Flanagan Awarded ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship

Mary Flanagan (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) recently awarded Professor of Film and Media Studies Mary Flanagan a 2010 ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship for her project, “Interfacing the Archive: Developing a Participatory Model For Archival Records and Research.”

“During the fellowship time, I'll be investigating how we can use online game systems to access and augment metadata for archival media -- images, films, and audio,” says Flanagan, who was named the inaugural holder of the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Digital Humanities in September 2008 and oversees the Tiltfactor Laboratory. “In particular I'll be researching how to design the systems in order to affect the input of experts and protect or improve expert know-how. Motivation to participate in crowdsourcing is also a focus.”

Flanagan, who last fall was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a game prototype for tagging archival data, is one of five ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship recipients. The digital innovation fellowship program began in 2006 and supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. Projects may include the development of digital tools; research that depends on or is greatly enhanced by the use of such tools; and research that is represented using such tools.

ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of 70 national scholarly organizations, was founded in 1919. Its mission is “the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies.” Awarding peer-reviewed fellowships is central to its work. Since 1957, more than 9,200 scholars have held ACLS fellowships and grants. In 2010, awards totaling over $15 million were made to more than 380 U.S.-based and international scholars.