Week 2 Blog Post: Digital Humanities Assumptions and Accessibility

It is becoming quite evident in our readings that the evolution of computers and technology truly coincide with the evolution of the humanities and ultimately humans, but it sure does seem to be taking a while for it to become a fair playing field for all people in so many ways, but mostly in the sense that the humanities are subject to the social constructs of race, ethnicity, sex and gender roles just like anything else is in our modern society. Once again, systemic racism, sexism and ableism are so pervasive in our lives that even in technology, assumptions are still being made about how to use and to what extent people can actually use this technology and access useful data, none the less incredibly important stories and experiences from people of color have to be so mindfully recorded and often unearthed years later, almost like a fossil. Given the imbalance of work done on black culture vs white culture, we have to look at the scholars and the question remains – who is more worthy of their data being collected and acted upon? There is also a great focus on the medium in which the message is being delivered and also obtaining credit when things are being posted digitally within and outside of the DH community, and while that’s well and good that the concern is there, what will the solution become in the long run? This seems to be an ongoing and troublesome conversation in academia, as credit for a scholar should be so much more concrete than just the equivalent credit of a general twitter post by a regular civilian, which in reality we don’t own the content in some cases after it’s posted depending on the platform. There is more work to be done, and in the case of racism in America it will be endless work to bring to light these nearly lost stories, but ultimately we can see that the current BLM movement and pro-feminism has already made it’s way into the DH community and we can only continue to support that. We can see right here at the CUNY Graduate Center that professors have already attempted to bring these stories into the classroom which therefore digitizes them and stores the data. In creating more scholarly resources on people of color and using our feminist and antiracist eyes in examining past databases and organizations, the DH community is at large committed to making data more accessible in communities that are in need but has also taken a beating for being racist in itself, and therefore we witness a massive upheaval and influx of more well-rounded and all encompassing humanities data.