The Anti-Colonial DH School: A Virtual Roundtable at HASTAC 2023 | June 9th from 9:30am to 11:00am ET

Presenters: Anne Cong-Huyen (Michigan), Kush Patel (Srishti Manipal), Ashley Caranto Morford (PAFA), Arun Jacob (Toronto), Latoya Lee (Cal State Fullerton), Michelle Lee Brown (Washington State Tri-Cities), Palashi Vaghela (Cornell)

Many digital humanities (DH) workshops and centers are situated within high cost Global North campuses, rendering these spaces inaccessible to precariously employed educators, community organizers, autodidacts, international students, disabled community members, and those residing outside of Western nation-states. These institutional defaults perpetuate colonialism and border imperialism in DH by centering elite, white, Brahmanical, and Western-centric knowledge production within resource-rich infrastructures, preventing the building of transdisciplinary learning communities committed to queer feminist, non-ableist, and anti-colonial goals at the intersections of technology and society. Against this cycle, the objectives of this roundtable are to plant the seeds for a global, free, and ongoing anti-colonial DH virtual school.

At this online session, we approach DH as a method to support praxes rooted in public scholarship and critical making involving three fields: media archaeology; community-focused digital storytelling; and online public knowledge writing. The questions that drive the formation of this school include: What are the possibilities of building and sustaining a digital pedagogical infrastructure that offers a counterpoint to hegemonic infrastructures we find ourselves tethered to? What are the tools and techniques for anti-colonial DH critiques grounded in translocal and transnational solidarities? What are the constraints that we may act on to build inclusive, accessible, and sustainable knowledge-sharing in DH?

We take inspiration from various contemporaneous initiatives that seek to build more just otherwises to digital learning practices. We also find ourselves thinking with longer histories of collective educational organizing that led to the formation of teach-ins, crowdsourced anti-oppression reading lists, and mutual-aid networks for community healing.

This proposal brings together folks working on digital pedagogy from an array of geographic and disciplinary locations, who are committed to the process of developing this school together. We will discuss not only the hopes of this school, but also what will be necessary to form it ethically, including its design and topical content and how to fund it in long-term ways. In our bios, we unpack our positionings and how we see ourselves entering this conversation.