“Finding one’s way” session notes

Topic introduction:

Amy comes as a humanist Political Scientist.  How can we talk with rank and tenure committees?  Also, having picked things up on her own, how does one build those skills?

Dick: My progress through tenure and promotion (while switching fields from math to CS years ago) was hampered by the time I invested in coming up to speed with technology, and helping others with those technologies.  None of that counted towards tenure.  Also, values in my field of CS were not well understood by my tenure and promotion committee.  How can we avoid this in the case of DH?


Jackie: We all bear the burden of educating our colleagues.  This places burden on individuals to make the work of DH legible.

___: As a new faculty member, what is our advice?  How can we explain, make relevant, especially when there’s almost a service element?

Erin:  Must be able to explain whatever one’s field is.  Being at a liberal arts college, there’s more freedom to explore.

Jackie:  Are there places where we can send deans and provosts to?

Sara:  Looking at Twitter as a form of citation.

Rebecca:  At AACU:  Those administrators need examples and models of tenure cases.  MLA has something, but not enough;  Nines working on it.

Dick:  A white paper from one or more professional societies would help.

John:  Has been on a tenure and promotion committee.  It is just accepted.  Ryan:  as an interviewee, was asked “where do you see your scholarship going in next five years?”  Scientist asked for “traditional forms of scholarship….”

Erin:  We need to be aware of it.

John:  Departmental statement was rewritten.

Amy:  Will have to work hard to make the case for her tenure and promotion, make the case clearly to a heterogeneous group.

Dick:  Explicit wording of a departmental statement of values for tenure and promotion that recognizes DH would be enough.

Rebecca:  Katherine Harris sent a tweet about expertise.

___:  Were there relevant comments in the “communicating with colleagues” section?

Mark:  No.

Jackie:  What about interdisciplinary collaborations?

Ryan:  Seeking collaboration with computer scientists;  Dick is seeking collaborators in Humanities.

Mark:  Needs to be incentives on both sides.  Same with mentoring (as came up in “communicating with colleagues” session).

Rebecca:  What about role of undergraduate research as an incentive?

Jackie:  Collaborations such as LAC-R1 or anything newsworthy, and can help to make a tenure/promotion case.

Ryan:  There are NYT articles about DH this year.  Sometimes easier to make the case for outsiders!

Rebecca:  Role of grant agencies.  Can you get credit from peer-reviewed grant.

John:  Peer review an issue. DH that is “just doing it” won’t count.

___: At a small college, what do resources look like, how do they get shared, and how does that go?

Erin:  Laptop… That’s it.  She is her own tech support, and her IT department doesn’t support her Mac.  Particularly interested in partnerships with research-intensive schools.

Jackie:  Are there opportunities for multiple LACs to collaborate on grants?  Can we band together?

Dick:  I’m looking for that.  Is there funding for LAC-LAC collaboration?

Rebecca:  Talking to people about this.  One model is trading expertise for expertise.  NITLE is interested, Mellon is interested.  Will have to collaborate in order to .

Dick:  Start-up grants need initiation by a humanist, and I’m a CS collaborator.

Jackie:  Need an innovation statement.

Rebecca:  Brett Bobley is interested in new models of pedagogy, as well as innovation in humanities and innovation in technology.  Talk to Jen or Brett.

Ryan:  Need to connect.  Join DHAnswers, which supports technical questions, with vetting.  On a similar model, DHCommons is for collaborating on projects. Some big projects might use that site to collaborate or disseminate.  Quinn put the site together, several others here are involved.

Dick:  This kind of collaboration needs some face-to-face time to get started.

Rebecca:  Needs the face-to-face, which will happen at MLA session.

Mark:  If have gifted undergraduates doing innovative work, where should they go for graduate school, where they can grow their enthusiasm?

Sara:  Can be a divide at an institution between old guard and newer faculty;  at her institution, younger faculty are gathering to band together over lunch.  Helps them to bring informed internal ideas to the table.

Dan:  Had a discussion among faculty including both older and younger faculty, and some of the older faculty asked how they could help.

Ryan:  This is how DH gained a foothold.  Some with traditional scholarship are endorsing.

Ryan:  At MLA, it was said doing DH requires twice as much work, since must do the traditional scholarship, too.

Erin:  Fortunately, at LAC, don’t need the book for tenure.

Dick: Get it in writing.

Ryan:  There are these advantages of being at a small college.

Erin:  Have more latitude to create new courses.

Dick: Quinn said the same.

Jackie:  How many people are on job market.

Dick:  I meant getting the tenure values in writing for the committee.

Ryan:  Getting tenure and promotion letters.

Dick:  A possible model:  Computer scientist and student collaborates with digital humanist and student

Rebecca:  Wheaton College Old English/CS/Stat project to find about authorship is an example.  Their college requires a collaborative linked courses project.

Jackie:  At MLA DH track, do you need to build things in order o be a DHer?  Other questions:  What is feasible? What is feasible at undergraduate level? What computational competencies do DHers need in order to collaborate?

Dan: At Occidental, a staff group consults with faculty on these technologies.

Dick:  This is related to the technology center idea that arose in the student panel.

Dan: Doing that at Occidental, with students who help support.


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About Dick Brown

I've taught computer science at St. Olaf College for 21 years, and I supervise interdisciplinary undergraduate research. I'm especially interested in finding ways to apply high-performance computing in fields that are far from the areas typically associated with computing, in collaboration with faculty and undergraduate students in those fields.