July 6, 2015
$7 Million Gift Creates Price Lab for Digital Humanities
SAS Overseer Michael J. Price (W'79) and his wife Vikki have made a gift of $7 million to Penn's School of Arts and Sciences to build a lab for research in the digital humanities.
A centerpiece of Dean Steven Fluharty's SAS Strategic Plan, the new Price Lab will position Penn as a leader in digital humanities research and curriculum and will support a wide range of the most innovative work in history, arts, and culture. It will evaluate, incubate, and support complex interdisciplinary research projects. It will provide a common hub for communication and exchange across the many departments, centers, and schools that will be partners in the digital humanities. It will provide capacity for geographic information system (GIS), mapping, and visualization technologies. It will oversee the development and approval of digital humanities courses and curricula. And it will play an important advisory role in the appointment of newn humanities faculty as well as information technology and library staff, who will add distinguished coverage in both topical areas and in the use of digital tools and methods."This is a huge moment of change and opportunity in the humanities," said Dean Fluharty. "With the digital humanities, we will not only produce new knowledge but new ways of knowing, and new forms to show the outcomes and results. The Price Lab will make us a leader in this revolution."
James English, director of the Penn Humanities Forum, founder of the Digital Humanities Forum, and Chair of the SAS Planning Committee for Humanities in the Digital Age, says the Price Lab will be "a central place where we can explore exciting new areas of interdisciplinary convergence, using the digital humanities to widen the understanding of what the humanities are and why they matter. It is the next logical step — and a very big one — for the initiative that began with the founding of the Digital Humanities Forum three years ago. Michael Price has done us all an enormous service." For more information on the Price Lab, please see the School of Arts & Sciences announcement, and the February 26, 2015 issue of Penn Current. And here are some of the projects currently underway at Penn in digital humanities.