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You know things are getting serious with an initiative when there is actual hiring associated with it. That is why I am so happy to call your attention to this posting for a Digital Humanities Design Consultant at Penn State.

The position is an exciting opportunity for someone with an advanced degree in a Humanities discipline looking for an alt-ac career. The original thinking behind it was to establish a structure to support our faculty, graduate students and undergraduates doing rigorous digital humanities research. The idea is for the Research Designer to be to academic research what an Instructional Designer is to pedagogy. Here is the analogy:

Instructional Designer : Pedagogy :: Research Designer : Scholarship

So this is a big step in our attempt to build a community of scholars using digital resources to enrich their scholarship in the humanities.  Before I link to the official positing itself, let me quote from the description to give you a sense of the sort of qualifications we are seeking in a successful candidate.

The Digital Humanities Design Consultant will be hired as part of The Humanities in a Digital Age initiative (HDA). HDA is intended to enrich and promote rigorous cross-disciplinary humanities scholarship and research, to open new opportunities for high caliber graduate placements in the humanities, and to enrich the undergraduate experience by providing undergraduate students access to and support for cutting-edge humanities research. This initiative will help develop new services to support digitally enriched scholarship by graduate students and faculty in a wider range of fields. Working together, the Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts intend to build a community of practice for the digital humanities at Penn State through programming, services, and research collaborations. The consultant will be encouraged to conduct/continue their own research. He or she will participate in national and/or international initiatives or professional activities which promote the development of a shared humanities research infrastructure.

For the entire positing, including an articulation of both the responsibilities and the wider institutional context in which the position is situated, visit the Digital Humanities Design Consultant positing on the University Libraries website.

From my perspective, one of the most exciting aspects of the Humanities in a Digital Age initiative is that it is founded upon  real collaboration between the College of the Liberal Arts and the University Libraries. I am particularly pleased to see this position emerge as another concrete example of the lasting value of this collaboration.

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