Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Digital Humanities

Since I don't start my alt-ac job until September, I have been fortunate enough to have some free time to attend talks and workshops at my institution's Humanities Division. I have had a digital crowdsourced project in mind for some time now, and finally took the leap from concept to actually finding out how to implement it.

The project stemmed from my doctoral thesis, which focused on working on an untranslated twelfth-century medieval Latin text. In addition, I was encountering more and more texts which I thought would be worthwhile to translate. And if I was encountering this, I was certain that others were too.

I don't wish to talk too much about the project here. You can find more details at the projects website here: Medieval Text Translations Project.

I first attended a talk about crowdsourcing, and then followed it up with a talk on Pipeline to Project: Planning Digital Research Projects.

I am very new to the world of Digital Humanities but it seemed to me that searching for project funding could be a useful alternative post-PhD route. Many PhDs in the humanities see the traditional route as Lecturer, Professor, Research Fellow, or a researcher on an existing project. 

But what about running a project yourself?

I have to admit, it was not something I ever thought about. Of course, the same pitfalls and hurdles which face the traditional job hunt inevitability exist when looking for funding for a project. But at least it gives another layer to the post-PhD horizon!

Pragmatically, the field of Digital Humanities is expanding at an exponential rate and there is an immense amount of scope for innovative research! In addition, having a Digital Humanities project under your belt may well be something which will separate you from the rabble when applying for a "traditional" academic role in the future!

Food for thought!