Monday, March 13
4:45 – 5:45 pm Decoding Narratives / Unmaking Unjust Worlds
Beyond Genealogy – The Woman Trope in Modern Chinese Narratives
Maciej Kurzynski (Stanford University, USA)
Studies of Chinese feminism considered literary representations of women as symptoms of historico-ideological configurations: (colonial) modernity, socialism, post-socialism, etc. The unintended consequence of such genealogies is the neglect of continuities spanning across the alleged “ruptures” or “epistemic shifts.” Regardless of the dominant ideology, the trope of suffering woman remains a narrative constant. To account for this tropological consistency, my project reconsiders the woman trope as both a cognitive and a formal problem. I split the modern Chinese corpus into three parts (“Republican,” “Socialist”, “Contemporary”) and use measures of statistical significance (PMI and Fisher’s exact test) to identify terms and expressions that appear around female names and pronouns more often than expected in all three subcorpora. Adjusting the co-occurrence window size, I show that representations of women in modern Chinese literature remained stable within shorter distances, as opposed to longer fragments (passages/chapters), which were more vulnerable to political whim. I further demonstrate this point by close reading He Jingzhi’s White-Haired Girl (1945), Zhou Keqin’s Xu Mao and His Daughters (1979), and Zhou Daxin’s Amidst Lakes and Mountains (2006). I ground this representational continuity in the well-documented cognitive hunger of humans to project agency onto the outside world, including words on a page that crystallize into literary characters. Whereas the short-distance information activates our immediate recognition of emotional and cognitive activity in a fictional world, the long-distance information grounds this recognition socio-culturally by engaging historically-specific mechanisms of interpersonal understanding. By fusing these two components formally, through non-specific minor characters, free indirect discourse, direct narratorial interventions, and other means, writers produce new versions of suffering female characters that build upon previous versions. The empathic mechanism, however, remains the same. Foregrounding the structural consistency in consecutive iterations of the woman trope in modern China, I make a case for thinking in alternative, macroscopic timelines and in terms of embodied technologies rather than cultural genealogies.
Aplicación del análisis computacional en la narrativa histórica: Revista Argentina Austral, 1929-1968
Gustavo Navarro (Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral. Unidad Académica San Julián, Argentina)
Cuando se trabaja con fuentes documentales históricas de gran volumen, uno de los principales problemas con el que nos encontramos es que la información más relevante- en términos de respuesta al interés del trabajo- se oculta en documentos que son largos, no estructurados o incompletos. Así, esta información, aunque esté disponible, no resulta accesibles para su procesamiento, y por lo tanto tampoco es transparente. Debido a ello, muchas veces sucede que la prensa local es utilizada por los investigadores como recurso complementario y no como fuente principal de datos históricos. De modo que esto puede explicarse por la dificultad que representa el procesar, en un tiempo razonable, casi un millón de palabras comprendidas en el corpus de los documentos, y por la falta de herramientas que ayuden a identificar patrones significativos en su contenido. La motivación de esta ponencia es precisamente contribuir a superar ambos problemas. Objetivos 1- Exportar, probar y desarrollar nuevas formas de aplicar aprendizaje automático en la narrativa histórica. 2- Expresar el poder de la comunicación visual para explicar relaciones de significado en la historia con la finalidad de aportar información construida sobre la base de archivos documentales. Desarrollo La historia de Patagonia argentina está atravesada por procesos de dominación, genocidio de sus pueblos originarios, y movimientos migratorios -galeses, españoles, croatas, ingleses e italianos- que fueron adquiriendo tierras a través de diversos modos de adjudicación por parte del Estado. El período del poblamiento definitivo de la región más sur del continente a principio del siglo XX, se corresponde con el proceso de expansión del capitalismo hacia las regiones periféricas, guiado por el interés de incorporar nuevos mercados y de asegurarse materias primas a bajo costo. El auge de la actividad ganadera ovina durante las primeras décadas del siglo XX, permitió el surgimiento de una abundante prensa períodica en el sur del país. Los medios de comunicación y la prensa en particular, por su capacidad para impregnar los espacios públicos, han desempeñado un papel fundamental en la configuración de la Patagonia Austral ya que las élites locales crearon numerosos medios de prensa dirigidos a defender sus intereses y aspiraciones. La prensa constituyó entonces un dispositivo central en la región, que articuló significados sociales, culturales, ideológicos y políticos. En