Ivanhoe is a gateway for textual play. It is a theme for WordPress that encourages collaborative and reflective interpretation of shared texts.

What is Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is a game in which players take on roles within or around a shared text. Through those roles, players embody a position, and by making moves from that position, expose myriad adjacent possible understandings. Ivanhoe grew out of dissatisfaction with limitations inherent in existing forms of critical interpretation. Performing one's perspective encourages playful engagement with the shared texts as well as with other players.


The Praxis Program is a year-long fellowship at the University of Virginia Library that supports a team of humanities graduate students in conceiving, planning, developing, and designing a digital project. The faculty and staff of the Library’s Scholars’ Lab guide Praxis Fellows through the entire process, mentoring in software design and development, collaboration, project management, and a myriad of other skills necessary to build tools for humanities interpretation. Program founder Bethany Nowviskie refers to Praxis in an invited essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education as a "no ordinary humanities seminar." The Ivanhoe Game WP Theme is the culmination of a whirlwind of learning for the 2013-14 cohort—both in digital skills and in interdisciplinary collaboration. For more on the experience of building Ivanhoe, visit our blog.

2013–2014 Praxis Fellows

  • Scott Bailey (PhD Religious Studies) - Development
  • Eliza Fox (PhD English) - Development and Design
  • Veronica Ikeshoji-Orlati (PhD Classical Archaeology) - Development
  • Stephanie Kingsley (MA English) - Project Manager
  • Zachary Stone (PhD English) - Design
  • Francesca Tripodi (PhD Sociology) - Design and Support

2014–2015 Praxis Fellows

  • Amy R. Boyd (PhD English)
  • Swati Chawla (PhD History)
  • Andrew Ferguson (PhD English)
  • Joris Gjata (PhD Sociology)
  • Jennifer N. Grayburn (PhD History of Art and Architecture)
  • Steven Lewis (PhD Musicology)

The Scholars’ Lab

  • Scott Bailey, Developer
  • Jeremy Boggs, Humanities Design Architect
  • Wayne Graham, Head of Research and Development
  • Purdom Lindblad, Head of Graduate Programs
  • Dr. Bethany Nowviskie, former Director
  • Dr. Eric Rochester, Senior Developer
  • Ammon Shepherd, Developer