Tom Scheinfeldt in Newport

Catalyzing Newport kicked off its catalyst-in-residence with Tom Scheinfeldt, PhD, during the week of June 8 – 12. Throughout the week, Scheinfeldt, a digital humanities expert, shared his experience and perspectives while also learning about Newport’s humanities community through meetings with the Catalyzing Newport Steering Committee and Local Action Team. On June 9, Scheinfeldt presented a public lecture to over 50 guests at Salve Regina University’s Ochre Court Library.

In his lecture titled “Collaboration First,” Scheinfeldt set a new framework for thinking about collaboration. He advocated for historians to consider and plan for collaboration as part of their early research and discovery process, as opposed to waiting until the end. He also discussed the importance and need for more support and incentives for cross-disciplinary collaboration as a way to enhance innovation in the humanities. This talk set the stage for his work with a local action team consisting of ten Rhode Islanders selected to work with our catalyst to devise a pilot project that supports the aims of Catalyzing Newport and would allow for lasting impact beyond the catalyst’s residency. The team created a request for proposals that will be used to entice scholars, artists, and techies to come to Newport to work across the city’s outstanding historical collections. The RFP will be shared publicly in the fall of 2015.