New Murthy Digital Scholarship Fellow: Sandra Luksic

This spring the Duke Libraries welcome the latest Harsha Murthy Fellow in Digital Scholarship, Sandra Luksic. As a member of the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services team and working closely with ScholarWorks: A Center for Scholarly Publishing at Duke University Libraries,  Sandra will be helping to raise the visibility of programs, services, and resources that support open and innovative forms of digital research, publishing, and pedagogy. The Harsha Murthy Fellow in Digital Scholarship is a position created with funding from Harsha Murthy (T‘81), a longtime member of our Library Advisory Board. The Murthy Fellow helps to raise awareness of and engagement in digital scholarship at Duke, primarily by promoting activities and programs in the Murthy Digital Studio in The Edge.

Located on the western corner of The/EDGE (Bostock Library 121) and overlooking Telecom Drive, the Murthy Digital Studio is a light-filled, comfortable space for a range of digital activities, from hands-on workshops and research talks, to discussion groups and project work.

Sandra is already helping to promote and facilitate several programs — and will even be giving a talk at this spring’s first Digital Brown Bag event, January 15 — but gamely took a few minutes to answer some questions that would help us get to know them and their aspirations for this work.

Tell us a little about yourself, what you are doing at Duke and what brought you to the digital humanities.

I’m a senior studying philosophy and political science and very interested in how technology is related to ethics, race, and gender. I’m currently working on my honors thesis on the philosophy of Natural Language Processing. I just love how interdisciplinary the digital humanities is. It has felt very liberating and creative.

What was it about the Murthy Fellowship in Digital Scholarship that appealed to you?

I’m very excited about the breadth of projects I get to work with. Because ScholarWorks is a kind of support service, there are so many different subject matters this role will expose me to, which really satisfies my sporadic curiosity. The opportunity to better understand open source initiatives is also really appealing to me. Some technologists debate whether open source work will improve transparency and accountability or prevent scholars from claiming rights to their work to prevent nefarious uses – I hope to help make it the former!

What do you think will be some of the major challenges in this new role?

I think there is a tendency in “new” “interdisciplinary” fields, such as the digital humanities, to overlook the work of Black, Indigenous, and scholars of color who have already developed “alternate” ways of making their work accessible and meaningful for their intended audiences. If the goal of initiatives like ScholarWorks and the Murthy Fellowship is to open up academia and connect with the public, then I can’t forget the people who have been doing exactly that for centuries.

On another note, I have a lot to learn about the publishing and copyright world. Navigating the logistics of event organizing and drawing people to ScholarWorks will be another interesting challenge. That being said, I’m grateful that the previous Murthy fellows have done a diligent job of creating resources and documenting what they have learned.

Look for more updates from Sandra soon, as they spread the word about what’s happening in the Studio this spring and promote ScholarWorks (and help us all think more critically about what it means to be open)! You can follow their tweets @DScholarWorks or subscribe directly to the Digital announcement list — https://lists.duke.edu/sympa/subscribe/digital.

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