As Kimon pointed out, a lot of us DH-ers are “alternate academics”: we’re trained as academics and are still in the orbit of the academy, but we’re not in conventional tenure-track roles. Our hires were accompanied by fanfare about hybridity and new models of scholarship — and we care passionately about our jobs and our new profession.
However, it also seems clear to me that certain #alt-ac problems need some direct attention. I’m thinking specifically here about the issue of our scholarly research. The substance of this research looks different for all of us, and it may also look quite different from the work that earned us our degrees: perhaps it’s collaborative work, or technical work, or design work.
Whatever this scholarship looks like, it’s important: important if we’re really planning to challenge conventional models of scholarly production, important if we want to be conversant with our traditional academic colleagues, and important to us personally.
But we need certain resources in order to accomplish this research alongside the rest of our work. Chiefly time, but also money to attend conferences, library privileges, funds to purchase research equipment. My experience suggests that employers are not averse to providing us with these resources, but do need specific guidance about what we need.
In the spirit of hacking rather than yacking, I’d like to use this session to build a list of reasonable, specific guidelines to provide employers about what an #alt-ac needs in order to be, truly, a hybrid academic with an active research agenda.
A few links and sources of inspiration:
- This is inspired partly by the Off the Tracks workshop at the University of Maryland, which produced some wonderful work, including a Collaborators’ Bill of Rights
- As many of you may know, Bethany Nowviskie is the editor of #alt-ac: Alternate Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars, a collection forthcoming from MediaCommons
- And here’s “Where Credit is Due,” Bethany’s recent talk at the NINES institute about preconditions for evaluating collaborative scholarship.