Miriam Posner (UCLA) has posted the text of a talk she gave at the Digital Frontiers conference, titled “Here and There: Creating DH Community.” Posner begins by addressing some of the larger issues around building community:
For me, community happens when people are genuinely invested in seeing each other succeed. This doesn’t happen by being nice to each other — although there’s nothing wrong with that, per se — but by recognizing and rewarding other people’s work. We depend too much in the academy on the currency of prestige and what some have called ‘hope labor’ — the idea that it’s OK for your labor not to be rewarded now, because it may pay dividends down the road…A durable community forms when people’s labor is valued and rewarded, and it worries me that in the excitement of doing digital humanities, people’s labor sometimes gets erased.
The talk continues by offering several practical tips, including:
- go where the deals get made
- have coffee with one new person every week
- nobody comes to workshops
- survey sparingly