Instead of pushing coding, let’s push critical thinking. How do we structure our projects? How do we build projects that can share code and data with other projects? How do we build things that others find compelling? How do we influence the world? Let’s elevate the field to the point where it begins leading a community outside of the academy. That won’t happen if all we do is write code or ignore the digital aspects of our work.
Audre Lorde (1982) ‘Audre Lorde: Lit From Within’ interviewed by Fran Moira and Lorraine Sorrel, Off Our Backs: A Women’s Newsjournal, p. 3. (via james-bliss)
Did Anzaldúa or Moraga ever comment on this? I really need to read This Bridge We Call Home and compare it to This Bridge Called My Back. I’m curious to see who did and did not contribute to Bridge We Call Home…
So as a white feminist, I feel the need to remind everyone: intersectionality is key to any progressive movement. It is the only way meaningful progress is possible. That means, inevitably, you are going to have to confront some kind of privilege that you have. If you’re a white feminist, like me, you have a massive one: white privilege.
And that in turn means that you are going to have to own up to shit and read some shit and acknowledge the existence of some shit that is really going to make you uncomfortable. It’ll make you uncomfortable because there is a power structure in place that prioritizes your race over everyone else’s and teaches you that anything involving racial equality is unnecessary, and everything involving racism is untrue or overblown. When you open your eyes to racism, your privilege is going to smack you in the face and make you so uncomfortable that you want to close the door entirely and focus back on whatever you were doing before.
And I say this out of love: get the fuck over it. People of color don’t have the option to close that door and back away. Discussions of race are not about your comfort, and the sooner we stop putting our comfort ahead of even the basic needs of non-white women, the sooner we can start making some real progress.
Ugh, I just lost a long-winded post. Someone up there is telling me something.
It’s been at least eight years since I read Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, but I remember a specific episode from that book that troubled me as the above anecdote troubled Audre Lorde. Specifically, the narrator leaves the United States and heads to Mexico, where she feels a kind of peace and acceptance that furthers her journey of self-acceptance. But I remember feeling disturbed by how Cuernavaca was described: with a near-utopian giddiness that bordered on othering. No sense of the history, the culture, or the identity of Mexico—it was a kind of paradisiacal garden of personal discovery for the narrator.
I don’t know if I’m remembering it correctly. I don’t know if I would react to it in the same way now.
But I don’t think Lorde would mind anyone holding it up for closer scrutiny, either; it’s a good example of her argument. There is very little to stop anyone from using entire groups of convenient people as fodder in their own personal dramas, except education, compassion, and a willingness to say, “I was wrong.”
These responses are both ENORMOUSLY fucked up. Like, RIDICULOUSLY fucked up.
“It’s been at least eight years since I read Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, but I remember a specific episode from that book that troubled me as the above anecdote troubled Audre Lorde.” These are not equal things that are happening here. What happened to Audre Lorde was that her peers (the woman who said it and the people who let her continue unchecked) SAID SHE AND HER BLACKNESS SHOULD NOT EXIST. This is not ‘othering’ which you haven’t even made a real argument for or shown evidence of in the first place.
And stfusexists, take your white opinions elsewhere cuz you wrong. Your long-ass response DERAILS and DE-BLACKS the conversation and is otherwise completely irrelevant. Next time you have the urge to say, “As a white feminist” please follow it by saying to yourself, “I should shut the fuck up.”
But #transformDH suggests, to my mind rightly, that the jolt of the oppositional can be powerful, when it is rooted in a critical activism that builds on the little-t theories that have preceded and exist alongside it, rather than manifesting as nerdy beleagueredness.** Germano reflects that “[s]omeone once remarked to me that scholarly publishing in gay studies was a conflict between the nerdy and the naughty.” This conflict seems to me to have re-emerged in #transformDH’s invocation of oppositional rhetorics, in a way that I believe to be productive. Sometimes we need collaboration, and sometimes we need solidarity. And perhaps even such fine adjustments require some transformation in the way we understand our work.
The Day of DH project is a collaborative publishing project for digital humanists around the world to document what they do.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. The perverse notion that the most established and privileged people in the field are a precious indigenous culture whose tacit knowledge the colonizing discourse-wielders (who happen to be disproportionately female, brown, queer) cannot possibly appreciate is a prime example of nerdiness serving as a place for white men to feel embattled.
Let’s be clear. The fact that you build things that other people have trouble understanding does not make you similar to Native Americans at the moment of colonization. At all.
This is kind of my favorite thing ever.
