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?
We ask how has digital humanities been defined; who benefits from that definition? How can digital humanities benefit from more diverse critical paradigms, including race/ethnic studies and gender/sexuality studies? And what can modes of digital scholarship and pedagogy offer to scholars and teachers in American Studies? We discuss various ways digital scholarly work can productively engage with these lenses of critical cultural studies and solicit new ones. What works of digital scholarship, art, activism and pedagogy enable new possibilities for activating transformations in contemporary US cultural politics?
How can the methodological insights of queer and ethnic studies produce a transformative effect on the digital humanities and to produce a digital humanities that is itself transformative?