Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 604.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 07:19:06 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
(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 || email@example.com
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