Designing a lab in the humanities

Posted on February 28th, 2017

Fritz Breithaupt, a professor of Germanic studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, looks at a way to make the humanities more relevant and applicable for students. Breithaupt developed the Experimental Humanities Lab, which he built to study narratives and how to improve learning and human interactions. He originally created the lab to give one student the opportunity to try hands-on experimentation. As more students began participating, Breithaupt saw it as a way for students to explore and contribute to the field. Breithaupt points out that with the limitations of the traditional classroom, it is important to inspire undergraduates and give them meaningful challenges. “The goal of our Experimental Humanities Lab is not to imitate the sciences, but to reclaim what the humanities have always done: Ask questions, observe, question our world, and, yes, experiment and gather data,” he said.