Kathleen Fitzpatrick Named New Digital Humanities Director

Dr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, a leader in the fields of digital humanities and media studies, has been appointed Director of Digital Humanities in MSU’s College of Arts & Letters. She also will serve as Professor in the Department of English. Her appointment is effective August 16, 2017.

headshot of a woman with brown hair and green eyes
Dr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick is the Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association (MLA), where she also serves as Managing Editor of PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America). In addition, she is a Visiting Research Professor of English at New York University.

“I am thrilled to welcome Kathleen Fitzpatrick as the new Director of Digital Humanities,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “A gifted researcher and scholar who is widely published, Kathleen is internationally recognized as a leader in digital scholarly communications. Her work has transformed the way scholarship is practiced in a digital age and her arrival at Michigan State University will advance our leadership position as a center for innovative research in the humanities.” 

Fitzpatrick has written extensively on critical issues and ongoing concerns that address the growing digital humanities field. In her most recent book, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology and the Future of the Academy, she explores the relationship between digital communication and the future of academic publishing, describing the technological crisis facing scholarly work within the context of digital communication and arguing for a new way of thinking that would give equal weight to online and print publications. 

For her research, she has been awarded numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Fitzpatrick is the co-founder and co-editor of MediaCommons, a digital scholarly network in media studies that promotes new forms of publishing and transforms what it means to publish.

A gifted researcher and scholar who is widely published, Kathleen is internationally recognized as a leader in digital scholarly communications.

She recently spoke at the 2017 National Federation of Advanced Information Services(NFAIS) annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia, and at Mötesplats Open Access 2017 in Karlstad, Sweden. She also has been the keynote speaker at numerous other conferences, symposiums, and events, including at the 2014 Michigan Library Association annual meeting held at Michigan State University, and in August 2015, she presented at the Institute of Digital Archaeology at Michigan State University.

Fitzpatrick is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Council of Library and Information Resources and is on the Advisory Board for the Open Library of the Humanities, the Open Annotation Collaboration, and the University of Michigan Press Digital Humanities Series. She also is on the Editorial Board for Transformative Works and Cultures and the Journal of e-Media Studies.

She received her Ph.D. in English from New York University and her M.F.A. and B.A., both in English and from Louisiana State University.

Fitzpatrick replaces Stephen Rachman, who had been serving as Interim Director of Digital Humanities since August 16, 2016. Rachman also is an Associate Professor of 19th Century American Literature, Director of the American Studies Program, and Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Literary Cognition Laboratory at MSU.