Off the Tracks: Laying New Lines for Digital Humanities Scholars [White Paper]
Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities
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The emergence of digital humanities centers over the last twenty years has generated a new set of career possibilities for scholars working within the field. Many digital humanists with both an advanced degree in the humanities and strong technical expertise are now finding jobs in centers--often accepting lower salaries than they could receive in for-profit industries because they value the space these institutions provide for working at the intersection of humanistic and technical modes of inquiry. Digital humanities centers are eager to hire such individuals as they bring not only expertise in multiple domains, but an ability to communicate technical concepts to their humanist colleagues. Unfortunately, though, once hired these hybrid scholars are often considered service professionals rather than academics with active research agendas. They are often classified as staff rather than faculty and are seen by the administration and tenured faculty not as fellow scholars, but as skilled laborers like accountants and lawyers--valuable but separate from the scholarly enterprise.