16.604 humanities computing jobs not in humanities computing departments

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Apr 07 2003 - 02:29:58 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 604.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 07:19:06 +0100
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: humanities computing jobs not in humanities computing

    I draw your attention to Humanist 16.602, which contains an advertisement
    for 2 positions in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York
    University (Canada). The advertisement says that "Applicants with PhDs in
    fields other than computer science are encouraged to apply but computing or
    information technology should form a central component in the individual's
    education and research."

    This advert causes me to wonder whether humanities computing jobs (i.e.
    jobs we can consider to be in this field) are increasingly to be found
    within computer science departments. Mainline CS departments, I would
    think, would hardly bother. But there have been persistent indications that
    problems within the humanities are of increasing interest to those with CS
    training. If so this is good news. But a number of questions come to mind.

    (1) How are such problems construed and handled as a result? Do they become
    grist for a mill alien to the humanities? Are the holders of these jobs
    able to pursue them without pressure to conform to mainstream CS?
    (2) What are the demographics both of such job-holders and of the students
    they attract?
    (3) What can academic humanities computing programmes learn from
    manifestations of the subject within CS?

    Information science and library science are also fields apt to attract
    people with interests in humanities computing, so the above applies to
    those fields as well.

    In the background are the strictures of established categories -- for jobs,
    for work. In the U.K., for example, we have a constant problem with the
    categories established for review of funding proposals and for the Research
    Assessment Exercise (see http://www.hero.ac.uk/). Intellectually there is,
    I'd think, no problem at all with the fact that humanities computing is de
    facto distributed over the fields relevant to its concerns. But the
    institutionalization of the intellectual life results in some difficulties.



    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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