At HASTAC 2015, I’ll be moderating this exciting roundtable of lightning talks that my fellow panelists and I put together. We’ll be talking about post/anti/decolonial and indigenous approaches to digital humanities.
In recent years, scholars have begun pushing back against the ways that digital humanities (DH) has traditionally defined itself, making the case for theoretical approaches that emerge from domain knowledge. For example, #transformDH provides a lens grounded in critical ethnic studies, indigenous studies has raised important questions about tribal sovereignty and the “openness” of knowledge, and #dhpoco integrates postcolonial theory. Along with possibilities provided by these frameworks for DH, we encounter resistance and limitations. On this curated panel of lightning talks, five scholars offer five-minute provocations on the affordances and limits of indigenous, postcolonial, anti-colonial, and decolonial approaches to DH. These short talks precede a conversation with the audience about how the fields in which we work are influenced by DH and how they reshape DH in turn.
Building on Chela Sandoval’s Methodology of the Oppressed and Edouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation, micha cárdenas’s talk proposes that building relationships and embodied skills for avoiding violence are communications strategies that learn from digital networks, creating embodied communication networks which can be described as post-digital and decolonial.
Maria Cotera will examine Chicana por mi Raza, a “bootstrap” digital reunification project that documents the development of Chicana feminist praxis through the collection of oral histories and archives (most of which are in personal collections). She asks whether it is possible to interrupt the knowledge/power system of the archive, and whether or not such projects are sustainable and scalable without major infrastructure.
Dhanashree Thorat will discuss the September 11 Digital Archive to draw connections between colonial and digital archives, and underline how digital archives become complicit in national(ist) projects.
Siobhan Senier will discuss Writing of Indigenous New England, a collaborative online literary anthology. Existing digital archives have tended, unwittingly, to privilege elite non-Native institutions, while new content management systems designed for greater community access and control have had relatively slow uptake. Senier will discuss the results of a recent NEH-funded workshop convened to discuss the distribution of power and resources in indigenous digital projects.
Annemarie Pérez will discuss experience using blogging technology in the Chicana/o studies classroom, in order to link to and expand Latina/o connections on the web, digitally echoing the experience of Chicano Movement print culture.
Roopika Risam will serve as presider and moderator for the roundtable discussion following the lightning talks.
Roopika Risam is an assistant professor of world literature and English education at Salem State University. Her research focuses on the role of digital humanities in examining connections between African American, postcolonial, and U.S. ethnic literary and cultural studies. She is currently finishing her monograph Postcolonial Digital Humanities, which is under contract with Northwestern UP.
micha cárdenas is an artist, theorist, student and educator who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes performance, migration, urban mobility and social movement. micha is a Provost Fellow and PhD candidate in Media Arts + Practice (iMAP) at University of Southern California and a member of the art collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. In 2014 micha is a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, and a MacArthur Foundation HASTAC Scholar.
Dhanashree Thorat is a PhD student in Postcolonial Studies, Asian American Studies and Digital Humanities at the University of Florida. She is a founding Executive Board member of the Center for Digital Humanities, Pune, India.
Siobhan Senier is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and editor of Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Writing from Indigenous New England (U of Nebraska P, 2014).
Annemarie Pérez is a recent Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California. Her specialty is Latina/o literature, with a focus on Chicana feminist writer-editors from 1965-to the present She teaches English and Chicana/o studies at Loyola Marymount University. She is currently writing a book on Latina feminist editorship.