BlackGirlsCode was founded by Kimberly Bryant a Biotechnology/Engineering professional who received her first taste of computer programming as a freshman in Electrical Engineering back when Fortran and Pascal were still the popular languages for newbies in the computing world and the ‘Apple Macintosh’ was the new kid on the block. Kimberly decided to launch BlackGirlsCode to meet the needs of young women of color who are underrepresented in the currently exploding field of technology. Much has changed since those days and the mission of BlackGirlsCode is to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders who will become the leaders and creators of tomorrow. Our goal: Build the Future
We’ve dubbed this project a “Crowdsourced Book Review” as a nod towards its collective nature. HASTAC Scholars were invited to review one chapter each, and then collectively comment on each other’s reviews once they are posted. All peer comments, questions and suggestions will be in the public comments on this site. We’d welcome your feedback too!
The reviewers are all from different universities, at different points in their academic career, and work in different disciplines. Some of these reviews are fairly personal engagements with the chapter in question, while others are more of a ‘report’ of the chapter’s content. There were no constraints placed on the style or content of the reviews.
We heartily welcome other reviewers to join this collection! If you’d like to add your own review, please post it as a blog on this site, and message me (Fiona Barnett, Director of HASTAC Scholars) with the link, so that I can add you to the list below.
This is such an important book, and it comes at an especially important time. We hope that by highlighting these engaging, innovative and thoughtful projects, that you will be inspired to read, learn & teach this book in the future.
In the meantime, jump in with comments, questions & your own reviews!
Reblogged from PhDeviate.org. Feel free to leave comments here or there!
The hashtag #transformDH has taken on a life of its own, and pretty soon I hope to have my chronicle of how it came to be up and readable, but for now, let me say that the mission statement of the #TransformDH Collective (as we have taken to calling ourselves) is “To use the methodological insights of queer and ethnic studies to produce a transformative effect on the digital humanities and produce a digital humanities that is itself transformative.” It was born out of a desire for more of a number of separate but interrelated things:
- A wider diversity in the people who do DH
- A wider diversity of topics and areas of DH inquiry
- More communication and connection between people doing queer or ethnic studies DH work
- And more…
For my own part, my interest was sparked by conference attendance. At MLA, ASA, THATCamp and other conferences I’d been to, I had grown, over time, accustomed to seeing panels tweeted. I grew to appreciate the ability that twitter offered to follow some of the great moments, even if they were just textual soundbites, from panels I could not attend. When I got to the Puerto Rican Studies Association conference in 2010, tweeting conferences had become second nature to me, and tweet I did.
I was almost the only one. PRSA hadn’t chosen a hashtag, hadn’t coordinated, and we just didn’t create the online splash of even a regional THATCamp, despite being a conference several times the size. I started wondering why. This led me to propose the THATCampSoCal session “Diversity in DH.” We talked about a lot of things there, and some great things have sprung from that session, but I still haven’t been able to bridge the divide I see in two of my fields of interest.
Call for Participants
Together with some good twitter friends, I’m putting together a roundtable for the upcoming Puerto Rican Studies Association conference. (I moved at the last meeting, by the way, because #PRSA is taken by the Public Relations Society of America, the Puerto Rican Studies hashtag is now: #PRStudies.)
I’ve set up another google doc and would like to begin a large conversation. I have been working on the theories and practices of bilingual digital representation for a while–I am interested in how we represent bilingual texts online. Inspired by a conversation with Aurora Levins Morales, I realized that while my own project is important, it has a much more important place in the context of a larger project. Puerto Rican Studies, as a field, needs to have real and practical conversations about the digital projects that exist, and about the digital projects that need to exist. Let’s start talking about a digital museum and library of puertorriqueñidad.
Building a Team
I’ve been in contact with a few people with great Puerto Rican Studies digital projects, and I’m looking for more (do you know some? send them my way!). I’ve been in contact with people about the overlap between such a project and an even larger project–Latino/a? Latin American? The Americas? Please, if you are interested, leave a comment here, or send one through the comment form on the home page, or email me, or tweet @PhDeviate. If you’re interested in participating in the roundtable at the Puerto Rican Studies Association, let me know that as well, and I’ll give you edit privileges to the google doc.
Back to #TransformDH
This is the kind of project that we in the #TransformDH collective are envisioning. In this case, how can Digital Humanities transform the ways we publish, archive, disseminate, make available, and even translate Puerto Rican cultural production? And how could this project change the ways that Digital Humanities thinks of itself?