I am thrilled to announce yet more delightful news: Amanda Visconti will join the Library as Managing Director of the Scholars’ Lab. We had terrific contenders for this position, and Amanda won us over! She brings a high level of qualities seldom found in one person: intellectual commitments and depth, knowledge, and training in humanities; versatile and robust technical skills and experience collaborating on advanced digital research; immersion in the library world of information, teaching, service, and research; gifts in creative community building, especially through social media; imagination, integrity, and effective management. She already practices the ethics and aims of our Charter, and will be a delightful co-director as DH@ UVA is developed into more coordinated collaboration across schools and entities, and into a curriculum with a certificate.
Amanda wrote the first entirely-digital dissertation in literary humanities: Infinite Ulysses, which could be described as crowd-sourced annotation-as-usability-testing. The process of building it, and its ongoing participatory development, have made it a model both in Modernist and Joyce studies and in DH: award-winning, widely reviewed, with tens of thousands of users. She has been assistant professor (tenure track) and digital humanities specialist librarian in the Libraries and Information Science Department, Purdue University. She is much in demand as a speaker and contributor to DH publications. Recently, she launched the influential Digital Humanities Slack (TinyUrl.com/DHSlack). Having earned the M.S. In Information, DH, and HCI at the University of Michigan, she earned her doctorate working with John Unsworth’s former advisee, Professor Matt Kirschenbaum, and others at the University of Maryland. Just as our collaboration with Washington and Lee is ongoing, we look forward to formalizing regular interactions with MITH and other regional groups such as Roy Rosenzweig CHNM at George Mason, University of Richmond, and elsewhere, with Amanda’s leadership. Happily, Amanda is prepared to guide the Scholars’ Lab’s agenda well beyond literary DH (see my recent post on the SLAB blog about how spatial we are). She is looking forward, as well, to advancing our programs and projects related to social justice, diversity, and accessibility.
Please help us welcome Amanda to the Scholars’ Lab and Library! She will certainly be on Grounds by May 1 (we’re hoping to see her sooner). Communication is one of her fortes, as we’re already in good contact on Slack and other ways.