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>  News Releases >   2008 >   September

Dartmouth appoints first chair of Digital Humanities

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 09/02/08 • Media Contact: Latarsha Gatlin • (603) 646-3661 

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Mary Flanagan
Mary Flanagan (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Dartmouth's Office of the Dean of the Faculty is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor of Film and Media Studies, Mary Flanagan, as the inaugural endowed chair holder of the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Digital Humanities.

A $10-million dollar gift from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, a long time benefactor of the College, has endowed two Distinguished Professorships in Emerging Fields in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  These professorships were designed to attract and support faculty who show exceptional promise and are positioned to make significant advances in new and emerging disciplines.  "Mary Flanagan's innovative work and the pioneering development of new programs that she and other faculty are planning will ignite the imagination of students and faculty alike. I am so pleased that she has arrived and I look forward to working with Mary and the other faculty involved in the digital humanities as they shape this emerging discipline," said Dean of the Faculty, Carol Folt.

Before joining Dartmouth's faculty, Flanagan was a professor of contemporary digital arts, culture and technology at Hunter College in New York City.  Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities Kate Conley says that, "Mary is internationally recognized as a scholar-teacher in a number of disciplines, including Film and Media Studies, Game Design and Digital Art and Culture.  She is a prolific scholar and artist with a deep knowledge as a theorist of game design. Mary will bring all of these talents to Dartmouth to help unify and enrich the existing interdisciplinary connections between computer science and the arts and humanities."

Flanagan has published two co-edited books with MIT Press, Reload: rethinking women + cyberculture (2002) and Re:skin (2007) and is the author of the forthcoming book Critical Play.  She is also the founder and director of the Tiltfactor Laboratory, which researches and develops computer games and software systems focused on science, math, applied computer programming, literacy and social values.

Flanagan received an MFA in Film and Video Production from the University of Iowa in 1994 and a PhD in Computational Media and Game Design from the University of the Arts, London in 2006. She was named a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2007, a Fulbright Scholar in 2000 and twice received the City University of New York's Outstanding Scholar award in 2004 and 2007.

"At Dartmouth I will be developing a series of courses on innovation and human values, game design and game studies, ecological art, and other areas in which the humanities and digital culture collide," Flanagan says. "Dartmouth is home to a talented and eclectic intellectual community. The lab will serve as a site for those interested in digital humanities to gather, further our understanding of digital culture, and ultimately serve the public good."

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