Digital project opportunities available through Tracing Race initiative


tracing race

Katelyn Squiers

The Iowa State Digital Scholarship and Initiatives (DSI) department is seeking proposals for digital projects for their Tracing Race at Iowa State initiative. 

“The Tracing Race at ISU initiative is an ongoing program to facilitate, support and encourage digital scholarship that really digs into the history of ISU and examines questions of race, racism and activism on campus,” said digital scholarship librarian Erin Ridnour. 

Each project will be evaluated by a board composed of eight individuals from a variety of campus departments. The deadline for project submissions is Nov. 24. 

“We have three project values that we like every proposal to address in their projects,” Ridnour  said. “So those are inclusivity, transparency and intersectionality.”

It is important for each proposal to include these values, but the way these values are portrayed in the final project is open to interpretation.

“It can be anything from a more traditional blog format to something really experimental,” Ridnour said. “It’s really up to the imagination of the proposer.”

Those who would like to submit a proposal but are unsure of where to begin are invited to reach out to Ridnour or other digital scholarship members to discuss ideas.

“Before you submit a proposal we can recommend platforms, and we can recommend ways to scope your project, so it’s manageable within a semester,” Ridnour said. “We want you to have a successful proposal, and we want to help develop your project into something that’s going to be really cool.” 

People with accepted projects will be notified in December and they may begin working in January or February. Most projects are expected to be completed by the end of spring semester. 

“If people think that their project will require more than one term to complete, they can justify that in their proposal and we’ll consider that,” Ridnour said. “But for the most part, it is expected that projects will take a semester.”

When all of the projects are completed, they will be available for public viewing on a website provided by the DSI department. Project leads will also be asked to present their project in some format. 

“Whether that be a virtual presentation here in the library, or whether that’s at ISCORE, or you know some other venue on campus, we like to have a public presentation,” Ridnour said. 

The first request for project proposals occurred in spring 2021, which means the first round of completed projects will be presented this winter. The current request for project proposals will eventually make up the second round of completed projects. 

“The intent is that this is ongoing,” Ridnour said. “That this will be a call for proposals once a semester, and we’ll just continue to build on these projects and eventually, hopefully, we’ll have this large collection of projects with a bunch of different perspectives.”

Applications and additional information can be found on the Digital Scholarship and Initiatives website here.