Who has Access to the Digital Humanities? Call for Participation

Diversity and  Inclusivity in DH in Ireland and the UK

The convenors of an AHRC/IRC funded project to undertake research and consultation towards the implementation of a permanent Digital Humanities association for the UK and Ireland (see list of team members here) invite submissions from individuals to co-create an event relating to DH and inclusion. 

One of the dreams of information and communication technologies is that of equitable and open access to information, to services, and to opportunities. We know, of course, that this is only true on the surface, and that technological systems tend to recreate the inequities of the cultures and societies that build them.As such, the dream of the digital humanities as a ‘big tent’ (that is, capacious, broad and inclusive) is also one that we need to constantly query and challenge if the field is to have a claim to being inclusive and diverse.  

This is a particularly pressing issue as we explore the potential for a regional DH network to support the use and promotion of DH methods in the UK and Ireland. We would therefore like to ask our growing community to co-create an event on the state of inclusivity in DH in our countries, and how we might actively strive to improve from this baseline. This virtual event will take place on 22nd October, 2021, from 1000 – 1600 BST (2000 – 0200 AEDT). 

Themes welcomed: Access barriers come in many forms, and the only way to address them is to surface and discuss them. For this reason, the programme committee welcomes submissions addressing the broadest possible interpretation of disinclusion, based on ageism, racism, classism, sexism or ableism; geography, culture, or ethnicity; hidden behind the availability or accessibility of data, funding, software, infrastructures, or the languages we use; manifesting as closed opportunities, labour or reward inequities, or well-meaning inclusivity measures that trivialise or tokenise certain kinds of experience.  In particular, we welcome submissions that point not only toward the problems, but profile good practice examples and measures we might take as a network.. 

Perspectives welcomed:  This call is for students, early career researchers, activists, community workers, or any who do or would engage in DH/online practices, methodologies and spaces etc., and who have an interest in shared practice, open exchange, or to showcase their work. Submissions may therefore be from individuals, teams or pairs of collaborators having experienced successful or failed attempts to be a part of the DH community, representative groups from different sectors, or other configuration. We would particularly like to encourage non-academic contributions, and indeed those representing the voices of people who would like to access DH but who cannot for different reasons. As we are a UK/Irish network, however, we will highlight experiences either tied to the specificities of this geographical space, or offering reflections relevant to our future development. 

Format: The programme committee encourages potential participants to propose a form to follow their function. From a 5-minute provocation to a full 45-minute panel session; prerecorded or live; based on personal experiences or research.  In your submission, please let us know as well if there are any measures you would like us to take to ensure you feel you will be able to present in a safe and welcoming environment of listening, learning and discussion. Submissions: Please submit via this form a description of up to 250 words of how you would like to contribute along with a bio note of up to 50 words by 5PM on 13 September, 2021.The programme committee will meet to consider the proposals, and convene a meeting for all participants to discuss issues of format and ground rules in the first week of October.