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Friday, June 9 • 9:30am - 11:00am
The Anti-Colonial DH School: A Virtual Roundtable

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Many digital humanities (DH) workshops and centers are situated within high cost Global North campuses, rendering these spaces inaccessible to precariously employed educators, community organizers, autodidacts, international students, disabled community members, and those residing outside of Western nation-states. These institutional defaults perpetuate colonialism and border imperialism in DH by centering elite, white, Brahmanical, and Western-centric knowledge production within resource-rich infrastructures, preventing the building of transdisciplinary learning communities committed to queer feminist, non-ableist, and anti-colonial goals at the intersections of technology and society. Against this cycle, the objectives of this roundtable are to plant the seeds for a global, free, and ongoing anti-colonial DH virtual school.

At this online session, we approach DH as a method to support praxes rooted in public scholarship and critical making involving three fields: media archaeology; community-focused digital storytelling; and online public knowledge writing. The questions that drive the formation of this school include:
  • What are the possibilities of building and sustaining a digital pedagogical infrastructure that offers a counterpoint to hegemonic infrastructures we find ourselves tethered to?
  • What are the tools and techniques for anti-colonial DH critiques grounded in translocal and transnational solidarities?
  • What are the constraints that we may act on to build inclusive, accessible, and sustainable knowledge-sharing in DH?
We take inspiration from various contemporaneous initiatives that seek to build more just otherwises to digital learning practices [1]. We also find ourselves thinking with longer histories of collective educational organizing that led to the formation of teach-ins, crowdsourced anti-oppression reading lists, and mutual-aid networks for community healing [2].

This proposal brings together folks working on digital pedagogy from an array of geographic and disciplinary locations, who are committed to the process of developing this school together. We will discuss not only the hopes of this school, but also what will be necessary to form it ethically, including its design and topical content and how to fund it in long-term ways. In our bios, we unpack our positionings and how we see ourselves entering this conversation.

Anne Cong-Huyen (she/her) is Director of Digital Scholarship at the University of Michigan Library, and affiliate faculty in the Digital Studies Institute and Asian Pacific Islander American Studies. She was previously the digital scholar and coordinator of the Digital Liberal Arts Program at Whittier College, and a Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA. She holds a PhD in English from UC Santa Barbara. She is co-founder of #transformDH, the SCRAM collective, and is currently the chair of the Digital Humanities Caucus of the American Studies Association.

Arun Jacob (he/him) is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Arun's doctoral work unites media genealogy, intersectional feminist media studies and critical university studies to explore how contemporary university data management techniques and information management systems shape our sociocultural relations, experiences, and knowledge.

Ashley Caranto Morford (she/her) is a Filipina-British settler whose work is in relationship with Filipinx/a/o studies, Indigenous studies, anti-colonial practices, and DH. Ashley aims to foster learning communities that challenge oppression, center systemically marginalized perspectives, practice anti-colonial ways of knowing/being, and provide skills to bring these teachings into the broader world. Ashley is an Assistant Professor in Liberal Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA).

Kush Patel (they/he) is a queer feminist educator and public scholar, working at the intersections of architecture and the digital public humanities. Their “alt-ac” and academic career paths have constantly asked: what pedagogical and archival forms might campus-community projects in and with the digital take to engage infrastructural struggles in our deeply unequal and violent contexts of heteronormative and casteist patriarchy. Currently, they serve as Head of Studies for the Postgraduate Arts Program in Technology and Change at Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore, India.

Latoya Lee’s (she/her) areas of specialization include Critical Race Theory, Critical Media Studies, Black Feminisms, Women of Color Feminisms, digital communities, digital social movements, and identity constructions. Specifically, her research centers around the ways BIPOC have used digital and social media, to first, (re)define their bod(ies) outside of dominant media perceptions; next, to challenge white supremacy and institutionalized racism; and lastly, to build digital communities of support and empowerment. Currently, Latoya is an Assistant Professor in the Women, Gender and Queer Studies Department at California State University, Fullerton.

Michelle Lee Brown (she/they) is the Assistant Professor of Indigenous Knowledge, Data Sovereignty, and Decolonization at Washington State University. A recent Eastman Fellow at Dartmouth College in their department of Native American and Indigenous Studies, she completed her PhD in the Indigenous Politics and Futures Studies programs in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. More about her practice and praxis is at www.michelleleebrown.com. Euskalduna from Lapurdi (Biarritz), she now lives on Umatilla, Cayuse, and Walla Walla lands and waters. She strives to uphold her relational commitments to these communities and imagine and build otherwise.

Palashi is a PhD Candidate in Information Science at Cornell University. An engineer turned feminist scholar and writer, her research interests lie at the intersection of science and technology studies, feminist studies, socio-cultural anthropology and information sciences. Her award-winning research on gender and caste in the computing industry has been published in leading Associated Computing Machinery venues like CHI and CSCW. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council-Mellon Foundation, Microsoft Research, University of Siegen and Cornell University. She tweets at @lapshiii and you can find her ongoing and published work on https://palashi.xyz.

avatar for Anne Cong-Huyen

Anne Cong-Huyen

Director of Digital Scholarship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Kush Patel

Faculty Member and Head of Studies (MA in Technology and Change), Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, MAHE

Ashley Caranto Morford

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA

Arun Jacob

PhD candidate, University of Toronto
avatar for Latoya Lee

Latoya Lee

Assistant Professor, California State University, Fullerton, USA

Michelle Lee Brown

Tri-Cities Campus of Washington State University, Pullman, USA

Palashi Vaghela

Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

Friday June 9, 2023 9:30am - 11:00am EDT