University of Houston Libraries welcomes Elizabeth Irvin-Stravoski as the first manager of the Digital Research Commons (DRC).
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
I will be administering the Commons and helping the Digital Research Services department build and expand DRC offerings. I will also be assuming the management of the UH Institutional Repository, including processing electronic theses and dissertations.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach in digital research?
I graduated from UH in ’19 (Go Coogs!) with a master’s degree in English literature and a certificate in digital humanities. I hold a standard Texas Teacher’s certificate for ELAR 7-12 and am also a licensed practical nurse. These life experiences, together with a focus on medieval literature during the pursuit of my degree, have fostered a curiosity in the intersection of the medical advances (or lack thereof) of an era, together with the literature it produces. Digital research provides the methods to consider such an intersection in excitingly thorough and unique ways.
Please summarize a few of your current projects.
My primary focus is to transition from public school teaching to managing the DRC, and all that that entails. However, I am very interested in revisiting/revising a project from my graduate student days, in which the literature of the 14th century is analyzed using digital methods—from a medical practitioner’s standpoint—for its relevance and relation to the Black Death.
What is your favorite hobby?
I hope it isn’t too cliché to say that my favorite hobbies would be reading and researching/learning about new and interesting things across a wide spectrum of topics. If I had to pick one topic or genre, I would say I most enjoy reading historical fiction, for the wealth of independent research opportunities it provides. I’m currently reading Maurice Druon’s The Accursed Kings series, about the 14th century French monarchy and lauded by George R.R. Martin as “the original Game of Thrones.”