Leadership in experimental & digital humanities research infrastructure & community-building.

My research imagines and realizes just and joyful research communities at the intersections of technology, information, and culture. I shorthand my work as “digital humanities”, which means I:

  1. apply technical methods (e.g. coding, data visualization) to explore humanities questions, 
  2. ask humanities questions (e.g. ethical and historical ones) about technologies, and
  3. advocate for the urgency of GLAM skills to inform both directions of inquiry. 

Ever-accelerating creation of digital technologies urgently demands assessment—review, critique, whistleblowing, improvement—informed by humanities strengths (e.g. history, ethics, narratology) as well as Information Studies (e.g. systems evaluation, ethical data and catalogue design, archival accessibility). Simultaneously, emerging technologies offer opportunities for creating better futures.

We need practitioners working across tech and cultural fields to recognize opportunities to proactively dream, build, and assess our own interventions. To productively unite minds across the intersections of technology, information, and culture, we need just and joyful communities of interdisciplinary practice.

Designing, building, analyzing, and sustaining such just and joyful knowledge communities is the heart of my research.

A graphic with a background yellwoed to look like aged paper, the words "Infinite Ulysses: what if we built an edition and everyone showed up?" written in the center, with an illustrated silhouette of a person holding a walking stick and with a bowler hat falling across the page. The background has stripes of text from James Joyce's novel Ulysses.
Scholarly coding experimenting with new approaches to public textual interpretive annotation

Current research activity

Universities teaching my work

My scholarship has recently appeared on syllabi including at Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University NULab, Washington State University, the Catholic University of America, University of North Carolina, Northwestern University, University of Maryland, and the Pratt Institute.

Scholarly education

Literature Ph.D.

University of Maryland, Department of English (September 2010-May 2015)

First Fully DH Literature Dissertation: Infinite Ulysses

Successfully argued for, designed, and defended a unique literature dissertation with zero written chapters—the first fully digital humanities dissertation in an English Department, and (at least one of) the first full DH dissertations period. I achieved scholarly design, code, usertesting, and blogging around my Infinite Ulysses social reading platform, evaluated as the full critical work they were, not balanced/apologized for with written chapters.

This project showcased my strong project design and management skills: getting buy-in across my university, completing a unique project in the minimum possible time, parlaying an extremely non-traditional project into a tenure-track professorship. I blogged my design research and technical challenges twice monthly, and authored a whitepaper discussing design process and product during the month before its defense.

“Amanda Visconti’s digital dissertation, Infinite Ulysses, is another compelling example of the power of born-digital work. Combining deep literary insight with interface design, web development, community building, and best practices in user testing and analytics, Visconti has created a space for collaborative interpretation of a text. Since its launch, hundreds of readers have annotated James Joyce’s text. Further, Visconti has provided an invaluable service to the community by blogging every stage of her research, development, and defense, helping to make transparent the hurdles that other emerging scholars might anticipate when working on digital projects.

– Katina Rogers, Council of Graduate Schools report (2015; emphasis added)

Information M.S.

(Specialization: Digital Humanities Human-Computer Interaction)

University of Michigan, School of Information (September 2008-April 2010)

I’ve been thinking and doing human-computer interaction for over 15 years. I’m trained in HCI (human-computer interaction) and information science via a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Information, where I designed, ran, and analyzed a formal user study looking at what small design changes to scholarly archives and digital editions would open these interfaces to public audiences.