ellos, aparecen de forma recurrente distintos regímenes de propiedad agraria. El proyecto desarrollado identificó en la prensa local, los modos en que se ha distribuido la tierra en la región surpatagónica en el período del poblamiento definitivo del territorio a través del cruce de estas dimensiones usando herramientas digitales. De este modo, se buscó construir una “perspectiva extracéntrica” a las interpretaciones históricas hegemónicas, y visualizar dicha información. El trabajo pretende realizar minería de datos en los ejemplares de los periódicos para graficar los modos de distribución y tenencia de tierras, cuestión que aún no ha sido suficientemente abordada. La selección del material documental respondió al criterio de “nivel de difusión” de las publicaciones (cantidad de ejemplares y duración): Revista Argentina Austral, 1929-1968 Antecedentes Como antecedentes de esta investigación se señala que en 2010 este equipo de investigadores desarrolló el proyecto “Repositorio de Objetos Digitales (ROD) para la preservación a largo plazo del patrimonio documental como parte intangible del patrimonio cultural de la Patagonia Austral” a partir de la construcción de una plataforma de acceso abierto (ver www.koluel.org) para alojar dicho patrimonio. El proyecto consistió en la digitalización y puesta a disposición de la prensa local del período 1923-1962; recibió financiamiento de la Comisión Nacional Argentina de Cooperación Internacional con UNESCO (CONAPLU) como proyecto seleccionado para el bienio 2012-2013. Metodología La periodización elegida para desarrollar el trabajo representa un momento tensionado por un contexto político social complejo en la región (Barbería, 1995). La metodología se basó en el análisis computacional para ilustrar la conexión entre formas predominantes de tenencia de la tierra y prensa local. El trabajo ofrece un modelo de custodio de datos. Se utilizó “Spacy”, una librería de python destinada al análisis de datos, que proporciona estructuras de datos flexibles que nos permitieron trabajar con dos dimensiones. Esta herramienta permitió organizar, analizar y visualizar datos en cualquier nivel de granularidad (examinar los detalles durante los períodos específicos de interés y extrapolarlos para explorar variaciones en diferentes escalas de tiempo, como patrones recurrentes, y tendencias a largo plazo). La misma posibilitó designar datos que combinaran una dimensión temporal con otra dimensión transversal. Luego, se utilizó “Plotly” para la visualización de datos contenidos en los periódicos, a partir de la generación de gráficos. Ambas librerias son de código abierto. Conclusiones Los resultados evidencian que la política estatal, en dicho período, se limitó a brindar seguridad a los colonos, adoptando un régimen legal para la distribución de las tierras fiscales. Asimismo, este estudio permitió identificar las relaciones entre lo público y la propiedad privada en la región, así como su conformación social estructurada por la lógica de las subalternidades heredada de la distribución territorial. Bibliografía Barbería, Elsa (1995) Los Dueños de la Tierra. Tesis de doctorado. UNPA Nora, Pierre (1992) Les Lieux de mémoire, Les Frances, Paris, Gallimard. Ricoeur, Paul (1999) La lectura del tiempo pasado: memoria y olvido, Madrid, Arrecife. Taylor, D.R.F. 2005. “Cybercartography: Theory and Practice”, (Ed.) Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.
Using Sentence Embedding to Conduct Experiential Searches in Large Volumes of Human Rights Testimony: The Case of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Hearing Transcripts
Stephen Davis (University of Kentucky, USA) and William Mattingly (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) attempted to create ‘as large a picture as possible’ of human rights violations that occurred during the last three decades of apartheid. The architects of the TRC argued that collecting massive amounts of testimony ensured that the process of probing this difficult past was inclusive, comprehensive and unbiased. The archive produced from this process has become an invaluable source for scholarship on politically motivated violence during the apartheid era. However, the collection of testimony at this scale can also obscure shared experiences that do not necessarily share identical keywords making it difficult to see details within the ‘bigger picture’ across a single frame. The application of sentence embeddings to TRC testimonies provides scholars with a new way to search for experiences without relying on the exact match or Boolean operators to conduct keyword searches. Sentence embeddings allow scholars to take an abstract concept like grief for a lost child or the experience of mob violence and identify common experiences even if speakers do not use the exact same vocabulary but render the same sentiments in synonymous terms. This presentation will (1) detail the embedding process and (2) evaluate the utility of sentence embedding for conducting research in the TRC archive. Special attention will be given to the broader applicability of this method for other testimony corpora.
