Digital Humanities Forum 2015
peripheries, barriers, hierarchies: rethinking access, inclusivity, and infrastructure in global DH practice
September 24 - 26, 2015
- Kim Christen Withey, Director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program and Co-Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation
- T-Kay Sangwand, Human Rights Archivist, University of Texas Libraries, Human Rights Documentation Initiative
- Anita Say Chan, Assistant Research Professor of Communications, University of Illinois
Digital Humanities engages in many alternative scholarly forms and practices, and thus positions itself as a channel for exploring and challenging how social and institutional constructs shape traditional and digital academic discourses. Yet DH itself contains many non-neutral practices and is far from barrier-free. Digital Humanities practices, tools, infrastructures, and methodologies often embed a variety of assumptions that shape what kind of scholarship gets made, studied, and communicated; how it is represented to the world; and who can participate in that making and communication. A truly accessible DH goes beyond technical standards and provides people and communities of different abilities, genders, sexual orientations, languages and cultures--and of varying levels of access to technology and infrastructure--the capacity to shape and pursue scholarship that addresses their own interests and needs.
In a global context, the expansion of DH practices around the world and beyond the academy can reveal the ways in which dominant, hegemonic practices within the field tend to reinforce the very inequalities DH attempts to correct through its embrace of accessibility and knowledge production. Thus, specific practices in Global DH can call attention to the explicit and implicit contradictions in broader DH practices.
Our 2015 Digital Humanities Forum will take a critical approach to exploring peripheries, barriers and hierarchies of digital humanities practice in a global context, identifying those assumptions, and advocating and showcasing alternative practices to advance the field. We will critically engage these issues by exploring themes such as inclusivity, accessibility, global perspectives, decolonization, and democratization as they relate to digital humanities practice and infrastructure.