Digital Humanities and Community Outreach

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 - 12:00pm1:30pm

Meyerson Conference Center, 2nd floor, Van Pelt Library

Digital Humanities and Community Outreach

Timothy Powell

Senior Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, Penn
Director of Native American Projects, American Philosophical Society


Lunch will be provided.
Pre-regstration required. Please email us with your name and academic affiliation.

This workshop will discuss an ongoing project entitled "Digital Knowledge Sharing," which involves repatriating digitized archival materials to Native American communities across North America. We are fortunate to be living in an exciting historical moment when Native American communities are revitalizing their languages and cultures with great success at the same time that digital technology allows archives to share valuable ethnographic materials that were removed from the communities long ago and have not been returned until now. The focus of the discussion will be the role more than 100 Penn undergraduates played in building a database containing more than 6,000 traditional Iroquois names. It is an example of how DH scholarship can benefit Native communities for generations to come and help overcome the historical distrust that has characterized the relationship between scholars and indigenous communities for the last century. More broadly, the workshop will ask how digital humanities can strengthen public history programs and, in doing so, create new job opportunities for graduate students beyond the academy's walls.


Tim Powell is a faculty member in the Religious Studies department at Penn, where he specializes in Native American culture. He is also the Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society, in downtown Philadelphia. He has received more than $2 million in grant funding at the APS to repatriate digitized archival documents to indigenous communities for language preservation and cultural revitalization.