Digital Humanities Intern (NYC or Ann Arbor)

New York City
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Created: March 19, 2015


At ITHAKA, we think nothing is better than knowing we are having a positive impact on the world. We impact the lives of millions of people and thousands of institutions every day both in ground-breaking ways and in small ways that mean a lot.

Our Organization

We have a bold mission. We work with leaders in the global higher education community to advance and preserve knowledge and to improve teaching and learning through the use of digital technologies. We are passionate about the value of education and are driven to deploy technologies to make our universities, colleges, and high schools better, more affordable, and more effective, and to reach beyond these traditional walls to support learners everywhere.

In two decades, we have launched some of the most transformative and widely used services in higher education: JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S+R. Our 300+ employees in the United States, Europe, and Asia work closely with our user communities, day in and day out, to build and continuously improve upon these services, and to identify new opportunities to expand access to knowledge and learning. As a successful organization in a demanding and dynamic environment, we challenge ourselves to retain an entrepreneurial spirit that pursues and embraces change.

Mission and Funding

We are proud to be a not-for-profit organization, but our status is a reflection of our mission, not our funding model. Our work across these services is highly valued in the global higher education community, and we cover our costs by collecting fees in exchange for the access, preservation, and research and consulting services we provide. That exerts a real discipline on our operations in that we must continually adapt to the needs of our audiences to be worthy of their support. Thousands of higher education and related institutions around the world are ITHAKA’s primary financial supporters; their JSTOR participation fees provide 88% of ITHAKA’s revenue. Our 99% renewal rate for JSTOR generates stable recurring income, alleviating the dependency on fundraising that many not-for-profits experience. Because the organizations share our commitment to our mission, we have the financial resources necessary to maintain a great work environment that encourages innovation and excellence.

The Role

The Digital Humanities Intern (DH) will work the JSTOR Labs team to extend Understanding Shakespeare, its partnership project with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Understanding Shakespeare has shown a new way of connecting primary texts with the literature about them, and the DH Intern will play a pivotal role in making this resource even more transformative. To do so, the DH Intern will work with the JSTOR Labs team to create a public API to the data within, Understanding Shakespeare. He or she will then create a series of public demonstrator visualizations and applications on top of the API, answering questions such as: which plays have shown steady academic interest over time and which have been the most “trendy?” How have quotation-rates of male vs. female characters in Shakespeare’s plays changed over time? What are the differences between disciplines in most-cited play, character, and line?

You can view an exciting and informative video of the job description by clicking on this link.

Our organization and this role will provide you with an opportunity few other companies can offer including:

• The content: JSTOR has an unparalleled breadth and depth of content that, paired with the Folger’s scrupulously tagged digital editions of Shakespeare’s plays, will give the DH Intern a significant scholarly sandbox to play in.
• The exposure: JSTOR’s traffic and ability to publicize the DH Intern’s Demonstrator project provide a unique chance for your project to get the visibility that will help your career.
• The team: Launched less than a year ago, the JSTOR Labs team has established itself as deeply innovative and truly impactful both within ITHAKA and the wider scholarly community.
• The opportunity: This is no make-copies-and-tag-along-while-we-work internship. You will have the chance to have a true impact, and, in doing so, will be expected to have the entrepreneurial skills needed to drive this project through to completion.

The duration of this paid internship is approximately 8-10 weeks with the possibility of an extension. While the DH Intern will need to be self-directed and poly-skilled in order to accomplish this task, they will have ample support in the JSTOR Labs team, who will assist technically in the creation of the API and then in marketing and distributing of the demonstrator applications. In addition, the DH Intern will be able to take advantage of JSTOR’s cutting edge and cloud-enabled technical infrastructure. The Labs infrastructure runs on Linux-based servers hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Candidates for this position can choose whether to locate in our New York, NY or Ann Arbor, MI offices.

Specific Objectives and Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the DH Intern are:
• Work with the Labs team to create an API on top of Understanding Shakespeare data. That API will expose link data currently shown within that site, bibliographic data of the linked-to articles, and data housed within the richly-encoded Folger Digital Editions.
• Create a series of public apps and visualizations that demonstrate both what can be done with the API and highlight the richness of the underlying data.

Skills, Experience, and Characteristics

• The ideal candidate will be a current student or a recent graduate of a Masters-level program in Digital Humanities or related fields, capable of combining technical skills with scholarly acumen. The project will involve the development of web applications running on our Linux-based Labs infrastructure.
• Technical skills:
o Strong working knowledge of core web technologies including HTTP, HTML, Javascript, and CSS.
o Familiarity with data visualization concepts and packages (such as D3.js).
o Experience in working with data markup (such as XML, RDF, and JSON) and performing data transformations.
o Experience with the Unix/Linux operating system and Python scripting language. Some background with the Django web framework would also be helpful.
o Experience in using code management tools such as Git.
• Substantive knowledge of English Literature, including the plays of Shakespeare, required.
• Candidates will need to demonstrate their ability to be entrepreneurial, self-directing and a master problem solver.
• Strong written, verbal and visual communication skills required.
• Candidates will submit a portfolio of related projects along with their application.

Work for us

Come join our team of talented and dedicated people with great ideas who want to make the world a smarter place.

Please email your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to:

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:42 UTC