Laying New Lines for Digital Humanities Scholars

B. Career Paths, Assessment, and Promotion

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Success in collaborations and individual projects will probably lead to continued employment opportunities for digital humanists. There are, though, few clear paths for advancement. In many centers, advancement typically brings with it an increased load of managerial work and less time for programming, design, or analysis. This limits the time that the digital humanist can spend on his or her own scholarship and removes some of the best developers and researchers from the hands-on, experimental work that is our field’s hallmark and greatest asset.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The traditional triumvirate of research, teaching, and service that typically determines work-load and promotion in humanities departments and programs is, and should be, put under pressure by DH centers. Current career paths value this triumvirate, but according to the MLA’s 1996 report in Profession titled “Making Faculty Work Visible: Reinterpreting Professional Service, Teaching, and Research in the Fields of Language and Literature” (31) these categories can be profitably reconceived under the rubrics of intellectual work and professional citizenship. Within this MLA report, these rubrics overlay the traditional triumvirate with a multi-dimensional matrix (see This re-conception of our values will allow us to apply these evaluative terms to the interspaces currently occupied by digital humanists who straddle academic units and libraries while trying to meet a diverse range of needs.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Within the context of these rubrics concerning intellectual work and professional citizenship, we are offering four possible career paths within the academy. Instead of offering titles such as Research or Software Architect, Digital Humanities Specialist, Metadata Manager, or Creative Designer (all of which are used in DH centers), we acknowledge that the appropriate response is dependent on the institutional context of the digital humanities scholar. (Please see Part two, position descriptions at established and emerging digital humanities centers, for current examples.)

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/offthetracks/part-one-models-for-collaboration-career-paths-acquiring-institutional-support-and-transformation-in-the-field/b-career-paths-assessment-and-promotion/