Supporting Efforts to Diversify DH

This is a talk session, co-proposed by Alana Kumbier, Kelly McElroy, and Lydia Willoughby.

 We’re interested in identifying ways in which academic librarians can support projects to diversify DH. Some of our framing questions include:

  • How do we connect our skills and knowledges with projects that originate within the academy as well as in our communities?

  • How do we help students, faculty and staff discover projects & resources that represent diverse experiences, histories, and modes of cultural production? What can we do to connect our patrons with online digital collections of radical, queer, POC, alternative press materials (contemporary & historic)?

  • How can we help eliminate barriers to access for people who want to create DH projects?

  • How can we design adaptive and accessible systems that foster community use of technology for users with diverse digital literacies?

  • How can we help ensure that DH projects are accessible, aware of multiple ontologies, accountable to communities being documented, and open to participation?

  • What great resources, projects, or collectives do we know about that we’d like to share with others?

  • What ways can we collaborate with partners and key community stakeholders to promote, market and fund our DH projects?

  • Do we want to form a working group, identify a project we could work on together?

Our proposal is motivated by (and builds upon) calls to create DH projects that draw on a set of critical theoretical and activist genealogies that include:

  • Queer theory & activism

  • Critical race theory and anti-racist theory & activism

  • Indigenous studies & activism

  • Feminist theory & activism

  • Disability studies & activism, and

  • Postcolonial studies

These calls have been articulated by a number of groups, in different contexts. Online, we can see evidence of this work in sites created by the #transformDH Collective, from NITLE discussion of Women’s Studies, Gender Studies & DH, by #DHPoco (a Postcolonial Digital Humanities project), THATCamp Feminisms West and THATCamp Feminisms East, and the Diversity in DH discussion at THATCamp SoCal 2011.


Categories: General |

About Lydia Willoughby

Lydia Willoughby is Reference Librarian at Vermont Technical College, where she focuses on reference services and bibliographic instruction. Willoughby has a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the Palmer School at Long Island University (2011), as well as a Master of Arts in English Literature from The University of Montana (2006). Her research interests include 19th Century American culture, copyright law and intellectual freedom, as well as information literacy and student-centered approaches to resource discovery. Originally hailing from South Carolina, she frequently organizes library advocacy and LGBTQ community benefits in her free time. Willoughby is a founder of Rural Librarians Unite, and member of Que(e)ry Party and The Desk Set.

3 Responses to Supporting Efforts to Diversify DH

  1. I have similar interests and questions regarding digital projects. I look forward to chatting more on the topic! –Lisa W.

  2. Lydia, I think this session has great potential to build on the work that has/is being done, that you’ve pointed out. One question – what do you see as the product of this session? Not that all sessions need to produce something, just that I think this is valuable and could extend beyond our meeting with something concrete. I like the idea of a working group. Maybe also a working draft of a statement that responds to the questions you’ve laid out here? Excited to see how it plays out!

  3. Maura Smale says:

    Great session everyone! Here’s the notes doc — please add what I missed and yr contact info to keep touch, thanks:

Comments are closed.