5:45 – 6:25 pm Creative Digital Archives: Arts and/as Resistance
Creativity in the Time of COVID-19: Digital archive and global contributions of pandemic experiences and creativity
Jacob Okulewicz, Natalie Phillips, Soohyun Cho, Tushya Mehta, Marine Avequin, Sydney Logsdon, Neha Navathe, Paige Seidell, Quynh Tong, and Emily Willerick (Michigan State University, USA)
Our team, a group of interdisciplinary scholars, will be presenting on how our collaborative grant project—Creativity in the Time of COVID-19: Art as a Tool for Combating Inequity and Injustice (Mellon Foundation, 2020-24)—allows us to engage with global responses to COVID-19 through pandemic art at the intersection of DH, cultural studies, disability studies, global studies, and art-based mental health. Our grant explores how individuals—particularly those hardest hit by the pandemic—are using creative outlets to cope with COVID-19 and challenge systemic discrimination to imagine a more just future. So far, we have collected more than two thousand artworks and stories from across the world, including (but not limited to) South America, Europe, and Asia. Part of our presentation will share submissions from various locations, highlighting critical assessment of creative work and translation of content from the surveys. One of the most tangible end goals for our project concerns the creation of an open-access digital archive, intentionally built using OMEKA to share the creative works, surveys, and extensive meta-data for each submission. Our team is creating a highly organized system for categorizing and labeling meta-data across multiple projects, which will culminate in satellite exhibitions at U. Buffalo (focused on LGBTQIA+), Washington U. (medical humanities), and the Air Force Academy (neurodiversity and mental health), and final exhibits in Michigan in 2024 (focused on BIPOC, disability, and intersectional community responses). We are working to set a new standard for accessible experiences in museums, universities, and online by including braille, audio descriptions, tactile art, respite spaces for grieving, and times for adjusted sensory environments. Our presentation will also explore the challenges our team has faced while using a digital survey to collect physical creative artifacts during the pandemic.
Public Art Offers DH a Chance to be Part of the Resistance
Katherine D. Harris (San Jose State University, USA)
Public art lives all over downtown San Jose, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area that is arguably becoming the “heart” of Silicon Valley. The public art exists on the sides of buildings, within public courtyards, behind gates in the community garden, and out in the open at cross-streets. People walk by this public art often without giving it a second thought primarily because there’s no single space to tell their history – with almost all of them representing diverse communities of San Jose and their staunch resistance to Silicon Valley assimilation. A team of faculty and students from the College of Humanities & the Arts at San Jose State University created the “Public Art as Resistance in San Jose” project that focuses on a walking tour of 12 of those public works of art that has become a successful community engagement connector between the university and different agencies in San Jose. Because of the nature of wavering funding, as a Digital Humanist and experienced project manager, I was keenly aware of the need for creating a sustainable digital footprint and embedding an ethics of (digital) care for the local artists who created these works. With attention to issues such as data privacy and intellectual property rights, we collaboratively created the digital story of 12 public works of art and their representative resistance in a way that’s valuable for all parties, including future users of the materials. In this way Digital Humanities becomes part of the resistance – resistance against the belief that public art is ephemeral, according to the developers who are knocking down buildings without thinking about preservation of these representations of resistance. This presentation focuses on the digital interventions inherent to this collaborative project that aided in preserving the voices of those diverse communities: https://www.sjsu.edu/ha-public-art-tour/about/index.php
6:40 – 7:45 pm – Workshops
Building Collective Responses to Digital Harassment, Digital Surveillance, and Attacks on Intellectual Freedom
Eliza Bettinger (Cornell University, USA)
In a global digital information environment structured by surveillance capitalism, historians, sociologists, climate change scientists, and medical researchers are among those who have found themselves targets of sustained and vicious harassment meant to curtail their work. Students from some countries are not confident that they can read or search freely online, no matter where in the world they are located physically. Meanwhile, one-time academic publishers have rebranded as analytics companies and profit more from the data they collect about readers than by making information available to readers. How should institutions that cherish intellectual freedom as a core value respond to these overlapping threats? In this workshop, I will: (1) Offer a practical overview of privacy-related services for researchers which my colleagues and I have developed at our university library, including responses, successes, and challenges. Our workshop and consultation service supports researchers who are or may become targets of harassment, whose research may endanger vulnerable subjects, and who face risks due to international travel. (2) Discuss the goals and tactics of some of the current actors who aim to undermine the legitimacy of higher education, academia, and the scientific process in the U.S. (3) Present strategies related to policy, messaging, researcher support, and coalition-building that librarians, scholars, students, and administrators can use to defend researcher privacy and protect collective goods like intellectual and academic freedom. In the discussion half of the workshop, participants may share experiences from their own institutions, and exchange information on their own successes and challenges, in addition to considering next steps.
