Can Feminists Find DH Helpful?

Yup. I dove into the pool and didn’t check to see how deep the water was.

I’m still afloat, but holding my breath. is playing in the background. (S)he’s a man talking code, programming the new language of my life — and I’m not sure exactly what (s)he’s saying?

The twitter copy of tags is a little mysterious too. #InTheDarkAges #TwitterHelp #JustKidding #DHfeminist (There’s one tweet)

The “theory” of DH inspires me. Materially speaking, I’m sure most everyone in the group heard about the 3D printed car? (LINK to the story). I probably don’t need to say why it’s relevant, but I will. This technology rests at the intersection of exactly what we have been exploring in the theory and practice of DH.

I’ve been playing with some of this theory in my area of interest to see how DH might facilitate theorizing “New Maternalisms” and “Mother Studies.” I know it seems like a weird combo, but that’s how I got into all of this — A MOOC course out of Minnesota State last summer taught by feminist Jocelyn Fenton Stitt that set me on my current course.

The ways information can be digitized and shared across platforms seems like an amazing opportunity. That possibility includes disseminating valuable education to people who are performing caregiving work in institutional and private settings. We DO believe education makes our lives “more informed” if not “betta” — right?

So why not apply some “maternal thinking’ (Sara Ruddick) to an “emerging politics of peace,” and every other damn thing that really matters. Like, raising the next generation of DH’ers? Can feminists find DH helpful? I’m finding out! Here’s an interesting article on “Assessing Feminist Interventions In Digital Archives.”

Swimming slowly, but I’m doin’ it. As usual, before I found out how much I didn’t know, I felt pretty smart. (Sigh)


4 thoughts on “Can Feminists Find DH Helpful?

  1. Matthew K. Gold (he/him)

    Excellent to see you swimming, and so much to discuss. Let’s talk in class about the many scholars doing great work in this area. Too many to name here, but a starting list might include Jacqueline Wernimont, Elizabeth Losh, Lisa Nakamura, Anne Balsamo, Wendy Chun, Miriam Posner, FemTechNet/the FemBot Collective, Jamie Skye Bianco, and our own Cathy Davidson.

    Here are a few specific places to continue swimming:

    FemTechNet –

    DHSI course on Feminist DH:

    Jacqueline Wernimont – Whence Feminism? Assessing Feminist Interventions in Digital Literary Archives –

    I believe that a forthcoming issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly will focus on DH and feminism, too.

    Again, all of this is just a start.

  2. Elissa Myers

    I think combining motherhood studies and DH sounds really interesting! I didn’t know anything about “new maternalism” before I read your post, but it sounds like the field is asking some really important questions. What occurs to me right off is that motherhood has probably been effected in a lot of ways by the “eversion” of the digital world we read about this week. This has probably made mothers’ care taking easier in some ways, due to the advent of wikipedia as a source of quick information and availability of internet on one’s phone. One could look up questions about care taking on the internet, and I imagine there are even online communities of mothers who chat and support each other (possibly in a mixed reality type of way, where they chat both on- and offline). However, as we have talked about, many mothers probably don’t have access to those resources, which might make their lives seem even more difficult. You could also use DH methods such as data visualization to model sociological questions about motherhood as well. Anyway, sounds fascinating, and keep us posted!

  3. You Gene Kim

    I think DH is an useful tool for feminists. It’ll be ideal to digitize feminist thoughts and theories via online academic journals. Overall, DH is an incomplete field. It takes time to stabilize and spread the concept to the public. Definitely, feminism can intersect with DH. I believe there will be many feminists who are good at interpreting computer languages.

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