The Praxis Program is a project of the Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia Library. In its first two pilot years (2011-2013), it is generously funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Scholarly Communication Institute.
Praxis is a radical re-imagining of the annual teaching and training we offer in the Scholars' Lab, and is is meant to complement our work with Graduate Fellows in Digital Humanities, a program shortly entering its sixth year at UVa Library.
The Praxis Program funds a team of six University of Virginia graduate students from a variety of disciplines to apprentice with us each academic year. Under the guidance of Scholars' Lab faculty and staff, they are designing and building Prism, a new tool for "crowd-sourcing" textual analysis, visualization, and humanities interpretation.
But Prism is not the goal.
Recognizing that up-to-date methodological training is often absent or catch-as-catch-can for humanities graduate students, we are using these two pilot years of the Praxis Program to experiment with an action-oriented curriculum live and in public.
We hope to attract partners in labs and centers at other institutions as well as local supporters, and to situate our contribution in a larger conversation about the changing demands of the humanities in a digital age. To that end, and with the support of the Scholarly Communication Institute, we are forging an international Praxis Network, of model programs taking different approaches to the problem of methodological training in the humanities.
The Praxis Program aims to 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 share our evolving curriculum and our staff and students alike are blogging about their experience.
We invite you to follow our work together (always in progress), as we see what it takes to produce thoughtful digital humanities scholars — scholars 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.