A Day in the Life of a Digital Humanities Postdoc


November 12, 2012

  • Plan and teach class on Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
  • Work on article about teaching with Wikipedia
  • Present an hour-long demonstration of Eighteenth-Century Collections Online to an upper-division English class based on their course materials
  • Train undergraduates to use Omeka so they can support faculty and students using it in a variety of courses

This is a typical day for me and illustrates why I relish my job as a digital humanities postdoc at Occidental College. It offers everything I want in a digital humanities position: time for research, flexibility to experiment with my teaching, and the opportunity to spread the word about how technology can invigorate teaching and revolutionize research in the humanities. Postdocs are relatively rare in the humanities compared to the sciences, and postdocs at liberal arts colleges are even rarer. Because digital humanities postdocs at liberal arts institutions are so new, they pose unique opportunities and challenges that highlight important questions about the structure of the academy. In this post, I will discuss how my liminality allows me a degree of freedom unusual even for academia, but also privileges skills that I teach myself rather than the ones I learned in graduate school. Read the rest of the article in The Chronicle of Higher Educationphoto by Flickr user deanj

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