Digital Culture, Learning, & Advocacy

Digital Culture, Learning, & Advocacy


Professor and student presenting findings in digital culture

Plan of Study: 2019-20 Plan of Study
*Note: The DCLA concentration is only available  at the STORRS campus.


Marked by its commitment to openness, collaboration, transdisciplinarity, and experimentation,  Digital Culture, Learning, & Advocacy (DCLA) is for students who want their work in digital media and design to make a difference in society.  Students in this concentration develop depth of skill in the digital media area of their choice while also gaining practical and theoretical grounding in a humanities discipline or allied field relevant to their post-college interests. From history, anthropology, music, and human development and family studies to human rights, journalism, learning sciences, and more, the varied courses of study available at UConn empower DCLA students to develop a strategic research and career focus. DCLA students envision themselves using their digital media talents in libraries, museums, and the public arena.

Beyond UConn-DMD, those working in digital culture, learning, and advocacy fields are a global community of practice, tied together by social media and humanistic values. Work ranges from democratizing access to cultural heritage, to building tools for scholarly research, to textual and spatial analysis, to experiments in scholarly communication.

Through its teaching and research, the Digital Media & Design Department is advancing the state of the art in digital humanities. Our approach to both teaching and research is interdisciplinary, inclusive, collaborative, and practical. We build things – apps, websites, software, and more – that people use. For students, this means working alongside faculty and other researchers to gain the critical perspectives, skills, and hands-on-experience that making things for real-world use requires. Introductory courses provide a foundation in the history of digital cultures and the evolving nature of digital humanities. Upper-level and graduate seminars foster advanced exploration in Digital Culture, Learning, & Advocacy, covering such areas as open source cultures and cultural heritage. Practicums place students on teams with faculty and staff to contribute to ongoing grant-funded research projects and advance new ones. Current research includes work in digital cultural heritage and public history; museum and library technology; design for game-based learning; academic entrepreneurship and innovation; and scholarly communication.

UConn’s Digital Humanities community of practice extends from its core within the Digital Media & Design Department to encompass collaborations with faculty and colleagues throughout, and beyond, the university. As this network of innovation expands, so do UConn’s contributions to international Digital Humanities.

DCLA majors are mentored in the selection of a focus in the humanities to accent their studies in the BA in Digital Media & Design with a DCLA concentration.


History of Digital Culture

DMD 2010

Key episodes in the history of digital technology and digital media; values and norms that adhere to digital culture.

Introduction to Digital Humanities

DMD 2610

Application of digital technology and media to such subjects as art history, classics, cultural and area studies, history, languages, literature, music, and philosophy. A broad survey of the landscape of international and interdisciplinary digital humanities through the lens of ongoing work of faculty and staff researchers at the University of Connecticut.

Critical Perspectives on Digital Media

DMD 3010

Critical thinking and writing about digital media objects, contexts, and “texts,” and how these participate in the social construction of human identities and belonging.

Collaborating with Cultural Organizations

DMD 3620

Exploration of the roles that current and emerging digital media technologies play in museums, archives, and other cultural organizations' public engagements. Partner collaborations are grounded in a critical review of history, theory, and contemporary practice. Integrated service learning component. Some class sessions held at collaborating institutions on campus.