[Humanist] 28.507 pubs: on crowdsourcing; on becoming a classics professor

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Nov 21 08:45:47 CET 2014

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 507.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Gregory Crane <gregory.crane at tufts.edu>                   (41)
        Subject: Essay: "So you want to become a professor of Greek and/or

  [2]   From:    Francisco Marcos =?utf-8?b?TWFyw61u?=                     (11)
                <francisco.marcos.marin at uam.es>
        Subject: Crowdsourcing

        Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:30:45 +0100
        From: Gregory Crane <gregory.crane at tufts.edu>
        Subject: Essay: "So you want to become a professor of Greek and/or Latin?"

For what its worth: it is the time of year when people apply for PhD 
programs in Classics (and everything else). I wrote this essay because I 
think that the Digital Humanities have now reached a point where anyone 
who wants to start a Classics career now (and thus would, if just out of 
college, be looking at a career that could run through 2060) really 
needs to come to grips with the "digital turn". I don't know of any PhD 
program for Greek and Latin that really addresses the challenges that we 
face as we reinvent our field to flourish in the digital world of which 
we are all already a part. (I am hoping to be buried with counter-examples!)

Gregory Crane*

  So you want to become a professor Greek and/or Latin? Think hard about
  a PhD in Digital Humanities.

Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Digital Humanities
Universität Leipzig
Professor of Classics
Winnick Family Chair of Technology and Entrepreneurship
Tufts University

I decided to write this piece because this is the time of year when 
those who wish to become professional students of Greek and Latin are 
deciding where they should apply for graduate schools. I am now starting 
to see that the most interesting Phd projects on Greek and Latin are 
taking place in PhD programs for the Digital Humanities and I think that 
anyone who wishes to develop a career of sustained satisfaction needs to 
think carefully about how they move forward. At the present time, I am 
not aware of any traditional program in Greek and Latin that prepares 
students for satisfying and sustainable careers.

This essay falls into three parts. First I suggest some words of 
caution, including the well-known challenges about actually landing a 
permanent faculty position, the amount of work that you will need to 
commit if you want to maximize your chances for success and then, more 
substantively, something about the actual work that supports faculty 
Greek and Latin faculty positions in the United States and (much of) 
Europe. The second section briefly touches upon some fundamental topics 
that we must resolve if we are to rethink the study of Greek and Latin 
(as I think we must if we are to survive, or perhaps even flourish): the 
information that we produce, the knowledge that we internalize, the 
values that we advance and the basis for the survival of our field. The 
third section describes some topics that you will probably not find in a 
standard program for Greek and Latin but that would greatly enhance your 
ability to develop a sustainable career.

[for the rest: http://tinyurl.com/mwx6m35]*

        Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:21:18 +0100
        From: Francisco Marcos =?utf-8?b?TWFyw61u?= <francisco.marcos.marin at uam.es>
        Subject: Crowdsourcing

My paper, "Oral variation, interpretation and crowdsourcing. '€œI Ride an Ol'€™ Paint'", is now available in

One role of the Internet seems to be acting as a corpus which expands interpretations which may or may be not based on real data. Oral variation, together with folk etymology and false interpretation are not limited to the Middle Ages. Crowdsourcing constitutes a rich source of information, more or less reliable. It is easier to dig than to filter, though. In the rich Western folklore, what seems handier is to discover how tradition is well and alive, and people may drive along versions of the same song. The exchange of information carried on, and the use of different media to convey different interpretations, seems to be useful for the analysis of textual variation and interpretation in a particular sub-field of heritage lore. The analysis of a traditional song of the West seems to be adequate for a tentative diving into that folkloric pool.

Francisco A. Marcos-Marí­n PhD
Professor of Linguistics
University of Texas at San Antonio
mailto:fammdl at gmail.com
7701 Wurzbach Rd. # 1501 San Antonio, TX, 78229 USA

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