Professor Alison Booth, a Department of English faculty member and a preeminent scholar of digital humanities, has been appointed academic director of the University of Virginia’s Scholars’ Lab, Arts & Sciences Dean Ian Baucom and Dean of Libraries Martha Sites announced Monday.
Located in Alderman Library, the Scholars’ Lab provides students and researchers from across disciplines opportunities to partner with expert staff as they explore the digital humanities, geospatial information, and other scholarly discoveries at the intersection of digital, textual and physical worlds.
“We are resetting the director of the Scholars’ Lab to align more closely with faculty research interests” Sites said. “Professor Booth will join the College and the Library in building a digital humanities environment at UVA that will spur innovative scholarship and exciting collaborations.”
Booth has been a faculty member at the University of Virginia since 1986. In addition to digital humanities, her specialties include transatlantic Victorian studies, biography, and women’s history. Booth also directs Collective Biographies of Women (CBW), a digital project based on her book, How to Make It as a Woman: Collective Biographical History from Victoria to the Present (University of Chicago Press). With a National Endowment for the Humanities startup grant in the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), the CBW project is developing tools and visualizations for analyzing the narratives and the networks of documents that represent historical women.
Booth’s books include Greatness Engendered: George Eliot and Virginia Woolf and “Homes and Haunts: Touring Writers’ Shrines and Countries” (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2016). She is the editor of Famous Last Words: Changes in Gender and Narrative Closure, and the Longman Cultural Edition of Wuthering Heights, as well as co-editor of the Norton Introduction to Literature (10th edition).
“We are fortunate to have Alison at the helm of the Scholars’ Lab,” said Baucom. “Her leadership will forge connections and inspire the type of creative research that advances knowledge within and beyond the liberal arts.”
Booth will begin her term as director of the Scholars’ Lab immediately and will balance this appointment with her existing responsibilities in the College.
“This is a wonderful chance to refresh UVA’s pioneering role in a fast-paced field, said Booth. “The Scholars’ Lab in the Library is the right place to draw in students, fellows, and faculty for interdisciplinary collaborations across Grounds. I look forward to working with the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), Sciences, Humanities & Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI), Advanced Research Computing Service (ARCS), and all the units and leaders who have a stake in advanced computing for research and learning.”