The Modern Language Association Job Information List has been published since 1965. As part of another project I am working on, I OCRed the complete archive from April 1965 to present. In this post today, I note first mentions of key words or disciplinary phrases related to rhetorical studies and technology.
rhetoric – 1965
The first mention of “rhetoric” was on page three of the first MLA JIL, April 1965 for the University of San Francisco:
rhetoric and composition – 1971
The first mention of “rhetoric and composition” as an exact phrase was in October 1971 for Colorado State University, Fort Collins.
computer – 1968
The first mention of “computer” anywhere in the JIL was page 29 of the November 1968 JIL by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the Lang. & Lit Dept. For folks outside rhetorical studies, RPI is an early flagship doctoral program in rhetoric and technical communication. This job advertisement could be categorized as an early position in technical communication.
computers and writing – 1990
The first MLA JIL advertisement asking for “computers and writing” (exact phrase) was October 1990, Texas A&M (Page 33).
humanities computing – 1995
The first MLA JIL job advertisement asking for humanities computing (exact phrase) was October 1995 for West Virginia University, page 35 of the JIL. WVU was/is also a strong PW department.
digital rhetoric – 2000
The first MLA JIL job advertisement asking for digital rhetoric (exact phrase) was Syracuse University on page 75 of the October 2000 JIL. Note that the Syracuse job also welcomes interest in “humanities computing.”
digital humanities – 2000
The first MLA JIL job advertisement for “digital humanities” was also October 2000 for University of California, Santa Barbara, page 12 of the JIL.