praxis, through prisms

This is just a quick post to share two bits of news about our Praxis Program at the Scholars’ Lab. The first is that I’ve written an op-ed on Praxis and our Fellows’ practicum project for this year’s Digital Campus special issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The piece was originally titled “Praxis, Through Prisms” — now “A Digital Boot Camp for Grad Students in the Humanities.” It’s pay-walled, for now, but I’ll re-publish it in open access format in 30 days. [UPDATE: now available in PDF format in UVa’s institutional repository.]

prismatic badge
by Chad Hagen for The Chronicle
Check it out to learn more about the program, get a sneak peek at Prism (launching this Tuesday, which is the second newsflash! congrats, team!) and find out what I see as the great project of humanities computing / digital humanities. Spoiler: it’s “the development of a hermeneutic — a concept and practice of interpretation — parallel to that of the dominant, postwar, theory-driven humanities: a way of performing cultural and aesthetic criticism less through solitary points of view expressed in language, and more in team-based acts of building.”

Or, in other words, the kind of thing our amazing grad students and diverse crew of scholar-practitioners are working on at Praxis. Through Prism(s).

I’m incredibly proud of the UVa Library staff who have devoted so much energy to teaching and mentoring Praxis Fellows this year (Wayne Graham, Jeremy Boggs, Eric Rochester, David McClure, and Eric Johnson) — and even more proud of our first six Fellows themselves, who have built Prism independently. These are Sarah Storti, Brooke Lestock, Annie Swafford, Lindsay O’Connor, Alex Gil, and Ed Triplett. And in fact, they’ve built Prism from scratch, on time, in public (perhaps the scariest part), with great good humor, and having started with very little practical experience in digital humanities design and development. Lately, I haven’t been able to stop myself from interrupting everything in our weekly Praxis meetings to make exclamations like, “Look at you guys! Look what you can do!”

So I hope you’ll stay tuned through this week to the Scholars’ Lab blog, the Praxis site, and to our @PraxisProgram and @ScholarsLab Twitter feeds, for posts on the launch of the Prism beta, an announcement of our 2012-13 Praxis Fellows, and reflections by current Praxis grad students and the rest of the team.