digitalpasifik.org – making visible & accessible digitised cultural heritage of the Pacific – for the Pacific
Tim Kong (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa – National Library of New Zealand)
The Pacific Virtual Museum project seeks to “make visible and accessible the digitized cultural heritage of the Pacific, for people in and of the Pasifik.” Defining what is “digitized” and what is “cultural heritage” is often done from the institutional perspective of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. These institutions do valuable work, but default to caring for and enabling access to the mediums they can best store and maintain and they are mostly based in Western and developed nations. These institutions hold many thousands of records of and from the Pacific, which often have varied details about their provenance, use or application. At the same time, if Pacific people are aware these institutions exist, they are unlikely to know about these records as the majority are only accessible in person, and are not digitized for online access. Pacific based communities and institutions are not often able to replicate these models of Western institutions. To do so would involve costs far beyond them, and the reality of climate change impacts such as sea level rise, mean it’s debatable if it is prudent to do so. Additionally for Pacific people culture is a living and lived process – of the sharing and application of knowledge, such as the carving of vaka, or the performance of song or dance. This aspect of culture is not usefully or easily stored in digitized formats or on shelves, but it is crucial to make it visible and accessible for people of the Pacific. This workshop will present the thinking behind the design, development and functionality of the site digitalpasifik.org, that speaks to the tensions described. We will invite participants to consider how their records could be shared via the site, and how their organisations can consider ways to connect with people of the Pacific to more effectively make visible and accessible these records. The session will be interactive, with approximately 30 minutes of sharing and demonstration, then talanoa and conversation.
Tuesday, March 14
12:00 – 1:00 pm Currents of Solidarity: An Archipelago of Microlabs
Stephany Bravo (Michigan State University, USA), Mary Pena (Princeton University, USA), and Nicole Hernandez (Arizona State University, USA)
The Diaspora Solidarities Lab (DSL) is a multi-institutional Black feminist partnership that supports solidarity work in Black and Ethnic Studies conducted by students, faculty members, and community partners invested in transformative justice and accountability beyond the Western academy. The Open Boat Lab (OBL) is one of two research groupings within DSL and is directed by Dr. Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez at Michigan State University. OBL builds ethical digital archives informed by community centers, public art and organizing practices, and offers online workshops that transform approaches to knowledge production, storytelling, and documentation. The panel will host three projects already underway within OBL including Afro-Latinx Lab, Archivo 310, and The Survival of a People.
PRESENTATION 1: The Survival of a People lab takes its name from The Puerto Rican Diaspora: Themes in the Survival of a People by renowned documentarian Frank Espada. Between 1979-1981, Espada led a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded project documenting the lives, cultural organizations, and Puerto Rican community roots through nearly 130 interviews across the diaspora. Our lab is dedicated to making the interviews publicly accessible. This section will engage with the recordings and portraits of Edelmiro Huertas and Lila Calderon De Romero (Greater Bay Area) and Angie Echevarria (Los Angeles) for a close reading of the digital archive and transcription process.
PRESENTATION 2: The Afro-Latinx Lab supports curation, storytelling, and popular education across the Black Latinx diasporic experience. As an evolving collaborative space, the lab is organized around a series of exhibitions highlighting Afro-Latinx art in physical and virtual forms and a digital femicide archive that breaks the silences around gender-based violence in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and their diasporas. This digital storytelling project seeks to create a repository for affected families to share stories, photographs, and ephemera, creating a participatory site of healing. This section will discuss the lab’s inaugural exhibition, Alive in their Garden, and ongoing practices of documenting stories and collaborating with community partners in the effort to build ethical digital archives.
PRESENTATION 3: Archivo 310 is an experimental analog and digital collection that documents narratives of migration and belonging within the landscapes of Compton, California through familial and community-based archives. Archivo 310 is currently processing “La Colección de Bravo-García,” a collection documenting mixed-status histories within the city via mother-daughter archival methods described as “mija archivism.” Additionally, this section will reflect on a potential collaboration with Color Compton’s “The Power of Your Youth Narrative” where fellows are tasked with archiving the organization’s materials for future generations.
