We’ve radically re-imagined the teaching and training we do in Scholars’ Lab R&D, and today are excited to launch the Praxis Program! This is a pilot, we hope, of big things to come, and it is meant to complement our work with Graduate Fellows in Digital Humanities, a program now entering its fifth year at UVa Library.
In pilot mode, the Praxis Program will fund six University of Virginia graduate students from a variety of disciplines to apprentice with us for an academic year as we design and build Prism, a new tool for “crowd-sourced” textual analysis, visualization, and humanities interpretation. (More about that, later.)
Our goal is fairly lofty: recognizing that methodological training in the digital humanities is often absent or catch-as-catch-can at the graduate level, we are using the Praxis Program to experiment with an action-oriented curriculum live and in public, – hoping to attract local allies as well as partners in labs and centers at other institutions (which could, in future, work as nodes in a larger Praxis Program network). Above all, we want to situate our contribution to methodological training within a larger conversation about the changing demands of the humanities in a digital age.
The Praxis Program will equip knowledge workers for emerging faculty positions and alternative academic careers at a moment in which new questions can be asked and new systems built. We’ll share our evolving curriculum and our faculty, staff, and students alike will be blogging about their experience.
So watch us this year as we see what it takes to produce thoughtful DH scholars who are comfortable designing effective user experiences, writing and working with open source code, engaging broad audiences, managing teams and budgets, and theorizing their work within the rich tradition of humanities computing.