University of Michigan Ann Arbor announces new Digital Studies Institute

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Credit: University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR - The University of Michigan has launched its new Digital Studies Institute housed in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

From self-driving cars to data breaches, the University of Michigan says it is "more important than ever to understand the new opportunities and dangers presented by technological disruption and digital cultures."

The new institute will partner with faculty and units across campus to carry out cutting-edge research focused on technology and personal identity, new opportunities for unequal access and marginalization and the increasing ethical issues in this digital world.

"LSA created the Digital Studies Institute to bring a humanities-centered approach to the power and problems of the digital worlds billions of people visit and inhabit each day. The compelling, integrated coursework allows students to attain a degree with a more holistic and tech-savvy viewpoint on social and cultural issues." - The University of Michigan 

More than two dozen professors from the LSA and the university make up the DSI faculty, which offers an undergraduate minor, graduate student certificate and a variety of courses on digital art, digital pedagogy and digital media and gender, race and identity.
 
"We're excited about building on decades of our faculty's groundbreaking research and thought leadership to create the Digital Studies Institute," Lisa Nakamura, the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker collegiate professor in the department of American culture, said in a statement. 
 
"In the age of the nonstop consumption of digital media, we must explore how all of these things are influencing our world, and, specifically, the impact they have on the communities who use them," she said. "DSI serves as the training ground for scholars to research how digital cultures interconnect with today's social issues."
 
"This is just another example of how the university is invested, not just in the digital space, but in the humanities and all it has to offer our students and society in the 21st century," Anne Curzan, associate dean for the humanities and the Geneva Smitherman collegiate professor of English language and literature, said in a statement.

The UM Board of Regents approved the DSI in December. The institute is now serving students and will hold its first summer institute with LSA faculty, students and scholars from across the U.S. in 2020. 

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