1:00 – 2:00 pm Online Discourses and Identity
‘Of storytelling doctors and mothers-in-laws’: Self and Other Identity Claims in Health Advice Stories on Twitter Naija
Onwu Inya (Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria)
Storytelling is a fundamental human discursive practice that occurs in different contexts and for different discursive-social functions, such as advising. It is also a site for constructing identities. This paper investigates self and other identity claims – ascriptions, assessments and categorizations – that occur in Twitter stories told by Nigerian doctors and that emerge in the second stories told by their followers. The data for this paper comprise a corpus of 150 story tweets retrieved from the timelines of four Nigerian doctors that give health-related advice on Twitter and replies from their followers and other advice recipients. The paper draws analytical insights from positioning theory. Following positioning theory’s three-level analysis of identity work, the paper investigates the identity claims that storytellers ascribe to the characters in their taleworld, the claims that storytellers negotiate in the telling, interactional level, and the links between these immediate, local identity claims and macro, ideological, socio-historico-cultural and bio-medical discourses about the (un)healthy self. Key findings related to how the identity claims made by the discourse participants are intimately linked with the context and interactional goals of the discourse, namely giving, seeking, receiving and rejecting advice. Moreover, participants resort to their ethnolinguistic repertoires (Nigerian Pidgin, Nigerian English and major indigenous Nigerian languages, prominently Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages, respectively) in evaluating and negotiating identity claims, thereby laying claims to a Naija identity. Furthermore, identity claims are mostly based on experiential and or epistemic primacies by which participants (co)-construct the credibility, authenticity and authority to proffer, receive or reject advice indicated in the stories. Therefore, storytelling, especially involving personal experiences or emanating from the expertise of the doctors, allows for complex presentations of the self relative to being, doing (un)healthy.
Being Chinese Online – Discursive (Re)production of Internet-Mediated Chinese National Identity
Zhiwei Wang (University of Edinburgh, UK)
My research project assesses how Chinese national identity is discursively (re)generated by multifarious socio-political actors (especially ordinary users) on the Chinese Internet. Much more stress has been placed on the political dimension of Internet-mediated Chinese national(ist) discourses, which neglects other equally important dimensions constitutive of their more discursive nature. A further investigation into how Chinese national(ist) discourses are (re)shaped online on an everyday basis by diverse socio-political actors is crucial, which can contribute to not only deeper understandings of Chinese national sentiments on China’s Internet now beyond the excessive focus on their more passionate, political-charged facet but also richer insights into the socio-technical ecology of the contemporary Chinese digital (and physical) world. I adopt an ethnographic methodology with two China-based digital platforms Sina Weibo and bilibili as ‘fieldsites’. My primary data collection method is virtual ethnographic observation of everyday national(ist) discussions on both sites. If data obtained from digital observations cannot answer research questions, I will conduct in-depth online interviews with ‘key actors’ identified from observations in discursively (re)producing Chinese national identity on each ‘fieldsite’, to complement data gathered through the first method. Critical discourse analysis is employed to analyse data. From November 2021 to November 2022, I have conducted 32 weeks’ observations with 32 sets of fieldnotes. Based on fieldnotes of the first week’s observations, I found multifarious national(ist) discourses on both ‘fieldsites’. Second, Sina Weibo and bilibili users have agency in interpreting and deploying concrete national(ist) discourses despite the leading role played by the government and the two platforms in deciding on the basic framework of national expressions. Third, the (re)production process of national(ist) discourses on Sina Weibo and bilibili depends upon not only technical affordances and limitations of the two sites but also, to a larger degree, some established socio-political mechanisms and conventions in the offline China.
