Deep Humanities and Arts

Deep Humanities Logo

We began interrogating these ideas of deep humanities and arts in 2018, when five different events across music, theatre, radio, film, and English, engaged the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein (Frankenstein Bicentennial Celebration 2018). This kind of thematic programming allowed students to explore the themes in the novel across many genres and allowed faculty to integrate the events into their curriculum. It also allowed radio students to produce a professional radio play, film and literature students to engage the history of the Frankenstein story, and literature and philosophy students to engage major themes in the text through a panel of faculty speakers and student posters exploring the ethics of technology development. 

The initiative has since evolved: H&A’s Deep Humanities and the Arts Initiative and Lecture Series is a series of public lectures, roundtables, and public discussions that draw upon the humanities to frame our understanding of ethical and social impacts of modern digital technologies. Recent speakers in this series have included Cordelia Fine, Margaret O’Mara, Jamie Metzel, and Tobias Rees. See posters from our 2019-2021 workshops, events, and programs below and check our our past events.

This permanent theme is tied to an SJSU institute/center in collaboration with College of Engineering and College of Business and reflects the surrounding technology industry in Silicon Valley and is part of the foundational speaker series and research of our new Digital Humanities Center.

The Deep Humanities and Arts initiative seeks to integrate the humanities and arts into the rapidly evolving world of technology. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world, SJSU is critical player in this elaborate ecosystem, providing more engineers and business school graduates to Silicon Valley companies than any other university in the nation. Why can't we do the same with artists and entertainers, teachers and philosophers, journalists and writers?

Within the College of Humanities and Arts, our students and faculty are examining issues of ethical responsibility, the power of the aesthetic, and the meaning of the "human" in a world of robots and data. Their findings help guide the trajectory of technology, ensuring these innovations and inventions are in service of the user.

Learn about the foundational ideas behind the DH+A initiative [pdf]

In response to recent events, like the 2018 Election and the COVID-19 epidemic, the Deep Humanities and Arts initiative evolved, taking on an additional approach to the intersection of humanities, arts, and technology:

How can we use technology to help the humanities and arts?

Projects like The Democracy Project, the Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities project, and SJSU Hackathon 2020 all seek to harness the power of technology in meaningful ways.

We share our explorations through our Deep Humanities and Arts events and lectures by SJSU faculty, staff, and students, as well as special guests, each experts in their fields. 

Take a look at the Deep Humanities and Arts logo pitchbook [pdf] put together by our talented H&A Marketing Team!