One of Editing Modernism in Canada’s primary objectives is “to train students and new scholars using experiential-learning pedagogies.” In an academic job market where the digital humanities seem to be opening up a new field into which young scholars can move, but where there still aren’t enough jobs to go around, and in a world when many of us pursue graduate degrees knowing that the professoriate isn’t for us, to what end is EMiC training emergent scholars? Where are we ending up? And how does the training we’re receiving through EMiC help us get there?
No longer the new kid on the block, EMiC has been around long enough to have trained and graduated dozens of students, many of whom are out in the world doing fascinating things that aren’t professorial. There’s Meagan Timney, EMiC’s first postdoc and a senior product designer at the e-reading company Inkling. There’s Katherine Wooler, the Museum and Communications Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. There’s Gene Kondusky, who is a high school teacher in Manhattan. There’s Reilly Yeo, who is the Managing Director of Open Media and a facilitator with Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives. There’s me, Research Officer in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University. And there are all sorts of others. We are current EMiC fellows and EMiC alumni, and we owe our success, in some part big or small, to the skills, training, and mentorship we received through EMiC.
In an ongoing series of posts on the EMiC blog, we’ll be talking about where we are now, how EMiC helped us get here, and how we view the relationship between digital humanities scholarship/training and the #alt-ac and #post-ac tracks. But to get us started, I’d like to feature an article by one of my #alt-ac icons, Katina Rogers, who started out as a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Boulder, and is now the Managing Editor of MLA Commons, the MLA’s alternative digital press and scholarly network. You might already know it, or its sister MediaCommons, started by Kathleen Fitzpatrick and the home of Bethany Nowviskie’s #Alt-Academy project. In her recent essay for #Alt-Academy, “Discerning Unexpected Paths,” Katina explores her own journey into the #alt-ac world, and her work with the Scholarly Communications Initiative in analyzing how others like me have ended up there with her. As Katina notes, “The problem with signposts on the alternative academic track is that they aren’t where you expect them to be,” which makes the journey both exciting and unpredictable. Instead of the straight line from PhD to t-t, moving onto the #alt-ac track looks rather more like the social network graph above. You can read the entirety of Katina’s essay here, and keep your eye on this space for discussions of the unexpected paths taken by EMiC fellows past and present.
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