Hyecho’s Journey featured at the Freer|Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian! 

This Fall saw the first project of the Humanities Collaboratory bear a range of remarkable fruit. On December 9, the entire team of Hyecho’s Journey made a trip to Washington, where the eighth-century Korean Buddhist monk Hyecho and his extraordinary journey is a focal point of a major exhibition of Buddhist art, entitled “Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia,” at the Freer|Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian. The exhibition, which opened on October 13, will run for three years.

During last week’s event in the Meyer Auditorium at the Freer|Sackler, Professor Donald Lopez (PI) and the rest of Team Hyecho (Kevin Carr, Carla Sinopoli, Chun Wa Chan, Ha Nul Jun, and Rebecca Bloom) spoke the lines from the graphic novel(ette) about the project in this Fall’s LSA Magazine, leading into a wide-ranging discussion with the audience, who had braved an inch of snow to attend.

The event coincided with the publication of their book “Hyecho’s Journey: The World of Buddhism.” The book describes twelve places that Hyecho stopped along his three-year journey—from Korea, to China, India, Arabia, and back to China—telling stories that Hyecho would have known about the sacred Buddhist sites that he visited and what those stories tell us about the Buddhist world. The book contains color plates of twenty-four works from the Freer|Sackler Galleries.

Also unveiled this Fall were two apps created by a group of UM students from UM’s Multidisciplinary Design Program. Under the guidance of Professor Sugih Jamin of EECS, the student team worked with experts at the Freer|Sackler over the past calendar year to create an interactive map for the iPad as well as a guide through the exhibition, complete with audio commentary and games, for the iPhone, allowing visitors to the exhibition to learn more about the Buddhist world Hyecho encountered on his pilgrimage. The apps are free and available for download from the Apple Store. The team included undergraduate Computer Science students Anders Boberg, Bailey Case, Elijah Sattler, and Eric Yeh, as well as School of Information graduate student Wei Cai, School of Information undergraduate Rebecca Henry, and SI/Art & Design dual major Sindhu Giri.

Finally, over the Thanksgiving break, five members of Team Hyecho traveled to Korea and Japan, visiting sites associated with Hyecho in Korea as well as museums in both countries that hold important collections from the period of his travels.

Congratulations to the entire team of Hyecho’s Journey!

Hyecho’s Journey in LSA Magazine Fall 2017

Hyecho’s Journey is one of the first projects funded by the Humanities Collaboratory.  LSA Magazine has highlighted the project in the Fall 2017 issue.  Read the story about a mysterious monk, a multi-city research project, and the future of the humanities here.  You can also enjoy Hyecho’s Journey through their app, just search on Hyecho’s Journey in the Apple App store.

Collaboratory in U-M Leadership Breakfast Remarks

During his 2017 Leadership Breakfast, President Schlissel made note of the Humanities Collaboratory among a set of new campus-wide initiatives that are “helping to unleash faculty creativity in innovative ways.” Schlissel acknowledged the role and importance of project-based, faculty-led collaboration in positioning U-M as a leading site of new knowledge production.

2017 Leadership Breakfast (Remarks)

Congratulations to our 2017 Proposal Development Grant Recipients! 

We are extremely pleased to announce the following recipients of our proposal development grants. These grants will support the planning and development of projects in May and June 2017.

Argentine Afrikaners: Interrogating Hybridity in a Unique Diasporic Community
This project will examine the practices of a unique settlement in Patagonia, Argentina, which presents an exceptional situation of cultural and linguistic contact between Afrikaans and Argentine-Spanish communities. By studying the archive of oral narratives both for their linguistic structures and in terms of their ideological content, the team will determine the nature and extent of linguistic hybridity between Afrikaans and Spanish in individual speakers. To preserve cultural history and language, the team will also create a multilingual archive and website (in English, Spanish, and Afrikaans) that would provide access to open-source applications containing video and sound clips, transcripts, and the history of the community.

PI: Nicholas Henriksen, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures
Team Members: Andries Coetzee, Associate Professor, Linguistics, Lorenzo Garcia-Amaya, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures, Ryan Szpiech, Associate Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures, Paulina Alberto, Associate Professor, History, & Romance Languages & Literatures, Katharine Jenckes, Associate Professor, Romance Languages & Literatures; Graduate students, including two close collaborators and one IT assistant (TBD); Undergraduate students: Mallory Fuller, Ella Deaton, Meghan Samyn

The Gabii Digital Publication Collaboratory
This project is grounded in the publication of a series of “next generation monographs” reporting the results of excavations in the ancient Latin city of Gabii led by Dr. Nicola Terrenato and sponsored by the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology since 2007. Using these monographs as examples, the project will pair disciplinary experts with information scientists, scholars of rhetoric and composition, technologists, librarians and publishers from Michigan Publishing (including University of Michigan Press) to investigate the ways in which users engage with digital publications and improve the practice of digital publication in the humanities.

