Hooray! I’ve moved across the country, from one ocean-hugging state to another, to start my new job as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. In an uncanny fit for my current ecocritical work on video games, I’ve been hired to write and teach about both environmental literature and the digital humanities. Though I don’t consider myself a “digital humanist” in the narrow sense (an alternative academic or professor using digital tools and platforms to create online projects, often grant-funded, often archival in nature), I’m more than happy to carry that flag if it generates support for smart, open-minded, and ambitious collaborations across the usual disciplinary divides. UConn is in the midst of a considerable faculty hiring initiative, largely centered around the STEM-focused Next Generation Connecticut plan put forward by Governor Dannel Malloy and UConn President Susan Herbst. And while most of the hires are taking place in engineering, science, and related fields, a few of us literary folk slipped through under the auspices of terms like “DH” (see the English Department web site for information about the three other new DH hires: Bhakti Shringarpure, Yohei Igarashi, and Gregory Pierrot).
Also up and coming are the new Digital Media and Design department, within the School of Fine Arts, and the Scholars’ Collaborative, named in honor of the Scholars’ Lab at University of Virginia. While things digital are just starting to gain bureaucratic momentum here, UConn just hosted THATCamp New England, this week we have ReMEDIAting Flusser, and I’m already teaming up with Anna Kijas and Tom Scheinfeldt to bring Joanna Swafford here in February to talk about her project, Songs of the Victorians. I also take comfort in UConn’s close proximity to New York City and Boston, both hubs for innovative media research and game design (if you’re in the area, take advantage of the Boston DH Consortium mailing list).
Anything I should add to my new local lists? Let me know!