19.472 professorship in digital humanities at Lancaster

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 10:11:49 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 472.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 03 Dec 2005 10:01:42 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: professorship in digital humanities at Lancaster

Lancaster University

Professorship (or Senior Lectureship) in Digital Humanities

The newly formed Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Lancaster wishes
to appoint a Professor or Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities. The
appointment will be from Summer 2006 and is a permanent position.

The appointment should be seen in the context of a longer-term aim to
establish a critical mass of researchers interested in the digital
humanities. The establishment of this post is the first step towards
creating such a grouping.


At least two major reports have emerged recently that signal a way
forward for ICT in the humanities and arts (and social sciences). First,
the AHRC Delivery Plan argues the need for greater capacity in 'grid
technologies', suggesting that research is needed in locating, accessing
and integrating distributed resources that take the form of text, images
and sound. Humanities Computing is therefore one of the key areas
flagged in the Delivery Plan. There is already an ICT Methods Network
funded by AHRC (and hosted by King's College London, in which Lancaster
is involved as a partner institution) which aims to preserve and provide
access to digital resources and to guide new developments and advanced
methodologies. We wish Lancaster to play a leading part in both the
Network and in driving forward this initiative more broadly.

Second, the British Academy produced in May 2005 a report on
'E-resources for research in the humanities and social sciences'. Among
its recommendations are that Universities ensure that researchers have
adequate access to technical support in this field and that such
researchers promote the use of ICT where they can.

The creation of a new Faculty at Lancaster University provides a
platform whereby an initiative in this area can be actively promoted and
nurtured. Further, the University is keen to capitalise on the existing
research base by establishing itself as a centre of excellence in the
North West for ICT in the humanities and arts.

Lancaster is involved in the following activities related to Humanities
Computing (classified by Department); the list is skeletal and
illustrative only:

Linguistics - and especially corpus linguistics, lexicography and
historical linguistics; use of semantic tagging, applications to
dictionary production Contemporary Arts (Music, Theatre, Art) - the use
of new media in experimental performance; digital art installations,
music software, computer representations of music English - applications
to mediaeval theatre and manuscript studies, and to handling of material
relating to Quakers in the North-West; Ruskinian materials; Chartist
poetry; crime fiction History - digitising of calendar records, recent
and contemporary oral history materials Institute for Cultural Research
- cultural memory (oral histories)

Technical and equipment support

Some dedicated technical support will be provided to the post-holder.
The successful candidate will be invited to help determine, in
consultation with others, the nature of this technical support and the
equipment resources associated with this initiative. We have already
been given an equipment grant to set up digitisation facilities. We
intend that the successful candidate will develop a plan for the use of
such facilities, thereby creating an income stream (from teaching, and
from external sources) to help further develop a programme of activity.

Departmental affiliation

The administrative location of the successful candidate will, initially,
be at Faculty level. It is not immediately envisaged that the candidate
will be a member of an academic Department. This is to signal that the
initiative is seen as a Faculty-wide one in which the post-holder helps
to generate momentum across a range of potential stakeholders.

Job description

The successful candidate will, initially, be directly responsible to the
Dean of the Faculty.

Key internal contacts will be colleagues working in the host and cognate
departments in the Faculty and outside, and in seeking to develop
external funding the post-holder will be in close contact with other
staff in the Faculty, including the Associate Dean for Research &
Enterprise and the Research & Enterprise Support Officer.

Externally, we expect the post-holder to develop relationships with
appropriate organisations and individuals therein, both regionally and
nationally. Examples include the Research Councils (notably AHRC) and
regional galleries and museums.

Major duties will include:

Developing a research agenda, including the preparation of
significant outputs for RAE2008 in an appropriate Unit of Assessment; "
working with others to establish new degree schemes, initially at
postgraduate level, that are likely to recruit significant numbers of

submitting applications for research funding to a range
of funding agencies;

liaising with external stakeholders (including
museums, libraries and galleries) over their digitising needs; "
advising colleagues in humanities and social sciences on advanced
research methods using ICT;

helping to promote the use of advanced
ICT throughout the University;

helping to establish an
international profile for Lancaster University in this field.

The post-holder will have flexibility to scope the development of the
initiative. In particular, we would expect the post-holder to explore
the possibilities for establishing a digitising service for the wider
region as a means of helping to sustain the academic programme.

Person specification

We seek a dynamic and committed researcher to help develop further the
Faculty's interests in humanities computing.

Essential requirements

A PhD in a relevant research area. The precise disciplinary
background of candidates matters less than a willingness to engage
enthusiastically with academics from a range of disciplines, including,
inter alia, English, Creative Arts (Theatre Studies, Art, Music),
Linguistics, History, and Cultural Research.

Evidence of the use of advanced ICT, relating to the humanities
or arts, in their own research

A suitable track record of published work, commensurate with an
entry to an appropriate Unit of Assessment for the next Research
Assessment Exercise (2008)

Evidence of an ability to take a leadership role for the area of
ICT in the social sciences and arts.

Professor Tony Gatrell
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YT

Tel: 01524 510811
email: a.gatrell_at_lancaster.ac.uk

Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/
Received on Sat Dec 03 2005 - 05:37:35 EST

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