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Digital Humanities: alt-ac


graph showing the certainty of pursuing tenure-track professorshipgraph showing current category of employment

alt-ac & DH


" Instead, the #alt-ac label speaks to to a broad set of hybrid, humanities-oriented professions centered in and around the academy, in which there are rich opportunities to put deep—often doctoral-level—training in scholarly disciplines to use. Recent #alt-ac conversation online additionally tends to focus on the digital humanities, a community of practice marrying sophisticated understanding of traditional disciplines with new tools and methods” (Nowviskie, “The #alt-ac Track”).[2] 

Because, as Nowviskie says, discussions about alt-ac and DH tend to overlap, some people use the terms interchangeably. Some use alt-ac to mean non-faculty positions at universities, positions which could include administration and other decidedly non-DH jobs. Other times it’s used much more broadly to signify any job other than tenure-track academic jobs, inside or outside the academy. Some definitions are in between these two, where alt-ac can be at academic or non-academic institutions, but make use of academic research skills.[3][4] The term seems pretty consistently to describe jobs that are not on the tenure track.

Generally, “Digital humanities” (DH) is even tougher to sort out, in part because it has become a buzzword used in academic job listings to mean everything from knowledge of coding languages to working with digitally archived texts to simply incorporating new media into one’s classroom. Some DH jobs are tenure-track and some are not. These jobs might include “digital humanities” in the name (as in Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities), or they might not, and could either be tenure track or non-tenure track. The term “digital humanities” does not have the currency or recognition outside academia, so even if certain jobs afford the same opportunities to employ digital technologies on humanistic problems, they would not carry that label and may not be recognized as such by digital humanists within the academy." via