[Humanist] 23.268 BBQ and fire

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Sep 5 09:35:35 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 268.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 09:21:15 -0400
        From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.265 BBQ and fire
        In-Reply-To: <20090904082207.793B8374D2 at woodward.joyent.us>

I agree with your final paragraph, Wendell, but don't with much of
what leads up to it.  Budgets for the study of humanities are already
in place.  They're being cut, but they're there.  And yes, it's
perfectly legitimate to ask if a professor's work is "worth it."
That's what the tenure review process is for.  An answer of "no" is
sometimes possible and, sometimes, required.  Hiring someone doesn't
mean you're obligated to grant him/her tenure, so it doesn't mean your
obligated to accept every proposal.

Here, as elsewhere, asking for -additional- budget money requires that
the request be justified within the context of the institution's
goals, mission, strengths, etc.  I agree that digital humanities is a
good thing.  That does not mean every single institution needs to
directly fund its development just because someone has an idea.

Jim R

> A label like "digital humanities" can be a rallying point for a sort
> of PR campaign, but the point isn't ultimately PR: it's a problem of
> demonstrating value and of including people in such a way that they
> become that constituency. Indeed, if the effort is treated like PR,
> it is likely to run its course, and any label will eventually become
> a liability. This year's fashion is next year's object of satire.
> Cheers,
> Wendell
> ======================================================================
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James Rovira
Tiffin University

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