The rhetoric of complaint: a cross-cultural study of online discourse
Lindsay Amthor Yotsukura (University of Maryland, College Park, USA),
Ayodele James Akinola (Michigan Technological University, USA)
Jonathan St Onge (University of Vermont, USA)
Will Thompson (University of Vermont, USA)
Simon Dedeo (Carnegie Mellon University and the Santa Fe Institute, USA)
How do people complain online? Recent research on the question has focused on hotel reviews, and on basic features such as positive and negative evaluative comments, and references to expectations (Vásquez, 2011), finding substantial variation in linguistic and semantic features, ratings, sentiment, and usefulness (Xiang et. al. 2017), and how specific online platform affordances affect the degree of review negativity (Ruytenbeek et. al., 2021). Hospitality is just one sector, however, and research on complaints in airline reviews (e.g., Rita et. al. 2022) has focused on the effects on industry, not the linguistic elements of complaints themselves. Research in both domains has focused on complaints in English, rather than other linguacultures. We present a computational-linguistic study of over 15,000 airline reviews on TripAdvisor between 2016 and 2022. In collecting data from both flagship and budget carriers in Canada (AirCanada, AirTransat), Nigeria (Arik, Air Peace), and Japan (Japan Airlines, Peach Aviation), our research questions were: (1) The genre of complaints ranges from expressions of frustration and disappointment to allegations of injustice, abuse, and emotional harm. What can linguistic features reveal about this spectrum? (2) How do consumers from these cultures make use of the genre? Using word frequency analysis and topic modeling, we found emotional expression and moral concepts varied by country, culture, and airline. (Im)politeness was the target of more complaints about Canadian airlines, while the interpersonal conduct of airline staff dominated complaints about Nigerian carriers, and disappointed expectations were reflected in a relatively higher percentage of negative reviews for Japanese airlines. Many negative reviews adopted extreme case formulations (Pomerantz, 1986), possibly as a way to seek compensation from the airlines. Other reviews seem to function as public displays of disappointment and exasperation, without a compensation-seeking goal per se.
2:15 – 2:45 pm Project Showcase
500 Years of Black History in South Florida
Synatra Smith (Philadelphia Museum of Art/Temple University, USA), Luling Huang (Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and Portia Hopkins (Rice University, USA)
This project explores the deep and complex history of the Black experience in South Florida since the late 19th century. A close examination of the histories and scholarship on Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties revealed how Black people came to settle in the area and where they built communities. We visited each county and through conversation with local residents and an anthropological, historical, and geo-spacial analysis, we unearthed the ways in which these communities created unique local cultures that combined aspects of the Black experience from around the world. Broadly speaking, this study explores four key themes of the experience of Black South Floridians: labor, politics and activism, excellence, and culture. Each theme represents a different aspect of Black life and exposes the nuances and variations of Africans and their descendants in the region over 500 years of history. These stories have been documented and visualized to answer the following questions: 1. Where have Black people lived in concentrated communities within South Florida? 2. What pushed Black communities into specific areas? 3. How have Black communities further segmented themselves in ethnic enclaves (e.g. Little Haiti) 4. What are the living conditions (environmental, educational, class status, etc.) within these Black communities? 5. Where are the historic Black community spaces located (institutions, public art, recreational spaces, etc.) From this project, we developed a story map that visualizes the data we collected around residential patterns, quality of life, and cultural production over time and layers the historical contexts in South Florida with the contemporary issues facing these communities today.
Much Knowledge But No Power? Present Challenges and Future Potential of Ancient Heritage Data Repositories Online
Victoria Gioia Désirée Landau (University of Basel, Switzerland / MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Oslo, Norway)
If transdisciplinary databases can still be considered a novelty in many corners of the Humanities overall, they can especially be seen as such for most fields focused on the study of the ancient world. With digital research products increasingly becoming the norm, we are well-advised to consider early on just how we are preserving ancient cultural heritage and in what ways we are making it accessible to both specialist researchers and the wider public. Research groups setting out to compile and establish datasets with the intention of providing them open access are quickly confronted with a reality that they can at least partially anticipate, more often than not finding themselves insufficiently equipped, both in terms of funding long-term (especially beyond the deadline of their project) and of digital humanities knowhow or experience. In particular, while moving away from internal, isolated repositories to highly interconnected resources crossing traditional boundaries, new issues of standardization, metadata philosophies, linking and attribution are meshed together with familiar problems of provenance, citation and authorship. This brief overview takes a look at the current state of the art in antiquity-focused online resources for textual material, and some approaches already being taken that show potential in the long term, such as embracing educational aspects and increasing the autonomy of users by harnessing their curiosity. Asking the central questions of what kinds of data we are collecting, and how we are choosing to preserve and present it, this talk will place the spotlight on transdisciplinary platforms (e.g. papyri.info, Trismegistos) and promising project-based, often topic-focused endeavors (e.g. Kyprianos, 4CARE, Grammateus) harnessing the digital in a public-facing fashion.
