University of Connecticut

What are they really up to with all of these digital humanities job postings? I cannot help but think it is code for something. They apparently want:

  • A senior digital humanities specialist: someone who, while having scholarly expertise in one or more areas of literature in English, has established national/international visibility and leadership in digital humanities
  • A specialist in poetics whose interest/experience extends to digital texts
  • A specialist in world literature in English with special focus on the emerging role of digital publishing in postcolonial contexts
  • An environmental studies specialist who combines interests in nature writing (non-U.S. preferred) and digital mapping.

Maybe I am just behind the times but an ad, for instance, for someone good in the entire continent of Africa AND in digital humanities, sounds overly demanding to me unless they have someone specific in mind already. What do they mean? An Africanist who is not anti-digital, a person to sell online courses to Africa, or a digital humanities person at least conversant in African literatures?




Filed under Questions, What Is A Scholar?

3 responses to “University of Connecticut

  1. I have no inside information, but I think they’re actually trying to get out ahead in what they see as an up-and-coming field — Digital Humanities — and willing to consider a wide variety of subject specialties in order to assemble a critical mass of people with DH experience. For whatever it’s worth, Digital Humanities usually =/= online teaching; if anything, it tends to be quite hands-on work, often conducted in a group setting such as a computer lab. The end product is designed to be viewed on the web (or at least a computer), and I suppose DH could be taught online, but, like any creative process that involves a lot of choices between tools, decisions about the best way to present material, etc., etc., it would have to be taught via a labor-intensive online process, not anything automated or semi-automated (and so expensive).

  2. This screams “internal candidate.” When you have an internal candidate, the trick is to make the announcement so detailed and demanding that nobody else would fit the description.

  3. Z

    Yes. I mean, I know what DH and I believe UConn when it says it wants to be a big center in this, but the specificity of those other specialties does scream “internal candidate(s).” It seems to me that if it is just DH, and there are no internal candidates, one would advertise differently, and if one really needed those fields, one would advertise for those and say DH is also desired. Although perhaps it was necessary to formulate these in this way to get them past the administration, I don’t know.

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