[Humanist] 24.468 job at Ryerson: jobs and disciplines

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Nov 6 08:43:01 CET 2010

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 468.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 07:41:44 -0400
        From: jeremy hunsinger <jhuns at vt.edu>
        Subject: jobs and disciplines
        In-Reply-To: <20101105061909.E22E6A3DCC at woodward.joyent.us>

I don't think it is necessarily a problem that most jobs are disciplinary, but what I was pointing out is that one shouldn't expect many applicants if one narrows digital humanities to that applicable in one discipline, or to people who can teach in one discipline or subdiscipline.  I also think that it is going to be extremely difficult for a DH person to advance in a department that is primarily disciplinary oriented, because the DH person does not necessarily place DH papers usually in the journals that are rated highly in disciplines, they might, but I think we can all see that it is perhaps less likely.  I also wonder about a strongly DH person working as Department Head, especially if they start outside the discipline.  There will be, I think a strong insider/outsider structure for them to fight through.  So even if they get a t-t, I suspect  they will be even less likely to get tenure(if it still exists) and if they do get tenure, it will be even harder for them to get promotion.   From my point of view and I'm interdisciplinary in humanities and social sciences, I'm not sure the humanities can afford to push and promote disciplinarity, disciplines do not seem to relate as strongly to the legitimation to funding bodies external to the university anymore, except in a few circumstances.  I think the justification for a plurality of disciplinary departments in the humanities on the university is also losing ground.  Universities have significant reasons to dissolve disciplinary departments to save money as bureaucratic overhead is expensive.  This also does a fair amount to scare some faculty into leaving to places they find more amenable or retiring, as the humanities faculties were in a report a few years ago, the oldest populations on campuses.  DH is another one of the anti-disciplinary trends pushing against traditional disciplines, as it requires knowledge of at least another discipline to be successful, and the set of skills embodied provided might be a source of legitimation for the DH in the university, more than in the discipline or her own department.   

So, most of the jobs advertised in DH are disciplinary history and english.   Those disciplines are the two that overproduce the most ph.d.'s currently, no?.... I wonder...

Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
Virginia Tech


Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
-George Iles

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