Libraries hire digital humanities research designer

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James O'Sullivan will join Penn State’s University Libraries, on Aug. 1, in a newly formed position as the digital humanities research designer (DHRD), reporting to the Publishing and Curation Services Department. In this position, O’Sullivan will work directly with members of the Penn State community, especially faculty and students as well as staff in the humanities. As the DHRD, he will consult on a variety of initiatives, advising scholars in the design and development of their projects, helping them apply various tools and methods in explorations of their research questions, and training humanists in the use of emerging technologies.

O’Sullivan has just completed requirements for a doctorate at University College Cork, part of the National University of Ireland, where he studied digital arts and humanities under Órla Murphy and Professor Graham Allen. He is active in a wide range of digital and humanities initiatives, and he is the recipient of a number of awards, including a Cork County and Coty Enterprise Boards CIT Prize for Innovation and an honorable mention in last year’s Global Outlook: Digital Humanities Essay Prize. He is founding editor of the New Binary Press, and his second collection of poetry is forthcoming later this year.

His appointment will add depth to the Humanities in a Digital Age (HDA) initiative, a partnership between Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts and the University Libraries to enrich and promote digital humanities research. Through the HDA initiative, the University Libraries will plan and implement new services to support digitally enriched scholarship by graduate students and faculty in a wide range of fields. Librarians and digital research designers will partner with humanities faculty to identify and discover ways to use technology to enrich existing faculty research projects in the humanities and to explore and create new forms of digital humanities scholarship. Faculty scholars will continue to work on individual research projects, but they may also develop into a community of researchers that support the goals of the HDA.

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