Postdocs: University of Southern California: Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars in the Humanities.
Deadline: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars play a pivotal part in fostering the strengths of the humanities at USC, linking the expertise of USC faculty and doctoral students with the knowledge and insights gained from their own research and scholarship.
These appointments are for two years, and begin in August of the academic year to which candidates are appointed. Provost’s scholars will teach three courses over four semesters, with one semester free for full-time research. The salary for Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars is $50,000 per year plus fringe benefits, with a research and travel account of $6,000 per year.
This article is based on quantitative and qualitative research examining humanities scholars’ understandings of the advantages and disadvantages of print versus electronic information resources. It explores how humanities’ faculty members at [removed for review] use print and electronic resources, as well as how they perceive these different formats. It was carried out with the goal of assisting the authors and other librarians in choosing between electronic and print formats when performing collection development responsibilities.
Armed with computers, humanities scholars have been performing once-unimaginable feats. They have recreated early modern London and American Civil War battlefields with the help of geospatial imaging. They have trawled, or “text-mined”, the vast corpus of Google-digitized books to establish how many times certain words or linguistic patterns appear. They have created a searchable database of almost 198,000 trials held at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1913 (www.oldbaileyonline.org). They have mapped the Republic of Letters by tracing the journeys of 50,000 letters written and received by Voltaire, Locke, Franklin and other seventeenth- and eighteenth-century luminaries (https://republicofletters.stanford.edu/www.oldbaileyonline.org). They have mapped the Republic of Letters by tracing the journeys of 50,000 letters written and received by Voltaire, Locke, Franklin and other seventeenth- and eighteenth-century luminaries (https://republicofletters.stanford.edu/).
All this falls under the expansive label “digital humanities”. Humanities computing dates back decades but has taken on a new lustre lately. The list of digital editions and visualizations and experiments grows and grows as the tools become more sophisticated and the datasets larger. Funding agencies such as JISC (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) and the National Endowment for the Humanities have created grant programmes to support such work. The New York Times has documented some of the most eye-catching work in its “Humanities 2.0” series. No wonder that William Pannapacker, an English professor and blogger for The Chronicle of Higher Education (my employer), described the digital humanities as “the next big thing”.
That was in 2009, the year in which digital humanists (as they are often called) stole the spotlight at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association (MLA). One might have expected them to sit back, let the algorithms run, and bask in the glow of attention. But success, it seems, breeds its own set of worries. By 2011, Pannapacker was fretting publicly that the digital humanities had become so fashionable that they had given in to cliquishness. At the MLA gathering that year, Stephen Ramsay, an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, gave a deliberately provocative talk arguing that true digital humanists build things – by which he meant things such as software programs for computers. “Do you have to know how to code?”, he asked. “I’m a tenured professor of digital humanities and I say yes.”
Professor Todd Presner of UCLA posted a sample syllabus for an Intro to DH course:
DH 201/Comp Lit 290 Graduate Seminar
Introduction to Digital Humanities
Humanistic Knowledge, Disciplines, and Institutions in the 21st Century
Course Description: The purpose of this graduate seminar is to introduce students to the key concepts, methods, theories, and emerging practices in the “Digital Humanities.” The seminar will provide a historical overview of the field from its beginnings in the post-World War II era to the present, highlighting the major intellectual problems, disciplinary paradigms, and institutional challenges that are posed by Digital Humanities. While we will proceed from a trans-disciplinary perspective and focus on the transformation of disciplines such as literature, history, geography, archaeology, among others, the seminar will ultimately consider “Digital Humanities” as a group of “knowledge problems” that affect what we know, how we know, and what we consider to be knowledge. We will examine the major epistemological, methodological, technological, and institutional challenges posed by the Digital Humanities through a number of specific projects that address fundamental problems in creating, interpreting, preserving, and transmitting the human cultural record. At the same time, we will examine how digital technologies and tools—ranging from mark-up languages and map visualizations to database structures and interface design—are themselves arguments that make certain assumptions about, and even transform, our objects of study. This is not a course in studying new media or the impact of digital technology on culture per se, but rather is focused on those areas where the Humanities intersect with digital tools for analysis and interpretation, and how we can bridge the gap between the traditions of critical theory and the practice-based approaches of the Digital Humanities.
This is a five-unit course broken down as follows: 4 units for weekly seminar meetings (3 hours/week) and 1 unit for tools workshops. Students are required to attend at least four tools workshops over the quarter (scheduled for various days). The workshops are organized by the Library and will focus on a wide-range of digital tools, methods, and technologies, including XML, TEI, GIS, and general research issues in the Digital Humanities such as copyright. The schedule for the workshops can be found here: http://www.library.ucla.edu/service/6362.cfm Graduate students may also audit DH 194 (in spring quarter) to satisfy the “lab” component of this class.
Jean-François Lyotard, ThePostmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge
Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web [selections]
Johanna Drucker, SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing [selections]
25% = Completion of weekly problem sets; participation in seminar and workshops
10% = Assignment #1
15% = Assignment #2
50% = Assignment #3 (draft is 25% and final written proposal is 25%)