An interview with Bethany Nowviskie of the University of Virginia

The Chronicle of Higher Education published this article today.

Devising New Roles for Scholars Who Can Code

THE INNOVATOR: Bethany Nowviskie, U. of Virginia
THE BIG IDEA: Collaborative, technology-enabled projects can enliven the digital humanities.

“It was pretty easy to see we were on the brink of a massive transformation of our collective archive, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Ms. Nowviskie recalls. For her, the most exciting thing about graduate school was the chance to create “concrete manifestations of the learning we were doing,” and to do that in a collaborative environment where people wanted to build tools as well as study texts. She calls this “translational” work—bridging the gaps between scholars, technology experts, and so-called alternative-academic workers whose jobs don’t follow traditional university trajectories—and it drives much of what Ms. Nowviskie does.

Now director of digital research and scholarship at the University of Virginia Library, Ms. Nowviskie has become a driving force in digital humanities. At the library-based Scholars Lab, she brings together teams of researchers and programmers to work on collaborative, tech-enabled scholarly projects.


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