Kathleen Fitzpatrick

kfitz@msu.edu

FacultyEnglishDigital Humanities

Professor of English
Director of Digital Humanities

Literary Studies; Digital Humanities

ORCID: 0000-0002-5251-0307

Curriculum Vitae

Biography

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.

Projects


Humanities Commons

An open-source, open-access network serving more than 30,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world.

Publications

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.

Courses

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.

University News

Humanities Commons Network to Expand to New STEM-Focused Commons
Published August 18, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
A picture of a woman with short hair and glasses smiling.
Humanities Commons, an online open-source platform hosted and sustained by Michigan State University and used by thousands of humanities scholars and practitioners around the world, was awarded a…Read now »
Humanities Commons Receives $971,000 Mellon Grant to Support Its Expansion
Published October 5, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Humanities Commons, which is hosted and sustained by Michigan State University and led by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities for MSU’s College of Arts & Letters, was awarded…Read now »
Global Digital Humanities Symposium to be Held Virtually April 12-15
Published March 18, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
This year’s Global Digital Humanities Symposium (GDHS) will be an all-virtual event taking place synchronously over four days, with four hours each day of programming. Scheduled for…Read now »
Humanities Commons Is Moving to Michigan State University
Published September 30, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
Text-based graphic that reads "Humanities Commons"
Michigan State University has taken over hosting and development of Humanities Commons, an online network for people working in the humanities. The site was launched by the Modern Language…Read now »
NEH Grant Supports Humanities Commons, a One-of-a-Kind Resource
Published January 16, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
green trees with a brown brick tower in the background and a blue sky
Humanities Commons (HC), led by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities for MSU’s College of Arts & Letters, has received a $500,000 challenge grant from the National…Read now »
Podcast: Generous Thinking in Higher Education
Published February 13, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
man and woman standing next to one another and smiling in front of a sign
The third episode of season three of The Liberal Arts Endeavor, a podcast by Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters, is out. In this episode, host Dean Christopher P. Long…Read now »
Building Community Through Digital Humanities
Published February 13, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
woman who is wearing a pink shirt, black blazer, and black glasses is smiling and standing in front of a brick building
Michigan State University has, since the beginning, been at the forefront of Digital Humanities (DH) research and scholarship, and helping lead those efforts for the past year and a half is…Read now »
First Recipients of TOME Award Announced
Published January 10, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
photo of an orange brick building with a clock tower in front of a cloudy sky and green trees
The first three recipients of the TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) Award have been selected to receive funding to support an open-access digital publication of a book they…Read now »
Podcast: Digital Humanities at MSU
Published January 23, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
four people smiling in front of a poster that says "MSU liberal arts endeavor podcast"
On the latest episode of The Liberal Arts Endeavor, a podcast by the Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters, co-hosts Hannah Bullion and Dean Chris Long discussed Digital…Read now »
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Named New Digital Humanities Director
Published June 20, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
headshot of a woman with brown hair and green eyes
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…Read now »