A collaborative multidisciplinary effort in the College of Arts and Sciences led by the Departments of English and Computer Science, the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities (CTSDH) supports research across the humanities, as well as in computer science, the School of Communication, the social sciences, law, and University Libraries. In addition to supporting research projects, the CTSDH sponsors conferences, lectures, and workshops, and offers undergraduate and graduate students the chance to work with faculty on advanced research, and to take courses in and pursue research of their own in the interdisciplinary areas of textual studies and digital humanities. Since fall 2011, the CTSDH has offered a professional M.A. degree in Digital Humanities.
Scholarship in textual studies investigates original documents, whether manuscript, print, or electronic, and studies the processes of composition, revision, editing, printing, production, distribution, and reception. Interdisciplinary by its very nature, its activities are central to all periods of literary criticism, as well as to disciplines such as philosophy, history, music, theology, and media studies. Today the theory and practices of textual studies are central to the emerging interdisciplinary field of digital humanities--an area of research and education at the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities. Digital humanities comprehends a spectrum of practices and approaches, ranging from digital textual editing, archiving, publishing, and data analysis, to the study of new media from the combined perspectives of computer science and the humanities.
The Center developed out of the English department's area of excellence in textual studies and digital humanities and the creation of the Martin J. Svaglic Chair in Textual Studies. Co-directed by Steven Jones (English) and George K. Thiruvathukal (Computer Science), the CTSDH was founded in 2009 with the support of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Centers, and the chairs of the departments of English and Computer Science. It was started with the help of a Digital Start-Up Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other sources of funding.