A Mind in Two Worlds

Professor earns unusual joint appointment.
September 17, 2013

The ancient and the modern come together in a new appointment at Duke. In July, Joshua D. Sosin Ph.D. ’00, an associate professor of classical studies and history, became the director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of Duke University Libraries. More impressive: Sosin is the first tenured faculty member at Duke to have a joint appointment in the library and an academic department.

“I’ve been collaborating with librarians here and elsewhere since 1996; for us the question would have been, why not the library?” Sosin said in an interview. “We’ve already started the process of integrating me socially with other library units. This is a process we're going to have to work out, but my hope and expectation is that we’re not going to be an isolated appendage but a working part of the library. That is part of my whole theory of what the benefits are going to be.”

Digital humanities: Sosin scrutinizing papyri. Jon Gardiner.

As director of the DC3, as the unit is known, Sosin will provide the vision behind the continuing effort to digitize and post the corpus of edited Greek and Latin documentary papyri. He’s the codirector of the Duke Data Bank of Documentary Papyri and has been closely involved with a collaborative effort among several institutions to make their collections cross navigable. His larger challenge is to help discover ways to create reliable, logical connections when it comes to sharing the various material and projects with scholars.