New Job; or, If Digital Humanities is a Game, I Prefer Tactics


I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted a position as Digital Humanities Strategist in Emory’s Digital Scholarship Commons. In this role, which I’ll begin on 1 July, I’ll continue my work to establish our Mellon Foundation-funded center, to manage and develop digital humanities projects, and to work for shifts in the training of both undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities. This position will build on the work that I’ve done in the Robert W. Woodruff Library over the last two years of my CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship.

I’ve often said that the CLIR Postdoc is an alt-ac experience, and perhaps the most exciting thing about my new job is that it’s truly a hybrid position. I hold a joint appointment as a Lecturer in Emory’s English Department and College. I will be teaching one class per year and am a full member of the faculty for purposes of governance. Posts like mine are very unusual for universities, and I’m proud to see Emory taking a lead in this way.

I believe such hybrid positions are in many ways the future of higher education; if we want to help graduate students, in particular, think more broadly about what they can do with their degree, then we need to have them see people working jobs that aren’t just tenured and tenure-track faculty members. They need to have more visions of their possible futures and to have them in their departments. I am hopeful that the classes I teach in digital humanities will help grow new scholars, who are equally at home in the tenure or alt-ac tracks or who can find new ways to apply their humanities training to any job, whether associated with the academy or not.

Achieving all of these goals will certainly require a long-term strategy. And while I like a game of Civilization as much as the next kid who came of age in the early 1990s, I think our situation–in the digital humanities and at Emory–is much closer to a match of Starcraft. While we need a long-term vision, what will really win the day is tactics, as we constantly adjust our work to a rapidly developing field and a whole new range of scholarly communication patterns. Running and gunning is what we’ve been doing in digital humanities for the last several years, and I don’t foresee it changing. So while my card will read “Strategist,” feel free to replace that with “Tactician.”

I’ve been affiliated with Emory for 10 years now. Time to get started on the next decade.

(EDITED to correct the missing sentence fragments.)

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  1. #1 by Ethan Watrall on May 15, 2012 - 11:42 am

    Congrats dude!

  2. #2 by Matt on May 15, 2012 - 12:16 pm

    Congratulations, Brian! As I remarked on twitter, this is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. Congratulations to you and congratulations to Emory for having the sense and the means to keep you around!

  3. #3 by Fletch on May 15, 2012 - 2:02 pm

    Nice work! Good thing you’ve been investing your free time in tactical training. Its ALL paying off.

  4. #4 by Laura Akerman on May 16, 2012 - 9:32 am

    I read the headline and shouted, “Yay!”

    We get to keep you! Someone figured it out right…

  5. #5 by Ed Finn on May 16, 2012 - 10:54 pm

    Great news, Brian! Really glad this worked out.

  6. #6 by KimBoo York on May 21, 2012 - 11:57 am

    Congratulations! It’s great to see these kinds of hybrid positions being created.

  7. #7 by Rosvita on May 24, 2012 - 3:20 pm

    Rosvita :
    Congratulations!. We can hope, then, that instead of falling between two stools, dh-ers will find more hybrid positions appearing in the future.

  8. #8 by @jwmccarty on July 2, 2012 - 10:36 am

    “New Job; or, If Digital Humanities is a Game, I Prefer Tactics http://t.co/XgT1gV7P ” – congrats on the new job @briancroxall!

  9. #9 by Brian Croxall (@briancroxall) on January 4, 2013 - 5:34 pm

    I’ve written about how my job is combining alternative academics with teaching in departments. http://t.co/2PxojaL2 #s394 #mla13 #altac

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