Saturday, October 25, 2008

Table Talk

Today I attended a session with graduate students as part of UCSB's LCM Symposium: Careers in New Media and Digital Humanities, which was structured around some of the following questions and issues:

- challenges of working and seeking positions outside one's PhD granting department

-- what do humanities departments mean by "media"?

-- strategies for showcasing technical work in job applications (e.g. RA appts, wiki projects, blogs)

-- nomenclature and the shape of the field: new media, the digital humanities, electronic literacies, et al

-- the place of new media in rhet/comp departments (job opportunities, research questions)

-- what is the place of practical or applied research in the humanities?

-- the place of gaming in new media studies

As a rhetorician who is interested in praxis, I also put together a web page with three main types of sample public appeals that advertise expertise in the field of new media: sites created by graduate students and recent PhDs, sites I had created, and sites for different national and international professional associations, think tanks, philanthropic groups, and conferences in this rapidly changing interdisciplinary field. It was a lively discussion as we talked about how to balance virtuosity with collegiality and how to avoid gaffes such as providing too much personal information or creating websites that are difficult to display, navigate, print, or copy and paste. We also discussed some of the new genres being created by graduate students, such as the dissertation blog. Thanks to Rita Raley and Alan Liu for leading a productive discussion with me.

Update: One of the students present has already created his own site.

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