Well, That Didn’t Work.… Failure as Learning Process

Proposed Talk Session:

Is there room for failure in digital humanities? Of course! But most people don’t advertise their failures. This proposed talk session provides an opportunity for a community of fellow travelers to share turning points that could not be foreseen, paths taken and then retraced, and dead ends that resulted after promises of success.

We learn from failure. We can gain resilience, perspective, and capacity by attempting what we have not done before. But not every failed project teaches great lessons. Introducing a collegial space for contemplation in project planning, operations, and evaluation can help.

The conversation could be structured by looking at several ways of contextualizing the social meanings of undertaking projects. How does failure (or fear of it) affect relationships, relate to resource allocation decisions, reflect or shape perspectives, or testify to the power of ego?

Suggested quotes for starting the discussion:

  • “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” (Alexander Pope)
  • “You break it, you own it.” (Colin Powell)
  • “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” (Ellen DeGeneres)
  • “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” (Sophocles)
Categories: Funding, Project Management, Session Proposals, Session: Talk, Teaching, Uncategorized |