Evaluating automated translation of LGBTQ terms: towards multilingual Homosaurus
Shuai Wang – Presenting and Anna-Maja Kazarian (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)
LGBTQ terms can be confusing for many. Without training, it could be hard to describe gender identities and sexualities with accurate terms. Moreover, one’s tongues and pronouns can vary. While these terms can be translated by existing tools of machine translation, the accuracy remains unknown. In this thesis project, we would like to evaluate the accuracy of popular machine translation tools including Google Translate, Microsoft Azure, DeepL, Reverso, etc. Homosaurus is a linked data vocabulary of LGBTQ terms. It includes a wide variety of gender identities, including transsexual, drag queen, genderqueer, and butch. It shows great potential to be used to describe knowledge of literature, concepts, research topics, etc. It has been developed and maintained by the community including librarians and researchers at multiple institutes including the IHLIA LGBT Heritage. In this thesis project, we would like to sample 200 terms from the Homosaurus and evaluate the translated terms using machine translation tools. More specifically, we chose Spanish, German and Polish for this project. We study the following three research questions: How much do automated machine translation tools agree on LGBTQ+ terms? How accurate are machine-translated LGBTQ+ terms? How can we compare the approach of using automated machine translation tools for different languages? The analytical results could be used as guidelines to complete the remaining terms in Homosaurus. The expected outcome of this project is the evaluation result and 200 Homosaurus terms with enriched multilingual labels.
Affirmations 2.0: The Politics of Liberation and Exploration of Healing in Digital Games
Diamond Elizabeth Beverly-Porter (University of Texas at Dallas, USA)
Negative thoughts plague the self-consciousness of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and affect how we proceed through our days. Through my own struggle with this, I developed a personal coping mechanism of visualizing and facilitating an encounter with both the negative and positive attributed versions of myself as a Black woman. In previous works in ATEC, I developed a game, Affirmations, representing this personal coping mechanism for reconfiguring my sense of self. As an extension, Affirmations 2.0 explores the affordance of a digital game as a communally situated coping mechanism and critical making technology for Black women and children. Through the game, the player encounters intrusive thoughts and reflects on how the main conflict within oneself is rooted in the internalization of systemic oppression. In so doing, Affirmations 2.0 complicates player’s knowledge of the self and work as a flexible artifact that facilitates critical making, reflection, and self-care for Black women and children. This project directly addresses the concerns of mental health perceptions in the traditionally underrepresented group of Black women and children by highlighting the contributing factors of internalized systemic oppression. This project is grounded in the theoretical framework of pleasure activism and healing as community care work in order to resist neoliberalist perceptions of health as individualistic responsibilities. Furthermore, this project challenges the common oppositional relationship between game designer and player by introducing a collaborative partnership based on critical making between players and game designers. By engaging with the game’s infrastructure as a critical making technology, player will complicate their perception of their internal voice and understand the outside factors that affect individual and community health.
Folklore, Place, and Song: Digital Ethnomusicological Mapping of Corridos
Fiona Hartley-Kroeger, Matthew Kollmer, Loida Pan, and Isabella Viega (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA)
In the age of streaming, music often seems to utterly transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries. Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music purport to offer comprehensive universal access; yet these catalogs are far from representative or complete, and certain nuances remain lost in translation. This project uses digital methods in a postcolonial framework to reintroduce the significance of place to the study of corridos, narrative songs popular in Mexico and the American Southwest. Chicana writer Gloria Anzaldúa characterizes corridos as “cultural mythmakers,” artifacts and enactments of living folklore; bearers of culture, history, and social relationships. However, even scholarly collection efforts often flatten these rich, identity-creating affordances by abstracting corridos from their local contexts. Our project, “Folklore, Place, and Song: Digital Ethnomusicological Mapping of Corridos,” combines dataset curation and digital mapping to visualize how corridos create and affirm regional identity. It aggregates two kinds of place that intertwine the content and cultural life of corridos. Firstly, locations and landmarks mentioned in the text become visible and navigable, thus surfacing local spaces that composers and performers inscribe as markers of identity and history. Secondly, the project describes unique points in time and space where specific songs were performed, collected, or published, indices through which oral tradition is propagated or transformed into other media. By visualizing both kinds of place simultaneously, the project shows how and where the regional cultural mythmaking of corridos traveled via performance and publication. This project engages in cooperative practices and multilingual research methods. Corridos are part of the cultural heritage of one of our team members, who invited the others to explore this important part of their identity. Using background language knowledge and basic translation tools, we manually corrected automated transcriptions, used a Spanish-language-trained NER script to identify sites, and generated patterns of place and movement. The project also involves continual self-reflection, particularly on how cultural insiders and outsiders can collaborate ethically to research and honor minoritized cultural heritages. It thus intervenes more broadly in DH, synthesizing multilingualism with digital history and digital musicology. We show that scholars can use digital methods and platforms to make material ever more broadly accessible while celebrating and restoring specificity to our studies of cultural heritage.
