The Digital Humanities as a Historical “Refuge” From Race/Class/Gender/Sexuality/Disability?
Sparked by David Golumbia’s recap of the “Dark Side of the Digital” conference (#c21dsd) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Postcolonial Digital Humanities posted an open thread on the issues of race, gender, class, sexuality, and disability in DH. The thread has generated over 150 comments, providing a spectrum of viewpoints and a lively discussion of how the “yack” side of DH influences the “hack” side and vice versa. One of the many resonant points comes from Alan Liu, who acknowledges the broader forces at play in the discussion while addressing how the field of DH can affect change:
What do I as a digital humanists want to teach my students? I want them to come out of university with the intellectual methods and technical skills needed to interoperate across the institutions and professions for which they are headed. But I want them also to have retained enough of a comparative sense of the differences in premises and identities vested in society’s institutions and professions that they can enter that fray as what we used to call “well-rounded” human beings. … The digital humanities can really be a sweet spot for teaching such differences–encoded, as it were, as low in the stack as how databases are appropriately used in different social contexts.