A quick work update

Chips and beef jerky
Road food during our trip from New Haven to Atlanta

Boy, May just about killed me! There was the small matter of writing the last chapter of my dissertation, not to mention revising an article, grading stacks of finals and papers, finding a new place to live — and, of course, moving 1,000 miles from New Haven to Atlanta. I was fascinated by the exotic variety of weird stress-related symptoms I developed: so very many rashes!

Anyway! We did it, and here we are in Decatur, Georgia, mostly unpacked and doing great. I started my job in Emory’s library on June 15, and I’m loving it. I was delighted to find my initial impressions of Emory confirmed — particularly the part about having awesome coworkers.

One thing I’d missed while in school was exercising a variety of different skills, and I’m finding this one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. I do a lot of research, just like always, but also a lot of planning, talking, and strategizing. And, crucially, I know when my workday is over.

I have to confess to some initial concern that in moving from an academic role to a (sort of) staff role, I’d experience some drop in others’ respect or willingness to take me seriously. So far, though, I’ve been way too busy to worry about that at all. And the faculty members I’ve met at Emory have been absolutely terrific, more than willing to listen to my ideas.

So, basically, I’m congratulating myself on ending up here, and feeling optimistic about what my coworkers and I can accomplish at Emory. If only that dissertation didn’t need revising …

A happy announcement!

Atlanta, as seen from the top floor of Emory's Woodruff Library
I took this shot of Atlanta from the top floor of Emory's Woodruff Library on the February day I interviewed.

I am so happy to report that I’ve just accepted a new job. Beginning June 15, I’ll be the Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Digital Scholarship Commons at Emory University. I’ll be working to coordinate, promote, and integrate Emory’s existing digital resources, as well as helping to design a physical space for a digital scholarship program. I couldn’t be happier about this: on my visit to Emory, I was blown away by the resources, ideas, and (especially) the people Emory has devoted to the digital humanities. I loved what I saw of Atlanta and felt convinced that Andy and I (and Beatrice) could have a good life there.

After years of fretting about the job market, I found myself in the totally unexpected, totally surreal position of having to decide between two great offers. The other, for a teaching postdoc at a wonderful small liberal-arts college, was a very attractive, more conventional academic position. It was a difficult decision, and hard for me to subvert expectations by foregoing the traditional academic route, but I really believe that Emory’s program will help to build a place for a hybrid digital humanist and scholar.

On a personal level, I think it was important for me to be finally faced with a real choice between a professorial job and one in the digital humanities; it was the manifestation of a more abstract decision I’ve been trying to make for years. As soon as I made my choice, I knew it was the right one. We are celebrating in the Posner household!