ACLS Digital Extension Grants

The ACLS Digital Extension Grant program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. It is hoped that these grants will help advance the digital transformation of humanities scholarship by extending the reach of existing digital projects to new communities of users and by adding diversity to the digital record.

This program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

  • Arab Data Bodies: Social Media in Mixed Reality  |  Abstract

    "Arab Data Bodies" is a 360-degree, first-person immersive, virtual and augmented (VR/AR) experience of the Egyptian Uprising of 2011. This data-driven project builds upon nearly one hundred million social media posts in thirty languages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other popular sites) harvested by the R-Shief media system. Through collaboration across two campuses at the University of California (UCSB and UCSC), the project extends the representation of R-Shief’s historical, eleven-year-old archive of social media from two-dimensional data visualizations and adapts it into an immersive experience reenacting Tahrir Square in 2011—downtown Cairo’s main public circle that became a focal point during the uprisings. "Arab Data Bodies" is a mixed reality (MX) world of historical data and public spaces, rich in cinematic non-fiction storytelling and visuality.

    Laila Shereen Sakr
    Laila Shereen Sakr

    Assistant Professor, Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Susana Ruiz
    Susana Ruiz

    Assistant Professor, Film & Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz

  • EthniCITY: Mapping Places of Belonging  |  Abstract

    The city literally speaks out into public space through millions of words written on signs, in many different languages, and with layered meanings and histories to help create meaningful places. “EthniCITY” is a digital, spatial humanities database about language and space in Los Angeles. In addition to generating computational data, “EthniCITY” collaborates with community-based non-profits to unite their smaller scale cultural asset maps into a larger regional map as well as creates cinematic, narrative map layers about the intersections between places and peoples. This project is in collaboration with the University of Arizona to extend “EthniCITY’s” methods for comparative research, new pedagogy, and to sponsor a national symposia and data visualization challenge and exhibition to foster the next generation of digital humanities scholars. These resources will be adapted for K-12 local public school’s American Culture and Ethnic Studies curriculum.

    Annette Kim
    Annette Kim

    Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis, University of Southern California

    Bryan Carter
    Bryan Carter

    Director, Center for Digital Humanities, University of Arizona

    Jonathan Crisman
    Jonathan Crisman

    Assistant Professor, Public Humanities, University of Arizona

    Sonja L. Lanehart
    Sonja L. Lanehart

    Professor, Linguistics, University of Arizona

  • Expanding a Necessary Space: Extending the Virtual Martin Luther King Project's Digital Scholarship, Pedagogy and Community Collaboration  |  Abstract

    The Virtual Martin Luther King (vMLK) Project features an immersive recreation (an interactive digitally rendered experience) of Martin Luther King’s 1960 “A Creative Protest [Fill up the Jails]” speech, which engages individuals and groups in the hermeneutic act of experiencing and interpreting what was, what is, and what has never been in relation to public address and civic transformation. The project’s format and design is that of a transmedia project utilizing web tools, gaming and virtual reality platforms, and digitally rendered immersive audio recordings and visual models to engage the public in humanities content. While this content has been made available to students, citizens, and scholars through the official project website, and through immersive audio and visual experiences/exhibitions, the goal of this phase of the project is to extend the project to include collaborations with high schools, small liberal arts colleges, and other universities and museums.

    Victoria J. Gallagher
    Victoria J. Gallagher

    Professor, Communication, North Carolina State University

    Candice Edrington
    Candice Edrington

    Assistant Professor, School of Communication, High Point University

    Elizabeth Nelson
    Elizabeth Nelson

    Associate Teaching Professor, Communication, North Carolina State University

    Max Renner
    Max Renner

    Assistant Professor, Digital Humanities and New Media, Molloy College

    Cindy Rosenfeld
    Cindy Rosenfeld

    Doctoral Student, Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media, North Carolina State University

  • Expanding the Digital Library on American Slavery through Local, Community-Engaged Digital Humanities Research  |  Abstract

    Collaborative, community-engaged research is an invaluable tool for healing and transformation in the face of traumatic histories like that of slavery in the American South. Leveraging the infrastructure and expertise of the Digital Library on American Slavery (DLAS), the goal of this project is to expand ongoing digital archival research to three additional public universities in North Carolina through a set of interrelated research projects that engage and empower local communities while fostering collaboration among scholars at diverse stages of their professional development. As scholars at these three institutions engage in local research projects, regular convenings will present opportunities for collaboration around the themes of theory and praxis in community-engaged scholarship.

    Charles Denton Johnson
    Charles Denton Johnson

    Assistant Professor, History, North Carolina Central University

    Richard Cox
    Richard Cox

    Consultant, University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Jarvis L. Hargrove
    Jarvis L. Hargrove

    Associate Professor, History, East Carolina University

    Claire E. Heckel
    Claire E. Heckel

    Faculty Member, University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Jaime Amanda Martinez
    Jaime Amanda Martinez

    Professor, History, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

  • Hidden Archives: Race, Gender, and Religion in UCSB's Ballitore Collection  |  Abstract

    "Hidden Archives" is a collaborative project between the University of California, Santa Barbara, California State University-Northridge, and Howard University that digitizes and researches a collection of abolitionist materials held at UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections, while also introducing underrepresented students to archival research and the digital humanities. The Ballitore Collection contains 18th- and 19th-century Quaker documents that shed light on the intersection of gender, race, class, and religion during the period. The project uses computational techniques to expose the collection’s contents and exclusions, highlighting how women and people of color are represented within a community that claims egalitarianism. By digitizing and computationally analyzing the collection with a diverse research team, we make it available for scholars, students, and the public while shaping a new generation of researchers attuned to questions of power and absence in archives, digital methodologies, and search engines.

    Rachael Scarborough King
    Rachael Scarborough King

    Associate Professor, English, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Emily Kugler
    Emily Kugler

    Assistant Professor, English, Howard University

    Danielle Spratt
    Danielle Spratt

    Associate Professor, English, California State University, Northridge

  • Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America  |  Abstract

    This project will develop an expanded third version of the award-winning and widely-used Mapping Inequality project. The third version will add (1) maps and hard-to-find documents to expand the geographic reach; (2) new visualization tools to make the site's important textual resources more accessible; (3) approximately 250 city-specific contextual essays from scholars who use the site to provide closer attention to the connection between the national and the local, and (4) new curricular materials to expand the project's reach in secondary schools and universities.

    Robert K. Nelson
    Robert K. Nelson

    Director, Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond

    LaDale Winling
    LaDale Winling

    Associate Professor, History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University