My name is Eliza Fox, and I’m a third-year PhD student in the English Department. My research focuses on the Victorian novel, along with secondary interests in children’s and young adult literature. I’m not a total newcomer to the DH world: I spent last year as a NINES Fellow, working on projects that ranged from encoding a manuscript of Prometheus Unbound to updating metadata for NINES’s vast collection of aggregated digital objects. I’ve studied databases at DHSI, and my undergraduate career included the rudiments of HTML. I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time enjoying Prism, otherwise known as the fruits of Praxis Past. (My masterpiece: Prism on Prism, in which I highlighted articles on NSA surveillance for “Uncertainty about the future” and “Fear.” Clearly, irony is my medium.)
I recognize, however, that none of this has prepared me for the whirlwind year that lies ahead. If my past experiences have allowed me to dip my toe in the DH pool, Praxis will force me to jump into the deep end and to figure out – live, in public, and in the moment – how to swim.
But, strange as it may sound, it’s a jump that I’m immensely excited to take. Despite my love/hate relationship with technology (I once nicknamed my computer Cher – short for Chernobyl), I’m perpetually intrigued by the opportunities DH offers to represent, reconsider, and reconstitute our studies. Praxis, in particular, offers the kind of full-throttle, hands-on, learning-by-doing approach that allows for a true appreciation and mastery of the field. I’ve had many friends go through this program, and I’ve watched them transform, in just a few months, from technological novices into committed DH scholars. Whatever their introductory levels of experience, they’re now designing archives, teaching coding, and project managing.
I can’t wait to join them.