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Digital Humanities: Issues

Issues

An Intersectional Digital Humanities

A number of important issues intersect in complicated and important ways in digital humanities work. Below, we briefly introduce some of these along with one recommended reading and resource each in an effort to promote an intersectional digital humanities. If you would like to comment on or add to this section, please email me

 

Accessibility
Accessibility focuses on making digital humanities projects available for those with disabilities, for instance, making websites usable with screen readers or including closed-captioning on videos.

 

Cultural Protocols
Many communities share and access their intellectual property and cultural heritage through unique cultural protocols which demand more nuance than many copyright laws and digital platforms have typically provided.

Environmental Impact
The effects of digital technology, despite the ubiquity of terms such as "wireless" and "cloud," have real environmental impact, from the CO2 emissions generated from each Google search to the toxic layers of computer hardware contributing to the anthropocene.

 

Gender & Sexuality
From the foundational, though often obscured, role played by women throughout the entire history of computing, to the expression of self amidst dominant binary forms, gender and sexuality have a deep and complicated relationship with digital technology.

 

Labor
Digital humanities projects can often involve significant forms of labor, from public and anonymous crowdsourcing to undergraduate and graduate student work, and the need to provide proper forms of compensation and acknowledgement is important.

Privacy
To exist online to is perform new kinds of publicity and self, what the Critical Art Ensemble first called our "data body." Considering privacy online is a necessity for digital humanities scholarship from the classroom to the archive and beyond. 

Race
As Moya Bailey has written, "The ways in which identities inform both theory and practice in digital humanities have been largely overlooked." From expression to erasure, race, technology, and the humanities have a long, difficult and important relationship, which needs acknowledging and more.

 

Digital Humanities Librarian

Josh Honn's picture
Josh Honn
Contact:
University Library, 2 East, Suite 2699A
josh.honn@northwestern.edu
(847) 467-4761