Update on the Digital Humanities Initiative at SDSU

“Digital Humanities” describes efforts to study digital technologies and culture, employ computational practices in research and teaching, and reflect upon the impact of the digital. The Digital Humanities Initiative at SDSU seeks to promote such critical engagement by providing a hub for strategic innovation and collaboration across campus.

In its first year (2014-2015) the Digital Humanities Initiative accomplished a great deal:-We held a THATCamp: Diving into Digital Humanities (October 2014), which welcomed 150 participants from 6 UCs, 5 CSUs, and 6 private colleges.
-We stimulated faculty interest by facilitating a faculty research group and a faculty working group in innovating with digital technologies
-We held tools workshops, scholarly lectures, and digital literature reading events
—And, you can see more about all of this on our website: dh.sdsu.edu

We were awarded an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to build and strengthen digital humanities teaching through the development of a San Diego regional network.

We were awarded an Area of Excellence, which means that “Digital Humanities and Global Diversity” will now be a center of research at SDSU.

So… we did a lot! I am thrilled, proud, and exhausted! Bring on the summer!

Area of Excellence in Digital Humanities at SDSU

We are now (we won!) an Area of Excellence at SDSU! So proud to be part of this collective and important effort:

May 20, 2015

Dear colleagues and friends:

As many of you already are aware, Dr. Stephen Welter (Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate Division) has announced that one of SDSU’s new areas of excellence will be centered on Digital Humanities and Diversity.  This extraordinary achievement was spearheaded by our own Jessica Pressman, and it serves as testament to the excellent work being done on campus in this area of research.

Several additional faculty were named as supporting faculty on the proposal, including Joanna Brooks and Bill Nericcio (who will also serve as one of the core faculty members for the area).
Congratulations to all!

Michael Borgstrom, PhD
Chair and Associate Professor
Department of English and Comparative Literature

San Diego State University

NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant

We (Joanna Brooks and I), on the behalf of SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative,  got an NEH ODH start-up grant to build up our regional cross-campus collaboration in Digital Humanities pedagogy. Titled “Building and Broadening the Digital Humanities Through A Regional Network,” we will work with UCSD, USD, CSUSM, and Mesa Community College to bring smart strategies for teaching digital humanities in higher education classrooms across San Diego.

More soon!

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Staying at State!

I am pleased to announce that this fall I will be joining the ladder faculty in the English and Comparative Literature Department at San Diego State University. I will be able to grow the Digital Humanities Initiative and continue working with the wonderful students and colleagues that I have already grown to love.


I am terrible about updating this site, so I forgot to post this in advance… but last night Tender Claws read from their fabulous new work, PRY (2015) to a full, passionate, and insightful crowd of students and faculty. It was the best possible electronic literature reading event!


Great new review of Digital Modernism in Modernism/Modernity

Digital Modernism just got a very generous review from David Winters (University of Cambridge), writing for Modernism/Modernity (Volume 21, Number 4, November 2014). I am very grateful! Here are some of my favorite lines from the review:

“Pressman creates fresh connections not just between modernist and digital writing, but between modernism and the current configuration of literary studies…..”

“Here and elsewhere, Pressman’s approach presses home the permeability of the boundaries between literary periods, critical methods, and the media in which they’re embedded. Perhaps the most productive aspect of Digital Modernism is its dialectical sensitivity to how “modes of critical analysis change along with their objects of study,” as well as how “literature itself promotes this change” and participates in it (80).”

“Digital Modernism provides an illuminating guide to an increasingly vital element of the modernist legacy. Moreover, its reflections on the interconnectedness of literature and media, and of the present and the past, represent a sophisticated restatement of something quite central to the modernist spirit: namely, that “literary revolution happens by looping back,” by “returning to the past in order to move forward,” and by creating recursive connections between old and new “literary practices and reading technologies” (174). As Pressman persuasively shows, this modernist logic means as much today as it did ten decades ago.”