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May 24, 2007 |

Lev Manovich and Noah Wardrip-Fruin are launching a new initiative at the UCSD node of CALIT2 on “software studies.” It is aimed at looking software as an object of humanistic and social scientific study. They’ve just announced a postdoctoral position.

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

We are currently recruiting for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join a new Software Studies initiative at UCSD. The researcher will work with Dr. Lev Manovich (Professor, Visual Arts) and Dr. Noah Wardrip-Fruin (Assistant Professor, Communication), playing a key role in all projects and field-building activities.

The goals of Software Studies initiative
at UCSD are:

* to foster research and develop models and tools for the study of software from the perspectives of cultural criticism, the humanities, and the social sciences;
* to help establish a new field of “software studies” that will complement existing research in cyberculture and new media;
* to develop projects that will demonstrate how next generation cyberinfrastructure can be used by humanists, social scientists, and cultural practitioners.

For an introduction to “software studies,” see: Software Studies Workshop, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, February 2006 (


The position is full time (40 hrs/week). The initial appointment is for 1 year, with the possibility for renewal. The position comes with full benefits covered by UCSD ( The starting salary range is USD 38,000 – 42,000. The selected candidate can start immediately.

Required qualifications:

* a PhD in the humanities, social sciences, information science, or related interdisciplinary area that has been completed and defended before starting the position at UCSD;
* broad understanding of contemporary global culture and familiarity with current debates in one or more cultural fields;
* familiarity with current IT developments; understanding of Web 2.0 concepts and social media optimization;
* the ability to write engaging and jargon-free texts that are accessible to diverse global audiences.

Desired qualifications:

* experience installing and using research-oriented software tools (e.g., data mining tools, GIS packages, visualization technologies, databases, and/or other software used in digital humanities);
* understanding of programming language and system integration concepts; practical experience with computer programming or scripting;
* previous experience working with computer scientists on joint projects;
* previous research projects and/or publications which address software from the perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, or cultural criticism (for example: the history of software; studies of software use in the sciences, cultural industries, and other fields; the analysis of software structures and code).

This position is supported by the UCSD Division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA). Housing over 900 faculty, graduate students, and staff researchers, Calit2 is developing next-generation cyberinfrastructure tools with a particular focus on multidisciplinary collaboration.

Calit2 is located on the UCSD campus, which is internationally renowned as a place for study and research in digital art, computer music, and digital theory. Between the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Communication, there are close to 30 full-time faculty working in these areas.

The technical facilities and staff support for research in digital media on the UCSD campus are among the best in the world. They include a number of state-of-the-art research labs and performance spaces which provide both current and next-generation tools for immersive visualization, multi-channel audio spatialization, digital cinema, motion capture, interactive performance, 3-D fabrication, and computer gaming research. The UCSD campus also houses the San Diego Supercomputing Center which provides facilities for petascale computing, data storage, and visualization.

The position is open until filled, but application review will begin after June 10th, 2007. For priority consideration, candidates are encouraged to apply before this date. Applicants should send a current CV with cover letter to Helena Bristow ( with subject line “Application for Software Studies Postdoc Position.”

Manovich and Wardrip-Fruin will be available for preliminary interviews at the 2007 Digital Humanities conference during the first week of June, 2007 ( Please indicate whether you will be attending DH ’07 in your application.

For further information, please contact:

Helena Bristow
Administrative Director
Center for Research in Computing and the Arts