Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Jan. 31, 2022, 7:28 a.m. Humanist 35.504 - the fleeting point of it all

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 504.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
                Submit to:

        Date: 2022-01-30 15:53:57+00:00
        From: Katherine D. Harris <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 35.503: the fleeting point of it all

Hi --

An interesting, albeit myopic pov on the representation of teaching and
scholarship, I think. At teaching-intensive universities, the classroom is
wildly important and we have moved to ensuring a holistic valuation of
pedagogy and curricular materials that doesn't rely on student evaluations.

The California State Universities, the largest system in the US, is
becoming more successful at valuing the academic assignment aspect of the
professor's job as it relates to research and scholarship.

Feel free to peruse SJSU's incredibly robust retention, tenure, and
promotion guidelines, that now include valuing "scholarship of engagement"
with many defining criteria coming from tenets of Digital Humanities:
(See p. 9)

BTW, we are unionized across 23 campuses but act independently re RTP
guidelines on each campus. My particular campus has a very vocal and
engaged shared governance through our Academic Senate and has been able to
make real change through our RTP guidelines to value everything that
faculty are doing. The only thing holding us back, quite frankly, are some
full professors on our RTP committees at various levels who insist on using
the numbers from the student evals instead of assessing teaching with a
holistic criteria (which is written right into our policies).

While the book is about graduate education, we might instead look at the
work being done at the undergraduate education level. Perhaps doctoral
institutions are too out of touch with undergraduate students in order to
adequately educate the next wave of professors (whenever that will be with
the ongoing and longstanding financial morass of precarious employment in
higher ed).

Before we pronounce the thing is dead, why not look to those institutions
that *actually* value teaching and interactions with students as a model
for progress?


Dr. Katherine D. Harris (she/her)
Director, Public Programming <>,
College of Humanities & the Arts
Professor, Department of English & Comparative Literature
San Jose State University
Research Blog:
Co-Editor, *Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities
Author,* Forget Me Not: The Rise of the British Literary Annual, 1823-1835*

On Sun, Jan 30, 2022 at 7:38 AM Humanist <> wrote:

>               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 503.
>         Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                       Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                 Submit to:
>         Date: 2022-01-30 15:30:34+00:00
>         From: Willard McCarty <>
>         Subject: kissing the joy as it flies
> This morning BBC Radio 4, on "A Point of View", broadcast former
> professor Rebecca Stott's farewell to academia, "Leaving the Ivory
> Tower". There have been more learned, analytic and less anecdotal
> condemnations of the state of British higher education, but hers struck
> home. I recommend it, for which see
> (
> Talking with a doctoral student who happened to find her while she was
> packing up possessions in her office, Stott mused on the core experience
> of teaching, in those incandescent, untranscribable moments of shared
> intelligence. Humanist came to mind in the context of a recent
> conversation with a member of our Editorial Board (yes, we have one!),
> who was wondering about how its status as scholarly work could be
> secured. A fine thought, but given that fleeting moments in the
> classroom score low in the calaculation of merit, I think that Blake's
> advice, to 'kiss the joy as it flies', is how our shared mode of
> intellectual
> work is signified.
> Comments?
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty,
> Professor emeritus, King's College London;
> Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

Unsubscribe at:
List posts to:
List info and archives at at:
Listmember interface at:
Subscribe at: