2015 Conference & THATCamp

Toward a digital humanities of transformative research, pedagogy, and activism for social justice, accessibility, and inclusion

On October 2 and 3, 2015, the first Transformative Digital Humanities Conference and THATCamp will take place at University of Maryland College Park. The event is the second year of UMD’s Women’s Studies Technology Institute (information about the first year is here at Julie Enszer’s website). It is co-hosted by the Department of Women’s Studies (incorporating the LGBT Studies Program) and the Design | Cultures & Creativity Honors Program, and sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, Maryland Insitutute for Technology in the Humanities, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the LGBT Equity Center, the Asian American Studies Program, and the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies.

A day of scheduled presentations and workshops, culminating with a keynote speech from Lisa Nakamura, will be followed by THATCamp TransformDH: a collaborative, impromptu unconference in which participants from all backgrounds and skill levels learn, create, and play around together in sessions proposed on the spot.

This event seeks to bring together the international, interdisciplinary, cross-institutional, and extra-institutional network of conversations and collaborations about the idea of a “Transformative Digital Humanities” that has been taking place since 2011 through the hashtag #transformDH.  The key claims of #transformDH have been that questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability have always been central to digital humanities and digital media studies, despite the ways in which the field has sometimes been constituted as in opposition to so-called ‘identity politics’; and that feminist, queer, and antiracist activists, artists, and media makers outside academia are doing work whose contribution to digital studies ought to be fully recognized. Digital humanities is an interdisciplinary field whose highest-profile projects have focused on tool-building, archival preservation, textual analysis, and mapping; #transformDH shifts focus from technological processes to political ones, arguing for a digital humanities constituted through activist interdisciplines (Women’s Studies, LGBT and Queer Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Disability Studies, and many more) that center on the intersection of digital production and social transformation through research, pedagogy, activism, art, and play. The work of our keynote speaker, Lisa Nakamura, on race and gender in digital spaces, has been and continues to be foundational to the ideas that are shared and developed in these networks.

On October 2, we will have a day of scheduled presentations and workshops open to the public, culminating with a keynote speech from Lisa Nakamura on “The Unwanted Digital Labor of Social Justice: Race, Gender, and the Origins of Call Out Culture”. An opening plenary session will bring together several founding members of the #transformDH collective to discuss the history and future of the movement: Moya Bailey, Anne Cong-Huyen, Amanda Phillips, and Alexis Lothian. A #transformDH video showcase will include work submitted by scholars and creators from across the US, within and outside of academia, and a roundtable discussion will highlight emerging scholarship and activism in digital disability studies. ASL interpretation will be provided.

You can see the schedule of events at this link. We will be streaming all presentations, sharing live notes online, and inviting remote participation via Twitter at the #transformDH hashtag.

On October 3, we will hold  THATCamp TransformDH: a collaborative, impromptu unconference in which participants from all backgrounds and skill levels learn, create, and play around together in sessions proposed on the spot. THATCamp is open to all but space is limited, so please make sure to register if you plan to attend. The deadline for registration was September 15; if you wish to register after that date, please email transformdh@gmail.com to see if there are open spaces.

The deadline for registration was September 15 2015. While you are welcome to attend the conference without registering, priority will be given to registered participants . If you have any other questions, please email us at transformdh@gmail.com