Milner Library is pleased to announce a new event series called Digital Discussions beginning this semester. The Digital Discussions series includes scholar lectures, workshops, and informal gatherings for faculty and students to talk about their interest in digital humanities and digital scholarship more broadly.

“Last year, Milner coordinated a task force of faculty we knew were doing things like social media analysis, text encoding, digital publishing, and geo-mapping,” said Anne Shelley, scholarly communication librarian at Milner Library. “We wanted to know who else on campus is working with digital methods, so we surveyed faculty and held a focus group and some one-on-one meetings. Not only did we discover there’s a lot of current activity in both research and teaching, we also learned what faculty need to sustain and grow their digital scholarship. In part, they want to learn more about particular methods, and they want to be able to have more conversations with colleagues on campus on this topic.”

Milner Library Interim Dean Dr. Shari Zeck echoes the significance of the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of digital humanities. “There is a real hunger among faculty to get to know others working in digital humanities on campus. They want to learn from each other and from colleagues outside of ISU and share what they have learned,” said Zeck. “The library is delighted to be able to help bring scholars together from across disciplines to advance their work in digital humanities.”

Currently, three digital humanities scholars are booked for the series. Depending on the time of day, Digital discussions logolunch or refreshments will be provided at all events. In an effort to help build a digital scholarship community on campus, the Digital Discussions series will also offer several informal gatherings for faculty, staff, and students to talk about their work and interests. Brown Bag Bytes will be held over the lunch hour at Fourth Friday Writing Days coordinated by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

Event Series Details

  • Scholar Spotlight: Dr. Roy Magnuson
    Demonstration and Discussion of Extended Reality in the Collegiate Environment
    Friday, March 6, at 9 a.m.
    Milner Library, Floor 3 East
    Roy Magnuson, assistant professor of music at Illinois State University, will explore Extended Reality (Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities) and how it is a powerful, emergent technology with far-reaching implications. And the possibility to be as disruptive to our society as the invention of the personal computer, internet, and cellphone. It is imperative that we as an institution fully understand the power of this technology, and how best to harness it to engage with and teach our current and future students. Please come to this short demonstration and discussion of Extended Reality (XR @ ISU) to learn more! Light refreshments will be provided.


  • CANCELLED Scholar Spotlight: Dr. Kristin Carlson
    Tracking the Invisible: Following Movement Beyond Space and Time Markers
    Thursday, April 2, at noon
    Milner Library, Floor 6 Southwest Corner
    Kristin Carlson, assistant professor of creative technologies at Illinois State University, investigates methods that use technology to reveal what can be known as more “invisible” aspects of movement, which are present but less measurable. These invisible aspects can include qualities of effort, intention, and follow-through. Our motivation to move is complex, relying on our self-developed identities, and experiences within the world. We don’t isolate movement from our needs and goals, the way technology needs to. Hence, it is difficult to deconstruct movement without accounting for the invisible. By using strategies such as defamiliarization and documenting motivation and shifts in the creative process, we can start to see new aspects that inform movement knowledge. These approaches can imagine ways that technology can develop to better support our experiences. Lunch will be provided with registration. RSVP no later than Monday, March 30.


  • CANCELLED Scholar Spotlight: Dr. Kurt Beals
    Dada Analysis: Networking with the Avant-Garde
    Thursday, April 9, at 2:30 p.m.
    Milner Library, Floor 6 Northwest Corner
    Kurt Beals, assistant professor of German at Washington University in St. Louis, will talk about his network analysis project on the Dada movement. Rather than define the movement by reference to its manifestos or the aesthetic characteristics of its works, this project focuses on the connections between members of the movement that appear on the pages of its publications. Do the publication practices of Dada poets and artists correspond to the perceptions of the movement derived from other sources and approaches? By analyzing the structure of these publication networks, we can gain a clearer understanding of how individual figures shaped the Dada movement and connected it to related movements such as Expressionism. The methods used in this project can be applied to a wide range of fields, from scholarly publishing to political organizing to the analysis of organizational structure.


  • CANCELLED Brown Bag Bytes
    February 28, March 27, and April 24 from Noon to 1 p.m.
    Milner Library, Floor 6 Southwest Corner
    Held in cooperation with Fourth Friday Writing Days, these informal gatherings are for those interested in scholarship and technology who want to connect and collaborate with others on campus. Lunch is provided by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, or bring your own! Faculty, staff, and students are welcome.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. For additional information on Digital Discussions at Milner Library or digital humanities work on campus, please contact Anne Shelley. If you need accommodations to participate in any of the above events, please contact Milner Library Director of Communications Erin Link at or call (309) 438-3897.