Mainland Chinese mourn Chinua Achebe on Social Media via @cosmicyoruba

“Chinua Achebe, the renowned Nigerian literary icon, died in Boston on March 24 after a brief illness. Many of his works have been translated into Chinese, and there was an outpouring of grief on Chinese social media after his death was reported. Below are translations of some of the posts that Chinese netizens wrote in connection with his death.” Read the rest of the post here

The Colored Conventions Project

The Colored Conventions Project

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“Mary A. Shadd,” ColoredConventions.org, accessed February 24, 2015, http://coloredconventions.org/items/show/205.

“From 1830 until well after the Civil War, free and fugitive Blacks came together in state and national political “Colored Conventions.” Before the war, they strategized about how to achieve educational, labor and legal justice at a moment when Black rights were constricting…

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In other words, online self-determination is necessary to affect the wider international community of communities by populating the Web with tagged, hyper-linked multilingual content. Online self-determination can also mean one’s technical, and very importantly, financial ability to represent and edit oneself and one’s culture(s) online, and to decide how they will achieve online relevance/visibility/ranking without being overshadowed by more dominant national languages and/or economies.
Computers are not places we live in, but they affect the way we think about ourselves and the planet.

Computers do not make the subaltern or marginalised individual think she can control the “globe”; on the contrary, computers can be windows to an inhospitable world. As means of establishing relations with Others, national languages and online technologies can both create communities and alienate large numbers of individuals. Simultaneously, computers have in fact transformed and continuously transform our ideas of who we are, what we do and how many we are.


Can the Subaltern Tweet? | Inside Higher Ed

A provocative column from 2011 by Ernesto Priego who can be found on Tumblr at http://butterflyhunt.tumblr.com. He is the editor-in-chief of The Comics Grid, “a born-digital, open access, open peer review academic journal dedicated to comics scholarship.”

I particularly like the distinction he draws between computers and location and the power of the machine and the (illusion of?) connectivity it offers over how we conceive of ourselves and our relationships to technology and to our own (and others’) material lives. 

Summer School

(Because you want more, you want more, you want more….)

Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam are running a #dhpoco (Postcolonial Digital Humanities) Summer School in July:

#dhpoco Summer School is an informal, month-long collaborative online course exploring issues related to Postcolonial Digital Humanities. Through readings, discussion boards, and optional video conferences, participants will learn more about #dhpoco and make meaningful connections with fellow scholars….

Click here for more.

Over at Brilliance Remastered, Alexis Pauline Gumbs is accepting participants for the Summer 2013 Community is Not a Luxury cohort (pssst: she accepts graduate students!):

This intermediate stage of the coaching curriculum trains you to implement and build a community of accountability outside of the limits of your university setting.  Community accountability is what distinguishes meaningful intellectual labor from elitist word games.  This coaching module is for scholars who are committed to making a difference in the lives of the communities that inspire them and also activates community as a superpower to sustain your wholeness and to support and celebrate you in your degree process….

Today is the LAST day for a phone consultation so check in now.

Are you running a summer camp, freedom school, or consciousness-raising workshop? Post the details below….

Tagged: #dhpoco, #transformDH, consciousness-raising, education, feminism, summer school

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Read the post: http://bit.ly/18ckk4k

#DHPoco pays tribute to Chinua Achebe on Colorlines! “It’s no surprise that Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam are big fans of Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author of “Things Fall Apart,” who died last Thursday at 82. The creators of the Post Colonial Digital Humanities (DHPoco) website and Tumblr, have been making Bitstrip comics that celebrate anti-colonial writers like Achebe, defang academic jargon, and call BS on the notion of colorblind coding.

Koh (right pane, avatar in the gray pantssuit) is a faculty fellow at Duke and a postcolonial literature professor at Richard Stockton College. Risam (right pane, avi in red shoes) is up for a doctorate in English at Emory and she’ll teach at Salem State University in the fall. With their hands in techand literature, the pair is also campaigning for people of color and women to write Wikipedia entries about anti-colonial and feminist women theorists from across the globe.”

Read the full Colorlines article here: http://www.colorlines.com/archives/2013/03/a_comic_tribute_to_chinua_achebe.html

Founding Principles of the Postcolonial Digital Humanities #dhpoco #transformdh

1. What are the postcolonial digital humanities?

  • Where are the digital humanities practiced and what does it mean to practice it globally?
  • How can scholars of postcolonial studies and digital humanities better account for the needs, representations, and legiblities of vulnerable populations?

