Digital Arts and Humanities Program Flourishing at Manhattan College

Maeve Adams, Ph.D., and Adam Arenson, Ph.D., are helping other faculty members. develop their own digital humanities programs.

Campus in springtimeDuring the 2021-22 academic year, the Digital Ethnic Futures Consortium (DEFCon), with funding from the Mellon Foundation, awarded 30 Teaching Fellowships to support the development of coursework at the intersections of ethnic studies and digital humanities. 

Maeve Adams, Ph.D., director of the Digital Arts and Humanities (DAsH) program and an associate professor of English at Manhattan College, and Adam Arenson, Ph.D., professor of history, are serving as mentors to Dellyssa Edinboro, Ph.D., and Christina I. Acosta, M.A., two DEFCON Teaching Fellows.

Manhattan College’s Digital Arts and Humanities (DAsH) program has grown since it officially became a minor at the start of the 2019-20 academic year. The national consortium’s choice of Adams and Arenson to be mentors is a reflection of the success of Manhattan College’s program.

“We now run an average of 50-60 courses per semester that count for the DAsH minor,” Adams said. “This curricular growth was not automatic, but rather the product of ongoing and purposeful collaboration. We have recruited faculty from every school in the college to transform courses, blending digital and humanistic approaches with other traditional disciplinary methods that will serve our students on campus and long after.” 

Adams also cited the support of the Provost's office as instrumental in allowing DAsH to run a faculty development seminar that aided this curricular innovation. In less than three years, more than 25 students have already graduated with or declared a DAsH minor. 

Externally, the founding of the DAsH program helped attract the attention of the NYC Media Lab (, with which Adams and then-Provost William Clyde brokered a partnership agreement, making Manhattan College the first liberal arts college to join their roster of esteemed academic partners, among them New York University, Columbia University, The New School, CUNY, School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute. 

NYC Media Lab's RLab focuses on augmented- and virtual-reality technologies. It also appointed Adams to its faculty board, opening up further opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate on research and entrepreneurial ventures.

By Pete McHugh