Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

"Beyond Margins: Intersectionality and the Digital Humanities By Kid Comet"


Media Summary:




Employ observational science, and make note of the difference in styles, tones, and ethnicities between the two searches. You can also feel free to search for yourself and gaze upon the riff that exists within the imagery of Alternative culture.

Reading Summary:

Citation: Risam, Roopika. "Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and the Digital Humanities." Digitalhumanities.org. The Alliance Of Digital Humanities Organizations, 2015. Web. 04 May 2016. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/9/2/000208/000208.html                         

The article actually has a very nice abstract at the top of the piece that lets you know exactly what is entailed; the abstract breaks down Risam's piece, "Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and the Digital Humanities" and confronts the process between methodology and theory. Throughout the article, Risam's takes you through a myriad of quotes which makes the reading complex but a tad bit informative. The first major area she touches down on, talks about the realization within the Digital Humanities for representation that includes minorities and gives a critical perspective that fosters thoughtful diversity to that field. "Such calls suggest that scholars within digital humanities have begun recognizing the need for inclusive representation and a critical approach that foregrounds intellectual diversity within the field." (Risam Paragraph 2) From there, she talks about the need for cultural diversity and begins to advocate against the normative/traditional structure of Humanities that has a Binary (truth or false or Basic Bitch [Basic Bitch being a level of logic that does Not allow for 'Gray area' or 'things in between true and false') level of logic. 

"As a lens for scholarship in the digital humanities, intersectionality resists binary logic, encourages complex analysis, and foregrounds difference." (Risam Paragraph 5) Risam takes it a step further, and begins to advocate for not just a simple "add and mix" where an old system would be reformed; "This identity based mixing does little to address the structural parameters that are set up when a homogeneous group has been at the center and don’t automatically engender understanding across forms of difference" (Risam Paragraph 19) But would marginalize the efforts of minorities though this lack of understanding between the 'primary' interpretation of white individuals and the conflicting 'add-on's' of the minority populace.
But rather a new base be formed altogether; that would posses either an "Umbrella" type structure that encompasses Intersectionality or one of a "Tent" type structure that possesses the many facets of Intersectionality within the Digital Humanities. 



In answering the Analysis question of how these two pieces may relate to each other:

Although it may seem like a stretch, the results shown here are clear and a distinguishable marker of Intersectionality that exists within the Digital Humanities. One of a 'main stream nature', may be inclined to believe and not even consider the experience , imagery, or structure that exists within Intersectionality of Alternative Culture. The imagery alone within this alternative niche can create debates over difference in interpretation of what "it's suppose to be" and what it really is within the digital humanities. Within the context of alternative culture and personal perspective; the article coincides and outlines the need for alternate histories of the digital humanities told through intersectional lenses (eg. alternative, afro-alternative). Ultimately, both pieces encourage deeper intersectional analysis which is needed to expand intellectual diversity in the field and move difference beyond the margins of the digital humanities.


Discussion Questions:

1. Do you believe we have created a successful and thriving creative, and diverse field; If the answer is yes, what may be the next step for the Digital Humanities? And if no, why not?

2. "Retro-Humanism" was a term only used once within Risam's paper. It went undefined, and in doing a search for the term, yielded no results. As a class, can we think of how "Retro-Humanities" may be different from "Digital Humanities"

3. "Divide and Conquered? or Divided, and Conquer?" Do you consider yourself apart of any groups of insectionality? And do you think it is important to have a space where you can be recognized for your difference compared to a group, even if you and the group are both working for the same cause?

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