2. How can/should the goals of postcolonial studies shift to adapt to digital changes and challenges?

  • How does the movement from print to pixel affect the shape of global knowledge, and how should postcolonial studies be reoriented to address this shift?
  • How does the digital space push the limits of what postcolonial studies is, and reshape forms of postcolonial knowledge?
  • How can and should postcolonial studies engage different forms of media and connectivity to further its mission?
  • How has the issue of representation developed and shifted in accordance with changing media forms, and what role can postcolonial studies play in this process?

3. What are some alternative genealogies of the digital humanities?

  • What genealogies exist for the digital humanities, and where do they intersect with histories of imperialism? How can postcolonial studies intervene at such convergences?
  • Formerly termed “humanities computing,” the digital humanities used to be considered one of the more marginal subfields within mainstream humanities field. While the digital humanities has now been criticized for its lack of inclusion of projects on race, class, gender, disability, and for building tools with this in mind (Earhart, McPherson, Cecire,Koh), Amy Earhart has also noted that the 1990s saw a wave of DIY “recovery” digital projects by women and people of color, many of which are now defunct (see Alan Liu’s list of minority/ethnic projects on Voice of the Shuttle). At the same time, there do exist multiple digital projects on marginalized populations, including the Women in World Historyproject, the Black Gotham Archive project, and the Soweto ‘76 project.
  • How can, and should, genealogies of the digital humanities be rewritten to encompass the ways in which race, class, gender and disability have influenced–and yet been invisible–within the digital humanities?

Written by Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam.

Feminist Hackerspaces as Safer Spaces?

“In this article, I propose the concept of safer spaces as a way to understand feminist hackerspaces.  To do this, I focus on the creation of spaces that are based on the assumption that shared common values, whether explicit through a community agreement and/or implicit through a common experience, enable group members to flourish and empower themselves. I follow an intersectional feminist standpoint as 1) an epistemological tool that connects those who experience interlocking oppressions at the crossroads of their gender, race, class, citizenship, sexuality and other identities; and 2) as a commitment to radical inclusivity. Using such a framework helps bring to the fore latent notions of privileges, oppressions and latent discrimination explain why so few women and queer invest and participate in hackerspaces. Creating spaces within hackerspaces on the basis of the fluid concept of gender and other axes of inequalities is not only strategic, but also a constitutive element of feminist hackerspaces.” Read full article here.

Postcolonial Digital Humanities: Mission Statement

“Grounded in the literary, philosophical, and historical heritage of postcolonial studies and invested in the possibilities offered by digital humanities, we position postcolonial digital humanities as an emergent field of study invested in decolonizing the digital, foregrounding anti-colonial thought, and disrupting salutatory narratives of globalization and technological progress. We have three major goals: to define the postcolonial digital humanities, to locate ways postcolonial studies can and should shift in response to digital changes and challenges, and to write alternative genealogies of the digital humanities.” Click here for full text

By @histoftech on the changing gender of programming: “But today, working with hardware and programming are both coded masculine for the most part. Why then was this work coded feminine throughout the 1940s and 1950s? The answer to that lies in earlier decades, when women human computers were asked to produce seafaring (and warfaring) tables for the British government. Though these tables had previously been made by amateur or retired men, the need for faster and more accurate table-making created a new class of workers and a new system of table production by the early 20th century. Young women working with desktop accounting machines were organized into what could be described as calculation factories. 

When the machines for this mathematical work became electronic, the same work force carried over, with the same employer expectation of cheap, pliant labor. Wrote one British government manager, referring to women machine workers: “Besides manual dexterity there is a necessary aptitude required to be content to sit at a desk and do a boring job.” Young women, having few prospects in white collar work in the mid-20th century were thus made to be content with such jobs. Indeed, L.J. Comrie, a New Zealander by birth who brought mechanized, systematized computing to Britain and the world, saw women as ideal candidates for his system. The fact that women’s rates of unionization were lower than men workers also enhanced their attractiveness in the eyes of employers. In the same way that young men and women were sucked into factories under industrialization, so too were young women brought into the “industrializing” office.

Where women could be used to do work considered beneath men (or where they could be used as cheap labor to undercut men’s wages) they were, resulting in jobs that became feminized–in other words, perceived as deskilled and thus given mostly to women. Programming was one such area until 1960s-era watersheds in the popularization of management science gave employers a new vision: one of technocratic control through young, male manager-programmers. But at the same time, hardware jobs stayed feminized: through the 1960s, IBM UK, for example, measured its manufacturing and testing in “girl hours” rather than man hours.

Read the rest of the article here.