Praxis Charter, 2017-2018
As an increasingly connected and global society, it is paramount that we are able to translate ideas and concepts across diverse audiences. Digital technologies enable us to transform content in many different forms, making it accessible to broader audiences in experimental and playful ways that go beyond the boundaries of verbal discourse. Praxis offers us a unique opportunity both to gain valuable experience in this area and to model such interconnectivity and collaboration. As such, not only do we hope to increase our working knowledge of other disciplines by learning from our fellow Praxis members, but we are looking forward to exploring the potentials of digital technologies; in so doing, we expect to challenge our ideas and presuppositions. Put more simply, we will not be afraid to modify or combine our ideas with those of other members of our team (Praxis and Scholars’ Lab), or even discard them altogether. We hope to create a useful tool, data set, or device, and we will enthusiastically work toward the realization of an experimental and innovative concept. We hope that, once publicly released, our final product/project will grow laterally and gain a life of its own as other scholars couple it with other devices or processes. We are committed to making our project openly available to users and makers at UVa and beyond, locally and globally, in academia and the public in general. In so doing, we seek to consider deeply the transformative possibilities and consequences of our work.
- Honesty and open communication
- Respect and humility: Check your ego and personal agenda at the door
- Practice of non-violence: avoid confrontation, aggressivity and retaliation
- Treat each other fairly and respect one another’s diverse views and opinions
- Flexibility and willingness to compromise with a smile
- Accountability – of oneself and one’s peers
- Interdisciplinary collaboration that takes into account individual strengths
- Accessibility – both in the making of our project and the material resources we use
- Transparency with our process and our work within the public sphere
- Questioning the ethos of our data sets
- The creation of a participatory democracy
- A friendly, playful, and intellectually-inquisitive environment
As part of a team, we recognize that our ideas are subject to revision. No team member should be afraid to share his or her ideas; similarly, however, team members should expect their ideas to be open to debate, alteration, and possibly even rejection.
While we will always try to meet in person, we will make our best effort to include any absent members via video conference.
We recognize that not all of our team members live close to Grounds. As such, we pledge to be thoughtful of those who commute from a different city by giving them at least a two-day prior notice of meeting times and dates.
Although we don’t anticipate conflict, where discussion and compromise fail, we will seek resolution by appointing someone from the Scholars’ Lab to help resolve the issue.
Accreditation and Project Administration
We will give credit where credit is due. Nonetheless, we recognize credit as broadly conceived, particularly given the collaborative nature of our project. While we may all contribute different kinds of labor, we understand that no kind of labor is more valuable than any other.
Echoing the Charter outlined by our predecessors (namely, the 2013-2014 Praxis team), we state: “We understand that we all have a vested interest in the success of the program, and each according to his or her skills will be an active participant, contributing time and creative direction. Therefore, we should all receive credit as equal partners in the program. That said, we posit two types of credit: credit attached to the project as a whole and credit claimed for individual contributions. Our shared web site should always list general credit in alphabetical order to emphasize the non-hierarchical ethos of the program. Whenever a member of the Praxis Program references the work to the outside community, the project as a whole should be credited to all members. Individual contributions may also be claimed where appropriate.” (See http://praxis.scholarslab.org/charter/charter-2013-2014/)
Stewardship by the Scholars’ Lab
Scholars’ Lab faculty and staff are equal members of the Praxis Program team, taking an active role in decisions. They also act as teachers and coordinators. As such, the Scholars’ Lab will help to maintain our final project after the fellowship is over. The team as a whole will work together to realize the level of preservation that we want for our project. (See http://praxis.scholarslab.org/charter/charter-2013-2014/)
This charter is a working document open to future revision. Group dynamics and projects evolve over time, and we expect that this charter will evolve with us.