“Reading Chicago Reading” Project Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced that it will fundReading Chicago Reading: Modeling Texts and Readers in a Public Library System” as part of its Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants program. This $74,271 grant will allow faculty from DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and College of Computing and Digital Media to collaborate with staff in the DePaul University Library and the Chicago Public Library to explore how readers across the City of Chicago have experienced the One Book One Chicago (OBOC) program over the past 15 years.

DePaul University has collaborated with Chicago Public Library for several years on the One Book program by hosting OBOC reading events, public lectures and panels on themes related to the One Book selection, and by offering courses tied to themes explored in One Book selections, including Fall 2015’s “Literature and Social Engagement” (ENG 378). DePaul is unique among Chicago colleges and universities in terms of the scope of its partnership with Chicago Public Library on the One Book program, and this collaborative research project will extend that partnership even further as we explore the impact on readers and reading across the metropolitan area of CPL’s pioneering One Book program.


Library staff, including Associate University Librarian Megan Bernal, co-project director for the “Reading Chicago Reading” grant, have collaborated with colleagues across the university in recent years to extend the library’s support for digital scholarship at DePaul. Bernal and fellow co-project director John Shanahan (Associate Professor, Department of English; Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences) were co-instructors for the Thomas and Carol Dammrich Faculty Innovation Award-winning course, “Literature in the Age of Intelligent Machines” (ENG 390), one of several courses in the digital humanities and data-intensive social sciences that have made use of the John T. Richardson Library’s Scholar’s Lab since it opened in Fall 2013.

DePaul University currently offers a Graduate Certificate in the Digital Humanities, as well as undergraduate programs in related fields such as New Media Studies and Data Science. These programs (and others) are supported by the DePaul University Library, and more information on digital scholarship services available to faculty through the DePaul University Library is available through your liaison librarian.

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