SCHOLARS at DUKE profile

ves4 “at” | @vszabo | 

Glass House at at the NC State Fair. Taken as part of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’s Good Question series in 2011.

University of Rochester
MA Indiana University, Bloomington
BA Williams College

Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
Research Professor of Visual and Media Studies
Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, Room A262

Information Science + Studies
Program and Lab Director
Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Certificates
Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, Room A259 (Lab)

Computational Media, Arts & Cultures
Core Faculty and Director of Graduate Studies, MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media
(Founding DGS for the CMAC PhD 2016-19)

Wired! Lab for Digital Art History & Visual Culture
Core Faculty
Visualizing Venice team member
Smith Warehouse, Bay 11, Room A 233 (Lab)

Getty Advanced Topics in Digital Art History: 3D(Geo)Spatial Networks

Franklin Humanities Institute
Director, Digital Humanities Initiative

Co-Director, PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge

Co-Director, NCCU DH Fellows Program

NEH Virtual and Augmented Reality Digital Humanities Institute

Bass Connections
Co-Director, Information, Society & Culture Theme


Psychasthenia Studio

ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community

My primary academic focus is on the critical and practical affordances of database-driven spatial media such as digital maps/HGIS, games, virtual worlds, and mobile applications for teaching, research, and public outreach. I am especially interested in theories and practice of augmented reality (AR) experience design for digital heritage and creative expression, and have worked on location-based urban AR projects in Durham, NC and Venice, Italy, among other places. I’m also interested in the future of libraries and scholarly communications, and in archives-driven, hybrid teaching/research collaborations, such as NC Jukebox, the Bass Connections and FHI-supported digital remediation of the collection of 1920s and 30s folk music from western NC and the Durham Stories mobile website.  I also create videogame-based installation artwork with the Psychasthenia Studio art collective. I am an active member of the ACM SIGGRAPH (Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) digital arts community, and have chaired two art gallery exhibitions for the annual conference, the Information Aesthetics Showcase and XYZN:Scale. As of September 1, 2016 I am the Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Committee.

I teach undergraduate courses in Art, Art History & Visual Studies on media history and digital cities, the first-semester Proseminar for the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media, and other graduate seminars focused around theories and cultures of mapping, space, and virtuality as well as DH theory and practice. I was the Director of Graduate Studies for the newly constituted, interdisciplinary PhD in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures at Duke from 2016-19.  In Information Science + Studies I teach web design, digital storytelling, and the project-based capstone for our Certificate. I also mentor independent study students in digital project development and in focused areas of technocultural research not otherwise covered by our curriculum.

Through my work in the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Bass Connections Information, Society & Culture theme I strive to bring together interdisciplinary teams who can think through together new forms of knowledge production – and their cultural effects – in the digital age. I am also the Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative at Duke, DH+, which strives to amplify, augment, and transform the humanities at Duke and beyond. This includes local coordination of the North Carolina Central University – Duke Digital Humanities Fellows Program.  I also co-direct the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke, and serve on various other campus committees, including the Library Council, the Nasher Faculty Advisory Board, the Information Technology Advisory Council, the University’s Academic Council, and the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee. In 2018 I joined the Executive Committee of the Academic Council and the Board of Trustees Undergraduate Education Committee. I’m a partner on a new Games Initiative at Duke as well as a member of STEAM innovation working group.

Outside of Duke, in addition to long engagement with ACM SIGGRAPH, I’ve been a member of the Modern Language Associations Committee on Information Technology and in 2016 was elected to the Transdisciplinary Connections: Digital Humanities Forum Committee at the MLA. As of 2016 I became part of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) Steering Committee. I also serve on the Video Games Art Reader Editorial Board.

Before coming to Duke, from 1999-2006, I worked in Academic Technology at Stanford University for the Stanford University Libraries and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, where I developed various digital projects for teaching and research, managed a team of Academic Technology Specialists, and taught as a lecturing fellow in the former Introduction to the Humanities Program (IHUM).  While at Stanford I became part of the Educause community, and have participated in their leadership training for Learning Technologies and for IT. I have also worked (1997-98) as an Instructional Multimedia Specialist at Grinnell College. I have a Ph.D. in English (Victorian Literature and Culture with a focus on sensationalism and women’s authorship) from the University of Rochester, as well as a Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from the Susan B. Anthony Institute there. I did my BA at Williams College and also have an MA from Indiana University, Bloomington.

I am also a Master’s rower at the Carolina Masters Crew Club.