Reflection III (john)

Because I will be gone this week, please use part of your reflection to engage with two of these articles. Your reflections can/should still be personal, but they should reveal thoughtful consideration of identity and its implications on work, structurally and in its content. This reflection should be longer (1-2 pages).


Issues regarding the inclusivity of the canon has always plagued me as an aspiring writer. The mere fact that my identity controls whether or not my work can be considered “good enough” is daunting because evaluation tends to depend on the author and not the work of the author. However, this distinction has fueled me to challenge this idea of the canon and what is deemed textual or not; hence my choice to lyrically analyze an album rather than a book. In regards to the two pieces that overviewed race issues in the Digital Humanities community, I was pleased to find that the second piece answered the first article’s question of “why is Digital Humanities so white”? The community is so white because of the focus on technological production, which is limited to the privileged, rather than focusing on qualitative theoretical production equally.

In the first article, the author’s overviewed how panels primarily talked about technology, and tool productions, rather than race issues. I would argue that this anomaly is because the community is so white. White people do not have to worry about race relations because they are in a government system that benefits them. Thus, checking one’s privilege, like why a room full of white people are not discussing race, does not come to mind because that would involve acknowledging more complicated issues, like the history of the nation, how the history impacts the present, and how social issues have not progressed much over the years. Making such a realization would involve critiquing the very foundation of the government and society that people hold dear to their hearts, which makes sense why the panel would rather talk about technological tool creation instead of elaborating on why the panel is so exclusive; a topic that the second article broke down very well.

    The second piece provided elaboration on the theoretical processes leading to the creation of the White Violence, Black Resistance project. The authors disagree on the emphasis of technology in the Digital Humanities community because having access to online tools is a privilege in itself. Thus, they aimed to make simple technological production skills, like metadata application, data collection, analysis, etc, accessible to “citizens on the ground” because they were the ones experiencing the injustice at the time. Rather than make a project intended to garner the attention of academic institution’s funding, this project was made to expose the patterns of social injustice throughout our history in order to change society’s views on race and critique what should be included in the Digital Humanities canon. Thus, I argue, that the second article successfully provides an answer to why the Digital Humanities is predominantly white and a solution to fix the ailment. Rather than focusing on the advanced means to creating an online project, which is a privileged mind-frame because it implies one has immediate access to the needed tools, the focus should shift towards making technological production accessible to the very people that are excluded; in result, the Digital Humanities community would, hopefully, diversify while also paying attention to ideological critiques as well as technological tools.

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