Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 199. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: email@example.com  From: Jim Rovira
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.196: Overworked, with opportunities (31)  From: Ben Miller Subject: RE: [Humanist] 32.196: Overworked, with opportunities (47) -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2018-11-17 14:16:14+00:00 From: Jim Rovira Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.196: Overworked, with opportunities Many thanks to Roopa and Elisa for their responses. Believe me, I know the conditions of small regional and low endowment colleges. I worked in them for ten years, developing programs, courses, publishing scholarship (three books, 30 conferences, book reviews, poems, etc.), and serving as department chair with a four/four load. I have nothing but sympathy for the faculty who work in those conditions, and I understand the workload you need to take on in order to do the things you love. But my eyes are open, I’m no longer calling it “institutional limitations,” I see where their money really goes, and I see it only as a form of abuse now. One course release to develop a program that draws in students that generates revenue for the institution is a small investment to preserve faculty health and well-being and teaching quality. I can’t emphasize enough, however, how well I understand being complicit with this to do something you believe in. It’s a life choice, but brand new faculty straight out of grad school usually make it without knowing what they are choosing. Jim R Sent from my iPhone > With all due respect to Dr. Rovira, this is the nature of academic life at a regional comprehensive university in the U.S., where teaching loads are high, some research is expected (certainly not at R1 rates), and the service load is significant. But, when approached strategically, which works well with digital humanities, it can afford tremendous professional creativity and freedom - without any more than the usual academic overwork (itself a different issue). > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2018-11-17 21:00:25+00:00 From: Ben Miller Subject: RE: [Humanist] 32.196: Overworked, with opportunities Based on 15 years of working in DH, 8 of which were at regional comprehensive universities, I have to agree with Roopika, Elisa, and Jim. The devil of a job like this, from my experience, depends on the quality of the departmental administration. If they do moderate their research expectations, forestall major programmatic development until after tenure, and have the infrastructure and staff so that the new faculty member can primarily focus on DH research rather than DH infrastructure development, then the situation could present a good environment for the right candidate. If any of those things are not true, then I would expect the position to be a difficult one to navigate successfully. There's just not enough time in the week to do all of that and teach a 4-4. Elisa's comment about needing colleagues who consider DH work to be professional development and not service or solely instruction, to me, couldn't be more accurate. If there were to be one change that might help that conversation, it would be for the MLA to have good guidelines for awarding credit for digital scholarship similar to what the AHA already developed. Until that problem is solved, it's too easy for departments to retreat to evaluation standards that either dismiss much of the effort someone in DH has to put in to develop their scholarship or are unavailable to scholars in DH. The MLA's guidance here, “Documentation of projects might include examples of success at engaging new audiences; securing internal or external funding, awards, or other professional recognition; and fostering adoption, distribution, or publication of digital works, as well as reviews and citations of the work in print or digital journals," helps, but doesn't clearly equate these mechanisms as the DH equivalent of peer-review. They also put the burden on the job candidate to negotiate the conditions of their own professional review while interviewing for the position. Not only would I have not known enough to manage that when I interviewed for my first jobs, that seems, to me at least, a lot to ask. https://www.mla.org/About-Us/Governance/Committees/Committee-Listings/Professional-Issues/Committee-on-Information-Technology/Guidelines-for-Evaluating-Work-in-Digital-Humanities-and-Digital-Media https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/digital-history-resources/evaluation-of-digital-scholarship-in-history/guidelines-for-the-professional-evaluation-of-digital-scholarship-by-historians Best, Ben __ Ben Miller, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer in Technical Writing and Digital Humanities Affiliate Faculty, Quantitative Theory and Methods Emory University Callaway N212A // (404) 251-1354 firstname.lastname@example.org // email@example.com // @intransitive _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: firstname.lastname@example.org List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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