Professor of English
Director of Digital Humanities
Literary Studies; Digital Humanities
Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. Her work across her career has focused on building resilient, sustainable scholarly communities and transforming their processes of communication to foreground connection, conversation, and collaboration. She has published three books, Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Hopkins Press, 2019), Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011), and The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (Vanderbilt Press, 2006). She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving nearly 30,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world.
Between 2011 and 2017, Fitzpatrick was Director of Scholarly Communication and then Associate Executive Director of the Modern Language Association, where she co-authored and oversaw the development of the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. Prior to taking on that position, she was Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, where she had been a member of the faculty since 1998. While at Pomona, she co-founded the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, where she led a number of experiments in open peer review and other innovations in scholarly publishing. She has served as president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities since 2020, and she currently serves as president of the board of directors of the Educopia Institute, and as a member of the board of directors of the Council on Library and Information Resources.
An open-source, open-access network serving more than 30,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world.
Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.
MLA Handbook, eighth edition. Modern Language Association, 2016.
Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy. NYU Press, 2011.
The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television. Vanderbilt University Press, 2006.
Peculiar Genres of Academic Writing
Over the last ten years of my career, without question, the most important form of writing I’ve been called upon to undertake is the grant proposal. It’s a form I was never taught anything about, but instead had to learn for myself through a nasty process of trial and error. The same is true of a lot of kinds of writing we’re required to complete; the work you are assessed upon in grad school largely focuses on the seminar paper (a prototype for the journal article) and the dissertation (a prototype for the scholarly book). Insofar as grad school teaches you to write those forms — a questionable notion in itself — you’re all too frequently left on your own when it comes to the other crucial bits of scholarly and public prose you’ll be called on to produce. This course, which is more writing workshop than seminar, will give you exposure to and practice in several such forms, and will give you some tools to bring to bear on the other peculiar genres you might run into over the years — hopefully with good results for your more standard writing practices, too.
Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019
MLA Handbook, 8th edition
Modern Language Association of America, 2016
Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy
New York University Press, 2011
The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television
Vanderbilt University Press, 2006