Here’s the short version: Computing humanist/humane computationalist since 1996. Director of Digital Research & Scholarship at the University of Virginia Library and Special Advisor to the Provost at UVa. President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, and chair of both the UVa General Faculty Council and the Modern Language Association‘s Committee on Information Technology. Associate Director of the Scholarly Communication Institute. Recent Chronicle of Higher Ed “Ten Tech Innovators” profile says: “Bethany Nowviskie likes to build things.” Mother of two; tinkerer; not that kind of doctor.
And here’s the long version:
At the University of Virginia, where I serve as the Library’s director of Digital Research & Scholarship, I am a member of our dean’s Strategic Leadership Team and advise the office of the Provost on issues relating to digital humanities. In the Library, I have direct oversight of the Scholars’ Lab. The SLab focuses on digital humanities, spatial and statistical analysis across the disciplines, and experimental and ludic scholarly methods at the intersection of our digital and material worlds, featuring vibrant intellectual programming, and dedicated fellowships and Praxis Program internship opportunities for graduate students. My department also includes a “Digital Scholarship R&D” unit, headed by Wayne Graham, providing consultation, software development, and infrastructure support for the digital humanities.
The Scholarly Communication Institute is a Mellon-funded initiative that brings together leaders in higher education, cultural heritage institutions, and academic publishing to explore new possibilities for scholarly communication in the digital age. As Associate Director, I guide initiatives related to graduate education reform, the expansion of “alternative academic careers” (about which I edit an open-access publication, “#Alt-Academy“), and the Scholars’ Lab-initiated, new Praxis Network.
In addition to leading the ACH as its President, I am a steering committee member for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), centerNet (the international organization of digital humanities centers) and MediaCommons, and I’m the current chair of the MLA‘s Committee on Information Technology. I also serve on the steering or advisory boards of a small number of digital centers and initiatives. At UVa, I am the chair of the General Faculty Council (2013-14) and an ex officio member of the Faculty Senate’s executive committee.
My scholarly research interests lie in the intersection of algorithmic or procedural method and traditional humanities interpretation. Among my recent grant-funded projects (supported by the NEH, IMLS, and Library of Congress) are the Speaking in Code summit, the Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship, and Neatline: Facilitating Geospatial and Temporal Interpretation of Archival Collections.
My doctorate is in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia, where I have taught courses in writing, poetry, bibliography, and new media aesthetics and design. Among my more notable digital projects, through IATH and UVA’s SpecLab, are the Rossetti Archive (for which I served as Jerome McGann’s project manager and design editor) and Temporal Modelling, in collaboration with Johanna Drucker. From 2004-2007, as a postdoctoral fellow and later a member of UVA’s research faculty, I developed software and social systems for NINES, the “networked infrastructure for nineteenth-century electronic scholarship.” These included Collex, Juxta, and the Ivanhoe Game. I served as Senior Advisor and an executive council member of NINES from 2007-2012.
In my spare time, I am completing a print and digital scholarly edition of A.C. Swinburne’s 1866 Poems and Ballads, and beginning a project related to the role of “alt-ac” scholar-practitioners in university governance at a moment of generational and structural shift. Other publications and invited talks can be found on my CV.
And among my better works in progress are two next-gen models / disruptive technologies — a girl and a boy, ages six and ten.