This week, Howard Rambsy II (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) published his last post on a semester of working with the East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club on his blog, Cultural Front. Rambsy, along with graduate student Rae’Jean Spears (SIUE), posted weekly reflections on the newly formed partnership between Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and an after-school digital humanities club of high school students from East St. Louis. Rambsy sums up the goals of the partnership:
This semester, I’m working with a new program, the East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club. The members of the club, or better yet, the production team, are high school students from East St. Louis, though many of our sessions take place at on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Four undergraduate students and a graduate student facilitate the sessions.
One overall goal of the project is to increase interest among African American students in projects and careers that involve technology. To do that, we’ll involve them in a series of projects. For the next few months, we are working with the students on audio production.
Rambsy’s and Spears’s reflections provide insight into DH pedagogy, partnerships between universities and high schools, and centering student agency, as well as a model for increasing diversity in technological careers. In posts from the final week of the Club, Rambsy pointed out the value that students found in “quiet moments for reflections,” while Spears focused on the joy of the experience:
From working with students who thought technology was “boring” or “only for men” during week one of the club to having students excited about coming back from winter break to continue working with audio editing speaks volumes within itself. From the excitement conveyed through the students, I can only wonder if we’ve begun to cultivate one of the creative geniuses of the future.