitman Archive, Dr. Folsom will discuss how the internet and digital scholarship are fundamentally transforming the humanities and academia as a whole. His presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. in Gilbert Science Center room 100 and is open to the public. A reception will follow in the Pendulum Lounge.

The Augustana Symposium is a collegial gathering intended to foster the investigation and discussion of important matters. The structure of the Symposium emulates a traditional academic conference, and Augustana students are invited to present their original research on any topic in this forum.

Student research presentations – both oral and poster – will be given between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. in the Madsen Center. More than 40 Augustana students will be involved in these presentations.

Building on his work in creating and developing the Walt Whitman Archive, one of the most comprehensive, widely cited, and admired of literature websites, Dr. Folsom will discuss the radical changes the digital humanities are bringing to the study and teaching of literature. With the advent of huge databases of information about authors and their writing, the very nature of narrative – how we tell stories about writers and their work – is under question.

What happens when the humanities, long thought of as the domain of solitary scholars working individually on esoteric projects, suddenly become a place of open and wide collaboration? What happens when scholarship, long thought of as material in the dusty stacks of libraries, consulted only by the few who have been taught to find it, suddenly goes online and is accessible to everyone?

Dr. Folsom will discuss the battles between narrative and database that are emerging as the digital humanities grow, and he will indicate some of the challenges and some of the exhilarating possibilities of the wild ride that the digital humanities is now taking us on as academia transforms before our eyes.


Dr. Darcie Rives-East
Assistant Professor, English/Journalism
Phone: 605.274.5422
darcie.rives-east@augie.edu