Experiential Learning

Collaborative research internships with faculty is the primary goal of all experiential learning opportunities for students in DHi. These undergraduate research experiences reinforce, extend, and deepen the classroom experience by integrating students into interdisciplinary humanities-based faculty research for sustained periods.

There are two structures for students to enter research projects, as DHi Interns at any point in the year or as Culture, Liberal Arts, & Society Scholars (CLASS) undergraduate research fellows.  CLASS provides faculty & student researchers  15 months of dedicated time, expert consultants, and project development for research students with a faculty researcher.undergraduate scholars through our formal fellowship program.

DHi Interns

DHi Interns develop core areas of skill sets that originate from the needs of the DHi research project they are working on and then also learn across skill sets as research projects evolve over time. In the past seven years DHi research has integrated the following general research methods and skill sets: oral history, cataloging & metadata, multimedia documentary practices, text/image analysis & visualizations, 3D modelling & virtual realities, web development, and communication for scholarly publications, and social media. Through this process students develop digital fluencies that in addition to furthering the research project, also position the students for successful careers after Hamilton. Our recent graduates have obtained Fulbrights, interned at the British Museum, continued to graduate school (Oxford), and landed above entry level positions in corporations.

DHi Culture Liberal Arts & Society Scholars

Basic literacies for the digital age are critical skill sets for students entering the professional world. The Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) provides new opportunities for students in the humanities to become fully engaged citizens in this ongoing digital revolution. The digital humanities is an interdisciplinary field of study, research, and teaching primarily concerned with the use of digital approaches to answer questions based in the humanities. As some scholars have argued "the digital humanities today is about a scholarship (and a pedagogy) that is publicly visible.”

The Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) offers three competitive fellowships a year to students working with faculty who wish to explore interdisciplinary models and research methods. Culture, Liberal Arts & Society Scholars (CLASS) work with a Hamilton professor on a component of their research that requires digital methods and results in digital scholarship. CLASS fellows contribute to their professor’s larger research agenda by leveraging the potential of technology to access, ask questions of, and manipulate information. As co-researchers and co-creators of knowledge, CLASS students are expected to develop and learn digital research approaches to complex interdisciplinary questions about the human condition.


Faculty propose a research project that would benefit from digital research approaches and work with DHi to integrate student collaborators into their research process. DHi provides expertise, skills development, funding for student work, and project management to facilitate all research phases and the resulting digital scholarship. Students engage in sustained collaborative research (15 month program) that integrates digital methods and results in multimodal presentations and/or publications.

Application Instructions

Faculty/Student collaborators jointly submit a 2-3 page proposal to dhi@hamilton.edu describing the research project and questions the student will explore by the last day in February. Do not hesitate to contact Janet Oppedisano with questions about developing your proposal (see former CLASS students and their projects).  

CLASS is a 15 month research commitment that includes two-summer internships, paid research hours during the academic year between the summers, and research presentations on campus and at academic conference(s). 

  • Two summer commitment: (1) summer of sophomore-junior year; (2) summer of junior-senior year 
  • First summer: Immersive learning experience at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria in Victoria British Columbia (http://dhsi.org) June 3-14, 2019.  Followed by research work at Hamilton with the research project director, the DHi Collection Development Team, and other experts as needed for eight weeks. 
  • Academic year: work up to 10 hours a week (paid hourly) with faculty research director on planned aspects of their long term digital research agenda. 
  • Second summer: partially funded continued research on the same long term research project.
The CLASS fellowship includes the following:
  • Student stipend of $4000 for the first summer of research on campus at Hamilton College (8-10 weeks). Potential funding of second summer internship up to $4000.
  • Funding in the first summer for the student to attend and take one course at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (dhsi.org) at the University of Victoria in Victoria British Columbia June.
  • Up to $500 for approved research expenses related to the CLASS research project
  • Instruction and training in digital research methods & their associated technologies
  • Consultations and connections to DH expertise locally, nationally, & internationally

Process and Outcomes

Through their participation in an undergraduate research project, students will be able to:

  • Develop an interdisciplinary research question, utilize digital methods to explore research questions, and design effective digital publications to communicate findings;
  • Determine appropriate use of digital methodologies for specific research goals;
  • Apply basic principles and knowledge found in the inter/multi/trans-disciplinary literature related to the research question;
  • Apply and evaluate interdisciplinary methodologies throughout the project;
  • Collect, interpret, and critique data using digital methodologies in order to resolve a research question or evaluate a design; utilize digital skills (digital collection development, documentary media production, geospatial visualization, text analysis, virtual reality construction) necessary for robust digital scholarship; and
  • Communicate complex research findings in oral presentation and digital publication platforms.

CLASS students are expected to present their collaborative research projects in multiple venues – online, on campus, and at disciplinary conferences. DHi will promote and help support students presenting at conferences and community events.  We will also promote communication forums for presentation of student collaborative research with faculty. CLASS student/faculty teams will illustrate in-progress research approaches and connect to scholars with similar interests. CLASS students are expected to model undergraduate humanities research, goals, methods, and digital skills to the liberal arts community. Social media descriptions of their work will facilitate discussion, and ongoing dialogue with other scholars and potential internship partners. At the end of the CLASS learning experience, students will have a portfolio of their research efforts, will have engaged in dialogue with experts in their interest areas, and will have digitally published their work.

Contact Information

Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi)

Hamilton College
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4125 315-859-4185 dhi@hamilton.edu
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