University of Rochester

River Campus Libraries and the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies

CLIR Fellow in Data Curation for Visual and Cultural Studies

The University of Rochester River Campus Libraries (RCL) and the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies (VCS) in the College of Arts and Sciences offer a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in data curation to support scholars engaged in interdisciplinary research and teaching in the field of visual studies, including visual and material culture;  art and art history; architectural, museum, moving image, and film studies. The successful candidate will have a strong background in visual studies, preferably but not limited to visual and cultural studies, English, history, modern languages, anthropology, film studies, or art and art history. Reporting jointly to VCS and the Assistant Dean for IT, Research, and Digital Scholarship at the RCL, Nora Dimmock, the position will allow for a deep  exploration of the current state of metadata uses in material and visual culture; the development of curriculum to support digital curation practices; and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members from VCS on several courses that seek to critically evaluate the digital representation of material objects, still and moving images, and visual and performing arts.

The University of Rochester’s VCS Program in the Department of Art and Art History engages students in a unique interdisciplinary curriculum focusing on visual culture that includes core courses in visual theory, visual studies, and a wide range of electives in the arts, literature, modern languages, history, anthropology, and film and media studies. An example of one project in data curation for visual studies is Re-Envisioning Japan, a digital project by Professor of Japanese and VCS Joanne Bernardi that documents Japan’s presence as a foreign destination in visual and material culture. The CLIR Fellow will work closely with Dr. Bernardi and the Digital Humanities Center Staff to develop a metadata schema, data model, and data curation plan for Re-Envisioning Japan that would allow the project to be migrated to the Omeka open-source website publishing platform, and to work with Professor Bernardi to develop digital humanities labs for two courses build on the project. Other notable projects include the Claude Bragdon Train Station Project, led by Assistant Professor of Art and Art History and VCS A. Joan Saab, and Professor of History Joan Rubin, which is reimagining the digital archive using architectural drawings, 3-D models, and oral histories to recreate Bragdon’s train station which was demolished in 1967.

The CLIR Fellow in Data Curation for Visual and Cultural Studies will also work closely with RCL’s Digital Humanities Center, and the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation to establish best practices for data curation and metadata management for current and future initiatives that expose hidden collections through the creation of online scholarly archives and projects. Two notable collaborations include the Seward Family Papers Project, which is digitizing, transcribing, encoding, and publishing the family papers of William Henry Seward, and the May Bragdon Diary Project, whose diaries present a multitude of investigations, including how to represent complex material objects that have multiple layers of text, photographs, and all manner of ephemera pasted onto each page.

Position Goals:

  • The Fellow will advance their scholarship in the field of visual and cultural studies through the development of digital curation practices for resources supporting research, teaching, and scholarship.
  • The Fellow will contribute to the development of digital humanities scholarship at the University of Rochester through collaboration with librarians in special collections, data management, and digital humanities, and with scholars engaged in digital projects that place visual and material culture in a disciplinary framework.
  • The Fellow will build capacity in humanities data curation across the RCL, VCS, and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rochester, with a focus on integrating research and teaching practice with the creation of sustainable data and metadata schemas that describe online and physical collections.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop a metadata schema, data model, and data curation plan for Re-Envisioning Japan that would allow the project to be migrated to the Omeka open-source website publishing platform
  • Collaborate on the development of digital humanities labs for courses offered in the Spring 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.
  • Collaborate with VCS and Art and Art History faculty and graduate students to introduce data curation practices where appropriate, including the curriculum for the Photographic Preservation and Collections Management Program.
  • Provide professional leadership in the design of data curation practices for visual and cultural studies by joining the Seward Family Papers Project, the Claude Bragdon Train Station Project, the May Bragdon Diaries Project, and other projects as needed.
  • Engage scholars across the humanities and social sciences working in visual and cultural studies to discover current practices and unmet needs.
  • Participate in campus-wide initiatives in data curation and development.
  • Collaborate with the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, and the Digital Humanities Center to build institutional capacity across the RCL in humanities data curation to support visual and material culture.

Qualifications:

Required

  • Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies, English, history, modern languages, anthropology, film studies, or art and art history.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work with faculty, librarians, graduate students, and undergraduate students in a collaborative, innovative, and highly experimental environment.
  • Demonstrated creativity, initiative, self-direction, and innovative thinking.

Preferred

  • Knowledge of trends in data and metadata management and description.
  • Prior experience with digital humanities projects and methodologies.
  • Experience in project-driven collaboration with librarians and library collections.

The Scholarly Community, the Library, and the University of Rochester

The CLIR Fellow in Data Curation for Visual and Cultural Studies will benefit from joining a unique community of scholars deeply engaged in the study of visual and material culture, including four interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts and Sciences: the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies; the Film and Media Studies Program; and two joint programs with the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Photographic Preservation and Collections Management Program and the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. The community is further enriched by the Fredrick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, which also offers a Postdoctoral fellowship, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, two interdisciplinary research centers that host a variety of symposia and workshops.

Rochester is also a member of the Central NY Humanities Corridor, a Mellon funded collaboration between Rochester, Syracuse University, Cornell, and six liberal arts institutions that further strengthens and broadens the scholarly community and provides unparalleled opportunities for collaboration across New York State. The Digital Humanities Center and the Mellon Graduate Fellowship in Digital Humanities will be offering a variety of workshops in digital methods and tools throughout the year that will provide an excellent opportunity for professional development.

The University of Rochester Libraries belongs to the Association of Research Libraries, has collections of more than three million volumes and more than 44,000 active serial titles, and is a new member of the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. The River Campus Libraries, the largest of three library systems at the University of Rochester, is in the process of completing the first year of a five-year transformational strategic plan. The River Campus Libraries has already made a significant investment in data science and digital humanities, including creating three new full-time positions: data librarian, digital humanities programmer, and GIS research specialist. River Campus Libraries’ strength as a host institution is enhanced by its collaborations in digital humanities projects and faculty research, and strong knowledge of library metadata schemas including MARC, EAD, TEI. For more information on the Libraries visit our website: www.library.rochester.edu.

The University of Rochester is the sixth largest private employer in New York State and one of the nation’s leading private universities with just over 5,600 undergraduate and over 4,600 full and part-time graduate students on the River Campus. Located in Rochester,  New York, the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum.

Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation, a new three-story building on campus, supports new interdisciplinary programs in Digital Media Studies and Audio and Sound Engineering. The University has made a $100 million commitment to data science, including building a Data Science Institute, and opening a high-resolution visualization collaborator in Carlson Science and Engineering Library in 2014.