The Vanderbilt Center for Digital Humanities was founded in 2016 with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Center’s initial charge was threefold:
- Provide digital humanities education training and project support to scholars at all levels in Vanderbilt community, through project consultation, workshops, public events, and yearlong Digital Humanities Fellowship programs
- Establish programs for collaborative digital humanities training and project development across institutions participating in the Mellon Partners in Humanities Education consortium (Berea College, Tennessee State University, Tougaloo College, and Fisk University);
- Work in tandem with the Vanderbilt’s joint-PhD program in Comparative Media Analysis and Practice (CMAP) to support innovative scholarship that incorporates theory and practice of digital media production.
Early plans for the Center were developed in Summer and Fall 2016 by an Advisory Board of Vanderbilt humanities faculty:
- Madeleine Casad, Cinema and Media Arts (Chair)
- Jennifer Fay, Cinema and Media Arts
- Lutz Koepnick, German, Russian, and Eastern European Studies
- Jane Landers, History
- Tracy Miller, History of Art and Asian Studies
- Lynn Ramey, French and Italian Studies
- Steven Wernke, Anthropology
In October 2016, the Center officially opened and Helmut Smith, Martha Rivers Ingram Chair of History, became the first faculty director. Professor of French, Lynn Ramey, became faculty director in January 2019.