Job Opening: Visiting Research Assistant Professor in Syriac Studies and Digital Humanities (Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt University and invite applications for the open position of Visiting Research Assistant Professor in Syriac Studies and Digital Humanities. The term of appointment is one full year, beginning in fall 2015, with the possibility of renewal for one further year.

The Visiting Research Assistant Professor will work full time under the direction of Prof. David Michelson on the publications of The Syriac Reference Portal (, a digital reference project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The researcher will be affiliated with an academic unit at Vanderbilt University depending on expertise (Classics,Divinity, History, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Religion, etc.). The scholar will also be invited to take an active role in the life of Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, including its Digital Humanities seminar.

The person hired for this position will be a specialist in Syriac studies with strong linguistic skills (ancient and modern) and considerable experience working with Syriac texts, both editions and manuscripts. There will be a strong preference for a candidate who has experience with digital humanities, especially TEI XML, but additional training in digital technology specific to the project will be provided as needed.

The researcher will be a contributing author to SPEAR (Syriac Persons, Events, and Relations), the New Handbook of Syriac Literature, Gateway to the Syriac Saints, and other publications as needed. The researcher will collect and interpret data in Syriac and other languages, contribute to evolving data models, test user interfaces and XForms, collaborate with other project researchers, and perform additional project duties as needed.

Term of Appointment
The term of appointment is one full year, beginning in fall 2015, with the possibility of renewal for one further year. Applicants are expected to be in residence for the duration of the appointment.

How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online at:

Please contact Prof. David A. Michelson ( with any questions about the position or about the online application system.

A complete application will include the following materials:
1. A cover letter indicating applicant’s qualifications in Syriac studies and, if applicable, digital humanities;
2. A current curriculum vitae;
3. A scholarly publication, dissertation chapter, or digital project representing the applicant’s scholarly achievement or potential (these should be uploaded as attachments in the section marked “Resume and Cover Letter”);
4. Contact information for three referees.

The committee will begin review of applications immediately, with priority given to those applications received by May 22. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Required Qualifications:  
The Candidate must have previous research experience in Syriac studies, particularly Syriac literature. Reading ability in classical Syriac and at least one other ancient or medieval language as well as relevant modern languages is required. Candidate must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent by January 1, 2016.

Preferred Qualifications:  
We welcome candidates with an interest in digital research methods, such as the use of TEI XML. Ideal candidates should have additional expertise in one or more fields contiguous to Syriac studies, such as Jewish studies, Islamic studies, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean history, Byzantine studies, history of Christianity, Classics, or medieval history.

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.