Domain of One’s Own, Digital Liberal Arts, and the Popular Imagination

When I saw UMW’s Faculty and Staff Newsletter (a.k.a Eagle Eye) today, the top story was about the fact that UMW was being featured in Virginia Living magazine’s 2013 Educational Supplement as one of Virginia’s innovative schools. The two things responsible for getting UMW mentioned are Domain of One’s Own and the Information Technology Convergence Center (which is coming online next year).

This is a very cool day for DTLT for a few reasons:

First, while we’ve been referenced by the Chronicle a number of times over the years for various projects, focus on the work we’re doing in Virginia Living (the state’s most popualr lifestyle magazine) suggests we’re crossing over. More than just being seen as a fringe “blog” shop, the work we’re doing is starting to impact the broader identity of UMW. We’re becoming a mecca for innovative technologies when it comes to teaching and learning around the state for the average, not-so-tech-savvy Virginian.

Secondly, it also means the projects we frame and the metaphors we use to make them at once accessible and figuratively rich are resonating more widely. This is so important because the ideas we’re trying to help people conceptualize are not necessarily intuitive. To be successful at this we have to be equal parts marketers, technologists, academics, and thinktank—and we’re all those and more ;) The work we’re doing is developing amazing faculty, empowering students for the future, and capturing a broader imagination—A-game through-and-through.

Finally, DTLT is helping UMW re-imagine itself in a generative way during a moment that more than a few schools are getting caught in the hype headlights of emerging technologies. We have a culture of high quality faculty across the disciplines experimenting with generative technologies as part and parcel of the work they do. This is not only a testament to our faculty, but it also enables UMW to start laying claim to a unique brand of the digital liberal arts. I think the digital liberal arts is ours to shape and define right now. Let’s make the future we want, rather than accept the future we deserve.

Hmmm, so maybe that’s what you get when you invest in good people over and above mediocre technologies. Interesting…..

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