The Department of History and Cultures of Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, a longstanding member of IDEA, has been awarded the full funding for the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Higher Education project Bridging the <gap> in Ancient Writing Cultures: ENhance COmpetences in the Digital Era (ENCODE).

ENCODE is a three-year (September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2023) project funded with support from the European Union, aimed at bridging the existing gap in the teaching/learning domain of ancient writing cultures between the peculiar humanistic training and the now essential digital competences required for study, research and employment. It brings together six partners: Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Julius Maximilian Universität Würzburg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Università degli studi di Parma, Universität Hamburg, Universitetet I Oslo. Some outstanding associated partners in the field of digital humanities and epigraphy joined the project, including IDEA.

ENCODE set three objectives: to promote collaborative, participatory and intercultural digital approaches to ancient written heritage through new professional profiles and focused training of skilled graduates; to strengthen the crucial cooperation between higher education and cultural heritage institutions supplying materials for teaching and self-training to academics and providing stakeholders with support services; to meet learning needs of graduates in the field of highly specialized digital skills applied to the study of ancient writing media in old European, Asian and African languages through innovative teaching modules.

ENCODE aims at the following results.

  1. A shared definition of needed digital competences of graduate students in the programmes focusing on written cultural heritage.
  2. Design and test of innovative and customizable teaching modules, basic and advanced, improving participatory and intercultural approaches to heritage as well as educational initiatives aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue.
  3. A full guide to the teaching modules, including a MOOC, that will enhance the importance of innovative digital training and digital applications, including AI, in the academic and professional environment.
  4. A platform for alumni community and stakeholders/employers. The Platform will help in assuring a constant and dynamic contact among different actors: employers, institutions concerned with digital curation (libraries, museums, publishers), professionals active in Museums and Libraries, alumni, prospective students who want to start their studies in the area of ancient history, languages and cultures, academics who design curricula and training modules, so to assure a constant updating of the competences description, the design of related training modules and its implementation.

The first ENCODE event will take place in Bologna and online platform from January 25th-29th, 2021 and will focus on Digital Greek and Latin Epigraphy. More information on the conference (January 25th, 2021) and on the workshop (January 26th-29th, 2021), with related registration and application forms, may be found here.