The Job-Market Moment of Digital Humanities

By Leonard Cassuto

Digital humanities have become integrated into the academic job market. In fact, digital humanities are one of the few growth areas in the academic job market today say’s Leonard Cassuto of “The Chronicle of Higher Education. That raised the question: Will expertise in digital humanities get graduate students the academic jobs that so many of them seek?

Theory ā€” a mixture of deconstructionism, poststructuralist psychoanalysis, and the study of indeterminate reader response ā€” arrived at American colleges and universities in the 1960s from Europe and immediately began to undermine conventional ways of seeking meaning. That made it a good fit for scholars living in an uncertain time. On the heels of trendsetters at Yale and elsewhere, literary theorists gradually infiltrated departments of literature around the country.

Theory crossed a certain invisible threshold in the mid-1980s, and then suddenly every department needed to have a “theorist” on its faculty. Advertised openings mushroomed, as literature departments sought to represent this new field on their faculties.

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