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Sunday, October 30 • 8:30am - 10:00am
#s4b: Changing Perceptions of Digital Scholarship and Pedagogy

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Folie à plusieurs: Actual, Aspirational, and Abstracted Digital Scholarship
Jacob Heil (Five Colleges of Ohio)

For the last three years the libraries of the Ohio Five Colleges of Ohio have been collaborating under the auspices of a digital scholarship grant from the Mellon Foundation. At its core, the grant is designed to help faculty build digital pedagogical projects; to-date we have developed upwards of thirty such projects ranging from the launch of a student journal to the launch of a web-app. The guiding question of the grant has been: how do we leverage the resources of the consortium to accommodate large-scale digital scholarship? We have learned — or may be learning — that this is not a question of resource management, but rather one of building the culture out of which such projects might grow organically.

In this presentation I share some of Ohio Five’s achievements in the first three years of the grant: roughly standardized project development workflows, consortial communication efforts, and the meaningful involvement of student specialists in a variety of ways. I hope that others might find these descriptions useful. Additionally, I hope to encourage conversation about digital scholarship that is necessarily un-centered — the five colleges are separated by 100 miles, end to end — but that nonetheless relies upon the kinds of collaboration that are orchestrated at the level of superstructure. Is the mere notion of “the Center” — the center as merely an abstraction — enough to overcome institutionalized borders that might be departmental, bureaucratic, and/or cultural?

Reproducing and Disrupting Phallogocentrism in Computer Coding Languages
Sandra Nelson (University of Pittsburgh)

Stemming from the assumption that a computer program’s entire meaning is its function, the coding language used to compose it typically regarded as axiomatic and arhetorical. This approach is potentially problematic because it fails to address the ideological elements that are implicitly conveyed and reproduced through these languages. In this paper, I identify the linguistic elements of coding languages and analyze them through the concept of phallogocentrism in order to argue that through both their social reception and their structure they reproduce Western patriarchal ideas. Then, drawing on feminist and queer theory, I propose various structural, formal, pedagogical, and hermeneutical methods of disrupting this process. By deconstructing the patriarchal aspects of code, I present one method for critiquing and expanding the borders that dictate access to creating, controlling, and communicating with digital technology and gesture toward the possibility of redistributing the power aligned with these abilities.

The Problem of the Transnational in Digital Scholarship
Emily McGinn (University of Georgia)

My current research project looks at networks of transnational exchange in literary periodicals in the modernist era (1890-1930). Using data from the Modernist Journals Project as well as data from continental European and Latin American magazines, I am looking specifically for translators, those who are not necessarily reflected in the annals of literary history, but whose contributions made possible a global exchange of literature and theories of modernity. The project follows major periodical studies scholars like Suzanne Churchill and Adam McKible in identifying the collective elements of the production and dissemination of these magazines that includes the economic and distribution systems that help circulate these magazines beyond national borders and regional territories and that rely on the global marketplace for their cultivation.

Yet in exploring this network of contributors in a digital context, this project lays bare the complexities of working in digital sphere dominated by English. From formatting datasets in multiple languages, navigating international copyright laws, and gaining access to texts and databases, to finding tools that can properly handle accent marks and non-English grammars, the obstacles begin to overwhelm the possibilities of this work. While DH and web culture in general profess to increase accessibility and offer a new global interconnectivity, the same issues of canon formation, linguistic access, and international law that have already ossified the academy are replicated in data structures. These structures are often invisible in the final product of DH work, assumed to be neutral elements of computing. This project will make these issues visible, exploring the limits and potentialities of multilingual, transnational DH work.


Cymone Forsythe

Senior Fellow, Global College

avatar for Jacob Heil

Jacob Heil

Digital Scholarship Librarian, Dir. of CoRE, College of Wooster
Jacob Heil is the College of Wooster's Digital Scholarship Librarian and the Director of its Collaborative Research Environment (CoRE). Partnering with library colleagues, faculty, and students, he explores digital methods and modalities for teaching and research. He also collaborates... Read More →
avatar for Emily McGinn

Emily McGinn

Digital Humanities Coordinator, University of Georgia

Sandra Nelson

University of Pittsburgh

Sunday October 30, 2016 8:30am - 10:00am
Room 241 2nd Floor, ELC

Attendees (29)