August 19, 2015
10 AM - 1:30 PM
250 Sutardja Dai Hall
lunch served at noon
Open to the public

RSVP via Eventbrite

What are the organizing principles in the way that we construct methods, tools, and projects within digital humanities? In what ways do we consider race, gender, sexuality, and ability in the code-based projects we engage in? How do we construct communities of practice that are inclusive and thoughtful? These are some of the questions our presenters will engage with in individual lectures and a panel discussion, on critical approaches towards (digital) humanities. Lunch will be served.

Amy Earhart, “Locating Digital Gardens: Reconstructing a diverse digital humanities history”

Riffing off of Alice Walker’s essay, this talk will interrogate the hidden histories of early digital humanities social justice and activist work. After constructing the genealogy of such work, I will discuss what current dh practice might learn from early practitioners.

Amy Earhart photoAmy Earhart is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University and is best known for her scholarship on race and gender in digital humanities, as well as her experimentation with pedagogical applications of such work. She is author of the forthcoming monograph “Traces of the Old, Uses of the New: The Emergence of the Digital Humanities” (U Michigan 2015) and has co-edited a collection of essays titled The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age with Andrew Jewell (U Michigan 2010). Earhart’s work has appeared in DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly, the Emily Dickinson Journal, The Oxford Handbook to Transcendentalism, the Chronicle of Higher Education/Prof Hacker, Textual Cultures, Debates in Digital Humanities, Between Humanities and the Digital, and Scholarly Editing, among other venues. Her digital projects include the development of the 19th-Century Concord Digital Archive in partnership with the Concord Free Public Library, White Violence and Black Resistance (with Toniesha Taylor), and The Millican “Riot." Earhart has received an NEH Summer Stipend for her Digital Concord project and was a workshop leader in the NEH funded NINES Summer Workshop: Evaluating Digital Scholarship. She was also a co-PI of the research grant that funded the Institute of Digital Humanities, Culture, and Media, 1 of 8 landmark research areas selected by Texas A&M University for such funding.

Michael Dumas, “Moments of refusal: Thinking through antiblackness and Black futurity in social and cultural studies”

Hegemonic notions of race, multiculturalism and diversity proffer an understanding of social progress that is generally linear, gradual, steady and earnest.  The story we tell ourselves is that we are becoming ever more democratic and tolerant, that we are more sophisticated in our ability to synthesize and analyze information about race and racism, and that we are more committed to racial equity, justice and opportunity than ever before. However, in this historical moment, we also witness increasing economic inequality along racial lines, nearly weekly stories of anti-Black violence and death, massive urban deterritorialization and dispersal, erasing Black homeplaces and priming these spaces for white accumulation. Through it all, the discourse in the public sphere suggests an increasing sense of  justification of economic and social inequality, a sense of corporate and white entitlement to (dis)possession of land, and a seething disgust and disregard for the lives of Black people. In this talk, Professor Dumas wants to briefly explore what it means to research and document contradictory historical moment(s) of official anti-racist progress and white innocence, on the one hand, and on the other hand, enduring white defensiveness and racial fragility in the face of material and psychic Black suffering. Most importantly, how do we refuse hegemonic constructions of historical racial memory in our own work, and how do we acknowledge and honor attempts by insurgent Black subjects to refuse antiblackness and put forward alternative notions of Black historicity and futurity?

Michael J. Dumas is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and the African American Studies Department. He earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education with an emphasis in social and educational policy studies from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research sits at the intersection(s) of the cultural politics of Black education, the cultural political economy of urban education, and the futurity of Black childhood(s).

He is primarily interested in how schools become sites of Black material and psychic suffering and anti-black violence, how disgust with and disdain for blackness inform defenses of inequitable distribution of educational resources, and ways that anti-blackness persists in education policy discourses and in broader public discourses on the worth of economic and educational investment in Black children. His recent publications have appeared in such journals as Teachers College Record, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and Discourse, and he was an invited contributor to the Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education and the Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education. He is currently lead editor of a forthcoming special issue of Teachers College Record, titled, “Political Economy, Race and Educational (In)equality: Realizing and Extending the Radical Possibilities of Jean Anyon,” and is also lead editor for the 2016 Politics of Education Yearbook, which will appear as a special issue of Educational Policy dedicated to the cultural politics of race.

Abigail de Kosnik, "Fan Data: Using Digital Humanities Tools to Analyze Online Archives of User-Generated Content"

Since 2012, Prof. De Kosnik has been working with EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) faculty and students to develop a set of data scrapers that enable her to quantitatively measure a number of online archives of fan fiction (fan fiction is produced by fans of media texts, such as films and television shows, that are original stories incorporating characters and settings from those texts).  In this talk, De Kosnik will present her team's analysis of the scale, rate, and timing of fan fiction production on the largest fan archives ( and Archive of Our Own), and will discuss some of the complexities of doing DH work that her team encountered in the course of developing scrapers and visualizations, such as:

  • Problems of justifying the value of doing big data analysis of websites populated by female- and queer-oriented content, focusing on popular culture;
  • Ethical considerations in studying and publishing scholarship on female and queer fan communities;
  • Difficulties and benefits of forging collaborations between "north" and "south" campus (i.e., it's hard -- and rewarding -- to do interdisciplinary work);
  • Issues with the "labor pipeline": finding, recruiting, compensating, and retaining graduate student researchers.

Abigail de Kosnik photoAbigail De Kosnik is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) and in the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies (TDPS). Her book on digital archives, Rogue Memory, is forthcoming from MIT Press in 2015. She has published articles on media fandom, popular digital culture, and performance studies in Cinema Journal, The International Journal of Communication, Modern Drama, Transformative Works and Cultures and elsewhere. She is the co-editor, with Sam Ford and C. Lee Harrington, of the edited essay collection The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era (University Press of Mississippi, 2011). She and Sam Ford also wrote the annotated bibliography on “Soap Operas” for Oxford Bilbliographies Online (OBO).



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DH at Berkeley Summer Institute 2015