NITLE Fellows: Rebecca Frost Davis

As of July 1, Rebecca Frost Davis will be the director for instructional and emerging technology at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. Dr. Davis is currently wrapping up her service as program officer for the humanities at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), where she also served as associate director of programs. Prior to her tenure at NITLE, she served as assistant director for instructional technology at the Associated Colleges of the South Technology Center and assistant professor of Classical Studies at Rhodes College, Denison University, and Sewanee: The University of the South.

Dr. Davis works to help faculty transform and adapt new digital methods in teaching and research to advance the essential learning outcomes of liberal education. At St. Edward’s, she will help implement the university’s 2015 Strategic Plan which calls for the creation of a “21st century learning environment…in which faculty and students access, assess and create knowledge in a world-wide exchange of ideas.” Currently, she is co-editor, with Matt Gold, Kathy Harris, and Jentery Sayers, of Digital Pedagogy: A Reader and Toolkit, a collaborative, born-digital project in development that explores how changes wrought by new digital methods on scholarship, networking, and communication are impacting the classroom. She also blogs about these changes at Rebecca Frost Davis: Liberal Education in a Networked World. She has taught numerous workshops on teaching with technology for faculty, technologists, and librarians at liberal arts colleges, planned conferences, and consulted on digital teaching, the teaching of writing with technology, classical studies, intercampus teaching, and virtual collaboration.

Dr. Davis also works to build networks to transform learning at liberal arts colleges, in digital humanities, and across all of higher education. She has extensive experience in promoting inter-campus academic collaboration. She both taught within and helped coordinate the Sunoikisis virtual department of classics, including supporting intercampus courses in archaeology, GIS, and advanced Greek and Latin, as well as a three-year, longitudinal study of Sunoikisis. She also helped launch the Texas Language Consortium through which five independent colleges in Texas are collaborating to increase offerings of world languages for their students. In “Divided and Conquered: How Multivarious Isolation Is Suppressing Digital Humanities Scholarship,” Dr. Davis and Quinn Dombrowski identify isolation as a chief challenge for humanities scholarship especially at small colleges. Dr. Davis now serves on the board of DHCommons, a hub to help humanities projects and collaborators find each other. A veteran of numerous collaborative projects, she has taken part in workshops on Building Effective Virtual Organizations sponsored by the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure.

In her research, Dr. Davis explores the motivations and mechanisms for creating, integrating, and sustaining digital humanities within and across the undergraduate curriculum. As a program officer at NITLE, she led NITLE’s efforts in the digital humanities, focusing on advancing the development of digital humanities at liberal arts colleges and promoting the valuable contributions these colleges make to and within the broader digital humanities movement. With her colleague Bryan Alexander, NITLE senior fellow, Dr. Davis documented the beginnings of the explosion of digital humanities at small liberal arts colleges in “Should Liberal Arts Campuses Do Digital Humanities? Process and Products in the Small College World” in Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), arguing that small liberal arts colleges should indeed engage in the digital humanities and that this engagement is characterized with a strong focus on the process of doing digital humanities rather than digital scholarly products created by that process. Her ongoing research in this area includes the “NITLE Survey on Digital Humanities at Small Liberal Arts Colleges.”

Dr. Davis is a member of the Association of Computers and the Humanities, the Modern Language Association, and the newly-formed Digital Classics Association. She has reviewed grant applications for the National Endowment for the Humanities and conference proposals for EDUCAUSE and the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. Dr. Davis is past president of the Theta of Texas chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Southwestern University.  Dr. Davis holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. degree (summa cum laude) in classical studies and Russian from Vanderbilt University.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Crowdsourcing, Undergraduates, and Digital Humanities Projects.” Rebecca Frost Davis: Liberal Education in a Networked World, September 3, 2012. (Editor’s choice on Digital Humanities Now, September 11, 2012)
  • (co-authored with Bryan Alexander) “Should Liberal Arts Campuses Do Digital Humanities? Process and Products in the Small College World.” In Debates in the Digital Humanities, ed. Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.
  • Davis, Rebecca Frost, and Quinn Dombrowski. 2011. Divided and Conquered: How Multivarious Isolation Is Suppressing Digital Humanities Scholarship. National Institute for  Technology in Liberal Education.
  • “Should liberal arts campuses do digital humanities?” with Bryan Alexander, forthcoming in Debates within the Digital Humanities
  • The Liberal Arts Online”, Inside Higher Ed Audio Conference, March 17, 2011.
  • “Digital Humanities and Liberal Education” Invited Panelist: “What is the role of universities in a digital future?”  Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies (TILTS) 2011, Symposium Two: Digital Humanities, Teaching and Learning, March 12, 2011.
  • Four Strategies for Liberal Education in a Networked World,” Nation,  February 2, 2011.
  • “Creating Culture and Crossing Borders: Digital Storytelling on and off the Liberal Arts Campus,” Global Positioning: Essential Learning, Student Success, and the Currency of U.S. Degrees, AAC&U 2011 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, January 27, 2011 (with Thomas D’Agostino, Doug Reilly, Truett Cates, Brett Boessen, and Elizabeth Brewer)
  • “Engaging Liberal Education at a Distance,” Global Positioning: Essential Learning, Student Success, and the Currency of U.S. Degrees, AAC&U 2011 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, January 28, 2011 (with Gret Antilla, Paul Burkhardt, Kebokile Dengu-Zvobgo, and Ed Clausen)
  • “Digital Humanities at Small Liberal Arts College:  Innovation and Integration,” Coalition for Networked Information, Project Briefing: Fall 2010 Membership Meeting, December 14, 2010.
  • “The Landscape: Engaging Today’s Students,” Invited Speaker, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, September 29, 2010
  • Collaborative Classics: Technology and the Small Liberal Arts College,” Classics@, Volume 02, 2004, Christopher Blackwell, Ross Scaife, edd.  (The Center for Hellenic Studies of Harvard University).
  • “The Associated Colleges of the South Course Delivery System.” Best Technology Practices in Higher Education. Ed. Les Lloyd, 2004.