PI: Nicola Terrenato, Esther B. Van Deman Professor of Classical Studies
Team Members: Naomi Silver, Associate Director, Sweetland Center for Writing, David Stone, Associate Research Scientist, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Kentaro Toyama, W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, School of Information, Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian (Publishing), University Library; Graduate students: Zoe Jenkins, Classical Studies, Matthew Naglak, Classical Studies, Tyler Johnson, Classical Studies, Adrienne Raw, English Language and Literature, and one member from the School of Information TBD)

On the Emergence and Development of Three Atlantic Creoles: A Linguistic and Historical Perspective on Haitian, Sranan and Cape Verdean
This project will examine a set of early creole texts written in the 16th and 18th centuries and the historical context in which they were written. Specifically, the team will bring together historians and linguists to study the earliest written records of Haitian Creole, (a French-based creole), Sranan Creole (an English-based creole) and Cape Verdean Creole (a Portuguese-based creole), and draw a fuller picture of the linguistic and historical insights that these texts have to offer in addressing the following questions: What did a given creole look like in the early stages of development? Who were the original founding populations and what were the languages in contact? Who were the early agents of creolization: adults and/or children? What was the socio-historical context in which the creole developed?

PI: Marlyse Baptista, Professor, Linguistics and DAAS
Team Members: Sarah Thomason, Professor, Linguistics, Jean Hébrard, Professor, History/Humanities Institute, Graduate Students: Ariana Bancu, Linguistics, Yourdanis Sedarous, Linguistics, Andrew Walker, History; Undergraduate Students: Naomi Gottschalk, Linguistics

FAST Lecture: A Karanis Collaboratory

The Karanis Project, funded by the Collaboratory, will summarize their study of the ancient village of Karanis in Egypt from multidisciplinary perspectives on Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 4:00-5:00 pm in Auditorium C, Angell Hall. For more information about this research project, please visit their website. FAST lectures are free and open to the public, and sponsored by the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.




Winter 2017 Digital Scholarship Workshop Series

The University Library is offering three workshops this semester where participants may learn about different aspects of project-based digital scholarship. Please click on the title of each workshop to read their description and register for the session.

Digital Scholarship 101: An Overview of Digital Scholarship Tools and Methodology
Thursday, 2/9, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
Gallery Lab, 100 Hatcher Graduate Library

Clarity and Control: Project Management For Digital Scholarship
Thursday, 2/16, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
Gallery Lab, 100 Hatcher Graduate Library

Copyright and Digital Scholarship
Wednesday, 4/19, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Gallery Lab, 100 Hatcher Graduate Library

For more information about these workshops, please contact Alix Keener, Digital Scholarship Librarian at U-M Library.

2016-2018 Project Grant Recipients!

The Humanities Collaboratory is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2016 project grants. Funding of more than $500,000 has been awarded to “Hyecho’s Journey,” an interdisciplinary investigation of the travels of an eighth-century Korean monk, and “Precarity Lab: A Thick Humanities Collaboration on Digital Inequalities,” a study of the inequalities and insecurities generated by digital technologies in the contemporary world.

The Humanities Collaboratory supports intergenerational teams of faculty, librarians, graduate and undergraduate students over a two-year period as they conduct innovative research projects that will produce new knowledge as well as model new collaborative methods for humanities research. The project teams will publish their research results in a variety of media for multiple audiences, and the collaborative structure of the projects also suggests new ways of training graduate student in research and professional development.

Hyecho’s Journey
“Hyecho’s Journey” explores the travels of a young Korean monk who traveled throughout the Buddhist world in the eighth century. Using the monk Hyecho’s travel journal, the project will follow in Hyecho’s footsteps virtually, mapping his journey’s trajectory through his encounters with Buddhist art and the material cultures of the regions he visited. The project models a new approach to the study of Buddhism, offering a picture of the entire Buddhist world at a single historical moment, seen through the eyes of a single monk. This view of Buddhism as a network of interlocking traditions that cross national and cultural boundaries counters a more traditional historical narrative that traces the development of Buddhism as a movement away from an original center. Team members plan to create an interactive map and app that will be featured at a three-year exhibition at the Freer|Sackler Galleries in Washington opening in October 2017; they also expect the research to result in a monograph, a new undergraduate course, a study abroad opportunity, and a graduate student conference on collaboration.

Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, is the project’s principal investigator, and the Hyecho’s Journey team includes Professor Kevin G. Carr (History of Art), Professor Carla Sinopoli (Anthropology and Museum Studies), Keiko Yokota-Carter (Asia Library), and graduate students Rebecca Bloom (Asian Languages and Cultures and Museum Studies), Chun Wa Chan (History of Art), and Ha Nul Jun (Asian Languages and Cultures).

Precarity Lab: A Thick Humanities Collaboration on Digital Inequality
The Precarity Lab team uses the notion of precarity to describe populations that have been disproportionately affected by the forms of inequality and insecurity generated, along with new affordances and possibilities, by digital technologies. Studying the way that precarity unfolds across disparate geographies and cultural practices in the digital age, lab members bring together a diverse set of sites and practices in their research, including the placement of Palestinian Internet cables, the manufacture of electronics by Navajo women, the deployment of drones on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the techno-cultural productions of Chinese makers. Using the notion of “thick humanities” to evoke a claim for central place of the humanities in large-scale and multi-sited research, team members will explore how these sites and practices are related to each other, interrogating the connections and frictions among them, and seeking to understand how they are configured by larger flows of capital, bodies, cultural practices, trade, and labor. Team members anticipate that the research will produce a multi-authored monograph and digital-born critical mapping project.

Lisa Nakumara, Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture, is the project’s principal investigator, and the Precarity Lab’s research team includes Professor Irina Aristarkhova (Stamps School of Art and Design), Professor Anna Watkins Fisher (American Culture and the Residential College), Professor Tung-Hui Hu (English and the Zell Writers’ Program), and graduate students Iván Chaar-López (American Culture) and Meryem Kamil (American Culture).