Reflection 3

This week, I decided to make some twists in my project. Instead of looking at how advertisements shape society’s perspectives, I am not looking at how advertisements reflect culture. Therefore, I will look at data on occupations of working women, compare that data to working women displayed in the ads and analyze if the data aligns with how working women are displayed. I also limited the industries I will focus on into fashion, beverages and food; however, I am still creating a database of ads and I am trying to keep an open mind and be flexible with which industries to use. I also found more resources to use including a master’s thesis on “Female stereotypes in 21st century news and business magazines” and the book Manipulating images: World War II mobilization of women through magazine advertising. Finally I started experimenting with Scalar and Tableau. I already feel more comfortable with Scalar, but Tableau is taking time to figure out.

As for the articles, “Putting the Human Back into the Digital Humanities: Feminism, Generosity, and Mess” by Elizabeth Losh, Jacqueline Wernimont, Laura Wezler and Hong-an Wu and “Toward a Cultural Critique of Digital Humanities” by Domenico Fiormente were about what we have been discussing so far. They approach the exclusive nature of the field through different lenses. The article “Putting the Human Back into the Digital Humanities: Feminism, Generosity, and Mess” approaches Digital Humanities, and the technology field in general, from a feminist perspective and explores the contrast between the greater awareness on structural racism and sexism in the US and failure of reflection of the movement in interdisciplinary academic fields. Another issue is the Wikipedia example given in the article; while trying to address gender imbalance, Wikipedia created more imbalance and controversy. The article closes by explaining that there is some progress being made to decrease the gender gap and increase the inclusivity in the field of Digital Humanities. On the other hand, the article “Toward a Cultural Critique of Digital Humanities” looks at the Anglo-American identity of Digital Humanities. Fiormente questions the Anglo-American nature of the field and explains that even though there are fields like Digital Humanities around the world, they are made invisible by the Anglo-American hegemony in the academic research field. He then goes on to explore the geopolitics of DH and concludes his argument by offering “federation of diverse associations” model and encourages digital humanists to engage in reducing political, economic and social unbalances.

When introduced to Digital Humanities, like Fiormente mentions in his article, I thought the distinguishing factor for DH was the methodology, the fact that it is a collaborative research and includes a digital component where the research/data is presented. However, reading these articles and seeing the politics involved in the creation and progression of the field and realizing that it is just a reflection of the male-dominated technology industry is disappointing. On the contrary, the fact that at least these conversations are taking place and the gender gap is recognized give me at least some hope that some progress is being made in making Digital Humanities a more inclusive community.

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