Building on its name, one of the MLab’s ongoing interests is the intersection of humanities research with tacit knowledge and material experimentation. How can the humanities learn from and speak back to (or critique) so-called “maker cultures”? How can experimental or “inventive” methods inform media studies and cultural criticism? And how might a lab’s culture and/or infrastructure function like a makerspace? To what effects on our legacy understandings of collaboration and professionalization?

With these types of questions in mind, “The Humanities Lab as a Makerspace” is an ongoing initiative at the MLab, which engages its team in project-based learning and trial-and-error research development, where prototyping is a form of inquiry. Integrating aspects of popular culture makerspaces into an academic environment, the primary impulse is to expand the modes and means of humanities research while also building shared interests through problem-based modelling.

Research Lead, Contributors, Support, and Partnerships

The research lead for this project is Jentery Sayers. For its space and infrastructure on the University of Victoria (UVic) campus, the MLab has received support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, the Department of English, the Humanities Faculty, the Department of Visual Arts, the Fine Arts Faculty, the Modernist Versions Project, and the Humanities Computing and Media Centre.

Project Status

This project began when the MLab opened its doors in September 2012, expanded with the launch of our Digital Fabrication Lab in Visual Arts in 2015, and—as a general initiative—will run indefinitely. To stay in the loop with the Lab as a Makerspace, follow the stream of posts below. We do our best to regularly publish logs of our work. Please do not hesitate to either comment on a log or email with suggestions.

Printrbot Jr

Shaun Macpherson using a Printrbot jr

Post by Jentery Sayers, attached to the Makerspace project, with the projects, physcomp, and fabrication tags. Featured image for this post care of Jentery Sayers. (This post was updated on 16 October 2016.)


More about Jentery Sayers

Associate Professor, English and CSPT | Principal Investigator, MLab in the Humanities