Kunshan Digital Humanities


  • Kaley Clements, Assistant Professor of Digital Media Arts
  • Jung Choi, Assistant Professor of Art History
  • Seth Henderson, Assistant Professor of Media and Arts
  • Austin Woerner, Lecturer in Creative Writing

Project Managers

  • James Miller, Co-Director, Humanities Research Center
  • Timothy Smith, Lab Manager, Humanities Research Center

Student Co-ordinator

  • Momoko Mandere, DKU’22


The Kunshan Digital Humanities Pilot Project takes place in the 2019-2020 academic year. The project will create a prototype framework for a digital humanities archive relating to the city of Kunshan. The framework will consist of a flexible, extensible data structure and taxonomy that will enable student and faculty researchers to deposit multimedia digital recordings and original creations that at a minimum relate to, or are created within the city of Kunshan. Examples could be oral history recordings, 3D VR/AR models, artwork, photography, poetry, creative writing, and video. This data structure would be made available to faculty who are teaching classes related to the city of Kunshan that have a digital humanities component or conducting research within Kunshan, or to students who are completing signature works related to the city of Kunshan.

The pilot project engages in three related activities:

  1. Prototype a design for a data structure and taxonomy that can be used to build a Kunshan Digital Humanities Archive
  2. Recruit 20 students to create art works related to the history and culture of the city of Kunshan. This can be done in partnership with regular classes, or as extra-curricular activities involving student clubs. This will begin immediately and continue through to Chinese New Year. The students’ artworks will be deposited in the prototype Kunshan Digital Humanities Archive.
  3. Deepen students’ engagement with Chinese arts and culture through engaging with local artists, site visits to galleries and studios, and receiving training during visiting artist workshops.
  4. In the Spring we will hold an exhibition of student artworks that will be curated by a student team in partnership with the co-applicants.

The pilot project will thus serve a number of related goals.

  1. Deepen the students’ engagement with Chinese arts and culture through visits to local artistic centers
  2. Enhance capacity of students to create original artworks through workshops with local artists
  3. Develop students’ creative talents by having them create original artworks
  4. Develop students’ skills in curating art by involving them in the exhibition process.
  5. Deepen students’ knowledge of the history and culture of the Jiangnan region, with a focus on Kunshan.

At the end of the pilot project, and following the exhibition of artworks, we will assess the design of our data framework, with a view to establishing a more permanent archive to be based on the DKU campus.