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Dean's Fellows: Projects

Wisdom Digitized, Wisdom Multiplied

Description: The goal of this project is to develop and test an application that will allow older adults, and other communities in local and far-flung locations typically marginalized by the digital divide, to use their telephones to listen to, interact with, and contribute to our Voices from Our America (VFOA) and Wisdom of the Elders (WOE) digital archives. Our aim is to provide a tool via which individuals and communities without Internet access can still be part of the digital revolution, increasing the public’s access to and engagement with materials generated by and housed at Vanderbilt Libraries.

The Dean’s Fellow will become familiar with best practices for collecting and encouraging critical engagement with oral histories through the use of digital telephony systems. Consequently, for the fellow, this will be an opportunity to innovate through immersion with Library staff as well as with faculty and community members and to create a final product that will help him/her showcase his/her skill sets for future employers. As such, this project aligns perfectly with the Academic Strategic Plan by foregrounding discovery, learning, immersion, and interdisciplinary innovation.

This project will enrich the library’s oral history collections and increase access to and engagement with them by a diversity of populations. In addition, it will provide the basis for collaborative publications between students, library staff, and faculty on both the process of and theoretical (and meta-level) questions inherent in innovating across digital and disciplinary divides.

Duties: Assist with oral history collection, metadata description, and web archiving

Skills Needed Or To Be Developed: ethics and practice of collecting oral history, digital telephony development, web archiving

Potential Candidates: Students from any major who have an interest in collecting, preserving, and disseminating life stories from neglected American communities, helping them reach the broadest possible national and international audience.

Mentors: Ifeoma Nwankwo, Director, Program in American Studies and Associate Professor English; Clifford Anderson, Director for Scholarly Communications; Deborah Lilton, Librarian

Dates of Employment: Spring semester 2016

Contact: Ifeoma Nwankwo

Please follow the Application Process to apply for this fellowship. Applications will be accepted through October 30, 2015.

See other Spring 2016 Fellowships