Launching the REL Digital Lab

Aug 17, 2021 • Jeri Wieringa

Two desktop computers in front of window
Audio Recording equipment in front of bookcases with display in the background


With the start of the Fall 2021 term, we are please to announce the official launch the new REL Digital Lab in Presidents Hall 200-A!

The Lab, which was our department library, has been transformed over the summer to include a range of technologies, including computers, audio recording equipment, and a new high definition display. You can see the full list of available technologies on the RELdl website. The RELdl brings together old and new technologies for creating and disseminating scholarship, and provides a central hub for the digital activities of the Department of Religious Studies .

In addition to the physical space in Presidents Hall 200-A, the new REL digital lab also exists virtually on the Lab website, the REL Digital Lab on Github, and the Religion in Culture MA Workspace on Slack.

Our goal with these spaces is to facilitate faculty and student engagement with digital tools and methods in research and teaching, as well as to provide a platform for collaboration on new digital projects. The RELdl is focused on helping faculty start new digital research, connect to resources around campus, and develop new skills. As projects develop, the RELdl provides a shared space for news and information about the digital activity of the department. Additionally, the lab is focused on developing new digital humanities projects that support the department’s focus on the study of Religion in Culture, starting with the creation of a “data hub” for computable data suitable for the study of culture and identity.

Due to the COVID situation and the size of the lab, use of the physical space for the fall semester will limited to reservations only. We hope to have open Lab hours for more informal gathering and collaboration in the near future.

We are planning a number of activities for the 2021-2022 year, including “brownbags” and workshops to highlight the range of scholarship taking place under the umbrella of “digital humanities” and to introduce the different tools available through the Lab. Follow this space and REL on Twitter for more information.

We are excited to launch this space to bring together the excellent digital scholarship already being done in the Department of Religious Studies and to build on that tradition to tackle new digital projects in the future. We hope you join us for the adventure.