Praxis 2016-2017 Charter


We each came to Praxis with specific wishes & hopes:

SARAH: “During the Praxis 2016/17 fellowship I hope to learn about key concepts in the digital humanities, and to enhance my skill set in a collaborative environment. It is my goal to learn more about tools and methodologies in this field, while working together with colleagues from other departments and learning about different areas of the humanities.”

JORDAN: “My goal for Praxis is to make something that will be accessible and useful. I want our design choices to reflect our diverse theoretical insights as much as what we’ve learned about web design. I hope to expand my understanding of what the digital humanities has to offer the academy between and among disciplines, and to learn to manage and implement a large-scale team project. Finally, I hope to work towards a project that will sustain and reward continued development after the conclusion of the fellowship.”

ALICIA: “My goal for Praxis is to promote an academic environment that takes the issue of imposter syndrome head on. The Chronicle of Higher Ed and other academia-centered media outlets discuss imposter syndrome ad nauseam, and yet the subject is completely ignored on the ground in everyday life in the university. I hope to have this be a conversation that we have throughout the semester as we learn to collaborate with other academics on a joint project. The dream would be to take these lessons and experiences back to our departments, and open up dialogues with our peers, students, and advisors and begin to change academic culture from within.”

JOSEPH: “I have three main goals for my time in Praxis. First, I want to learn how to be transparent and collaborative with my work. This means being honest about my learning process and open to teamwork. Second, I want to learn how to use interdisciplinary skills in ways that engage with audiences outside of academia. The ability to reach a wide public audience offers one of the most exciting features about the digital humanities. Last, I hope Praxis will offer a fun and relaxed space to do this work, and I hope to contribute to that at all times.”

ALYSSA: “My myriad goals for Praxis might be boiled down to three “actions”:

JUSTIN: “I hope Praxis 2016/17 contributes to a vision of a more extroverted academy. As we develop a tool for the digital humanities, I hope we will also consider how our practice resonates with current events, reach audiences beyond the university, and look for ways to take action in the public sphere.”

We also share common goals:

Some of them relate to things that will happen along the way. Others concern the final product, or the DH tool we will create and present at the end of the 2016/17 school year.

Core Values

We will…

fight imposter syndrome

declare ourselves digital humanists!

kill the ego

be honest about our inadequacies and strengths

take advantage of individual skill sets

learn to be better collaborators

work against the isolationism of advanced PhD work

show enthusiasm

actualize our ideas as a tool


We will…

have fun, be witty, show good humor, and enjoy our time together maintain a playful tone

be sharing, open, and admiring

be optimistic and trusting (not embargoed, secretive, jealous, or anxious)

avoid a preoccupation with professional development

avoid shaming or blaming other group members

find common ground through our aspiration to be a real/ digital/ virtual/ imagined community

learn from members in other disciplines

question existing beliefs about perceived similarities or differences between our fields

be open to new ideas

document “the refuse heap” as well as ideas we develop further be transparent

Along the Way…

We will…

make social media the foundation of our virtual Praxis community

use Slack as much as possible. Alicia: “THE ICE IS BROKEN!”

use Twitter to interact, observe, and make new connections

engage with DHers at UVa and beyond

meet for weekly “Praxis office hours”

spend impromptu time in the graduate lounge

be social with one another

have a potluck once a month

invite outside voices to come and speak


We will…

put everyone’s name on our final project

make it clear, in casual and professional conversation, that Praxis is a group fellowship

mini-projects, blog-based experiments, and particular tools will be considered individual group member’s intellectual property


We will…

learn a variety of skills (i.e., Git, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS)

learn about existing tools in the digital humanities (i.e., Neatline, GIS, and Voyant)

learn about the history of the digital humanities at UVa

learn about the digital humanities, as a whole

embrace social media platforms that encourage scholarly interaction and sharing: TWITTER!

be informed, plugged in, and extroverted when it comes to meeting new people!

start local—get to know the DH community at UVa

expand our scope—attend and participate in a DH conference


We will…

use Twitter and Instagram to promote events

forward emails from Praxis and the Scholars’ Lab to our departmental listservs

We want to be Prolific

We will…

avoid prolonged navel gazing

show a commitment to blogging and post twice a month

document our growth in writing (via Slack, blogging, and personal notes)

The Final Product

We will…

be pragmatic

design a tool that is shiny (translation: attractive)

make a tool that is attractive to an audience that isn’t compelled to use it

build, finish, and present (even if it’s not perfect)