My First Praxis Post (for lack of a better title)

Internet introductions are by far the weirdest introductions because you have no idea who is reading what you’re writing. For all I know people I went to high-school with will find me here blogging about the Digital Humanities, or a future employer, more likely it will be my mother and grandmother. So here goes internet…don’t let me down…and hi Mom!

I’m Cecilia Márquez. I’m have a BA from Swarthmore College in Black Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Now I’m a second year PhD student in the History Department here at UVA. My work is mostly focused on African American History, Labor History and Latino History.

My interest in Praxis came as a shock to most people who know me. I have a serious aversion to most technology and an even bigger aversion to being confused. So a program that focused on embracing and challenging my ignorance of technology felt a little like a leap into the belly of the beast. I am happy to report that after three meetings I have not felt the desire to run for the door or throw my computer at the wall.

At our first Praxis Team meeting–aside from me laughing nervously at all of the programming jokes I didn’t understand–we talked about our charter. The conversation made me think more about how my values influenced my interest in the Digital Humanities.

I believe in the importance of working collectively. Although I often stumble doing this effectively I believe that working in community will always be better than the solitary experience of the library basement. On a related point I have to laugh all the time, especially when I’m working, and especially when what I’m working on is incredibly hard. I always want to bring a sense of humor to the work I do and so far the Praxis team has not come up short on good humor. I’m committed to the democratization of knowledge–both historical knowledge and technological knowledge. This is obviously central to the work of the Digital Humanities.

The next time I blog I will have gotten through HTML/CSS training… hopefully me and my computer emerge unscathed.

2 Comments

  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’m all for trying new things, but I suspect this drink will have too much sugar and too little caffeine to replace diet coke as the drink of choice for most Mormons.

  2. Perhaps we should add a “Don’t lose your sense of humor” line to our charter? Or, in the spirit of “stay positive” perhaps “Cultivate a reliable sense of humor that you can turn to in moments of difficulty.”

    Or perhaps “Laugh at/with/for each other/ourselves.”

    BTW… here’s a programming joke that requires no knowledge of programming. How many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb? (None: It’s a hardware problem.)

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