Featured Panelists and Moderators

Visualizing the Digital: Design, Ideas and Platforms
March 26, 2013

Edward L. AyersEdward L. Ayers (panelist)—Edward L. Ayers has been president of the University of Richmond since 2007. Dr. Ayers is a noted historian and the author of 10 books on the American South. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492 for “In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America.” His book “The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction” was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Ayers’ digital archive project, The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, has been used in thousands of classrooms around the world, and he works closely with the Digital Scholarship Lab at UR on a digital atlas of American history, funded by a large grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Ayers is also a co-host of BackStory, a nationally syndicated radio show that ties history to the present day. Dr. Ayers is an accomplished teacher. In 2003 he was awarded the National Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and he annually teaches an undergraduate seminar for first-year students.

Amanda FrenchAmanda French (panelist)—Amanda French is currently research assistant professor and THATCamp coordinator at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Previously, as an assistant research scholar in the Archives and Public History program at New York University, she helped develop a model curriculum emphasizing digital skills and developed and taught the graduate course Creating Digital History. Before that, she taught at North Carolina State University on Victorian literature and academic research methods for the digital age.

Roy D. McKelveyRoy D. McKelvey (moderator)—With more than 30 years of experience in interaction and visual interface design, Roy D. McKelvey has been active as a researcher, educator and designer of interactive media and websites. He has authored a book on website design entitled “Hypergraphics,” published by Rotovision, and has co-edited, co-written and art-directed a book on digital typeface history and design titled “Revival of the Fittest: Digital Versions of Classic Typefaces” for RC publications, a subsidiary of Print magazine. Prof. McKelvey also served as Director of VCU’s MFA program in Visual Communication from 2004 to 2010.

Emily SmithEmily Smith (panelist)—Emily Smith is the executive director of 1708 Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art space in Richmond, VA.1708 Gallery organizes 6 to 8 exhibitions per year, including InLight Richmond, its one-night public exhibition of light-based art and performance. Prior to that she was the curatorial fellow in modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, from March 2007 through September 2010. Projects at VMFA include the exhibitions The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection of German Expressionist Art; Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris; and Labor and Leisure: Works by African American Artists in the VMFA Permanent Collections. Prior to VMFA, she was director of exhibitions at Piedmont Arts in Martinsville, VA (2004-2007), and the Assistant Director at Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA (2003-2004). Smith was an adjunct faculty member in art history at Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville, and was a critic for a Charlottesville weekly paper. Smith received a MA in art history from the University of Virginia in 2002.

Crafting Content: Creation, Scholarship and Organization
April 25, 2013

Joshua EckhardtJoshua Eckhardt (moderator)—Joshua Eckhardt is an associate professor and the director of the MA program in English at VCU; the author of “Manuscript Verse Collectors” (Oxford, 2009); an assistant textual editor for “The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne” (Indiana); and a founding, general co-editor of British Virginia, VCU’s pilot program in digital publishing.

Ben Fino-RadinBen Fino-Radin (panelist)—Ben Fino-Radin is a New York-based media archaeologist, and conservator of born-digital or computer-based works of contemporary art. At Rhizome, he leads the preservation and curation of the ArtBase, one of the oldest and most comprehensive collections of born-digital works of art. He is also in practice in the conservation department of the Museum of Modern Art, managing the development of a digital conservation repository and contributing to born-digital conservation initiatives.

Francesca FioraniFrancesca Fiorani (panelist)—Francesca Fiorani, associate professor of art history at the University of Virginia, is an expert on the relationship between art and science in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. The author of “The Marvel of Maps: Art, Cartography and Politics in Renaissance Italy” (Yale University Press, 2005), she has written extensively on the representation of space, cartography, mapping and art theory. The director of the digital archive Leonardo da Vinci and His Treatise on Painting, in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities, she is currently completing a book on Leonardo da Vinci’s shadows considered from the point of view of artistic practice, optics, philosophy and culture.

Michael Poston (panelist)—Michael Poston is the database applications associate at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Notable work includes Folger Digital Texts and the Shakespeare Quartos Archive. He has developed and designed numerous digital projects for the Folger, including scholarly resources like the Union First Line Manuscript Index, PLRE.Folger (Private Libraries in Renaissance England), a paleography transcription and collation site called Dromio, a tool for teaching the history of the book called Impos[i]tor and digital displays for Folger Exhibitions.

Funding Innovation: Avenues, Resources and Support for Projects
May 2, 2013

David HollandDavid Holland (panelist)—David Holland is the research and entrepreneurship specialist in the School of the Arts at VCU. In this capacity, he works with faculty and administrators in the School to facilitate the planning and development of faculty research projects, to manage the School’s support of faculty and student research, to identify sources of external funding to expand research within VCUarts and to encourage the development of commercial projects and an entrepreneurial culture across the School. David was formerly a development director with local arts non-profit ART 180. Prior to this, he lived and worked in London, England, for 8 years, where his experience included management and consulting appointments with B3 Media, a media arts organization; Arts & Business; the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA); and BOP Consulting, a management consulting firm specializing in the arts, cultural and media fields.

Jessica VenableJessica Venable (panelist)—Jessica Venable is the grant and research analyst in the Office of the Vice President for Research at VCU. In this capacity, she provides support to individual faculty in developing competitive research projects, collaborations and proposals for extramural funding from government and private sponsors. These duties include providing guidance and training to strengthen research development; providing grant search services and assistance analyzing grant opportunities; giving one-to-one grant writing assistance and editing; and analyzing the funding environment.

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