Vernacular history: a concept under construction
Yara Fernanda Chimite (Feevale University, Brazil)
This talk presents some of the results of an ongoing research centred on the relationship between social media and History. The main goal is to investigate how people in informal, non-professional settings talk about historical facts and interact with historical fonts. The initial empirical study, here presented, was conducted on internet memes, more specifically “medieval memes”, which are a meme trend that uses medieval manuscript illuminations and other historical art pieces as the background for humorous productions, usually about contemporary issues. Despite often being perceived as trivial and shallow, internet memes are cultural products, therefore carry ideas, concepts, and feelings of the social groups in which they are created and shared (Shifman, 2014). The analysis was carried out on a Reddit community, r/trippinthroughtime, at the time formed by over 2.8 million members, and the corpus consisted of 121 posts, totalling over 18 thousand comments. From these conversations, I observed that the memes oftentimes sparked some users’ interest in the background images, leading to collaborative processes through which the subreddit’s community would go about identifying and interpreting the medieval works. Such processes are characterized by the interaction between medieval imaginaries and multiple sources, including academic research, Wikipedia, documentaries, fictional works, and even primary sources. From this I have been building the concept of a “vernacular history”, drawing mainly from studies on cultural memory (Erll; Nünning, 2008; Assmann, 2011) and collective intelligence (Lévy, 2007). Vernacular history comprises the complex assemblage of dynamic discussions, sharing of knowledge, discovery and exchange of facts and curiosities, contestation and reinforcement of stereotypes, all of which are argued and negotiated within the community, resulting in multiple and fragmented ideas about the past.
2:45 – 3:25 pm Critical Praxis in DH
Global North and South Collaborative Efforts towards an Anti-Colonial Digital Humanities
Sylvia Fernández (University of Texas at San Antonio, USA) and Brian Rosenblum (University of Kansas, USA)
This presentation will discuss the pilot version of the “Urarina Digital Heritage Project,” a multilingual (English, Spanish and Urarina), Global North (United States) and South (Peru) collaborative effort between scholars and a digital humanities center at an R1 research institution in the United States and the Indigenous Urarina community in the Peruvian Amazon. This project explores various ways to make a collection of Urarina cultural heritage items publicly and digitally available through the use of Indigenous information management systems (the Mukurtu publishing platform) and cultural protocols (via Traditional Knowledge content licenses) in collaboration with the Urarina community. Throughout the development process, the project team has explored issues such as contextualization, collaborations, accessibility, and sustainability related to Indigenous digital archives while working in the Global North with Global South Indigenous heritage. With the intention to spark further discussion about this type of work within the global digital humanities community, the presenters will open a dialogue about ethical transnational, collaborative efforts to address the imperial and colonial violence that has separated Indigenous cultural collections held in memory institutions from their original communities. Similarly, it questions the function and objectives of a digital project in a context characterized by difficult access to the internet or a telephone network. This recognizes a real limit for such communities and feeds a critical stance towards the real scope of digital resources. However, it is important to underline that this does not presuppose a rejection on the part of the communities involved, but represents a highly-valued opportunity to achieve greater visibility and facilitate communications between communities and beyond. Thus, this presentation examines transnational and decolonial approaches while working with Indigenous communities in Latin American and pushes for further conversation on anti-colonial digital and public humanities at large.
Critical DH: Pedagogies, Projects, Practices
Susan Schreibman (Maastricht University, Netherlands) – Presenting
Marianne Ping Huang (Aarhus University, Denmark) – Presenting
Costas Papadopoulos (Maastricht University, Netherlands)
Walter Scholger (Gratz University, Austria)
Koralijka Kuzman Šlogar (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Croatia)
Issues of Social Justice, broadly conceived, are increasingly being included as a component in digital humanities scholarship or are the reason d’etre of the research itself. Equally, issues of ethics, privacy, and copyright are taking on greater prominence in DH scholarship. This short paper focuses on a new course for the #dariahTeach platform, Social Justice in the Digital Humanities: Diversifying the Curriculum. The inspiration for this research came out of initiatives underway at many institutions to diversify the curriculum, and the recognition that there is a growing body of scholarship in the digital humanities that is being conceived within a social justice framework, both theoretically as well as in the values embedded in its execution. The goal of this research is twofold: to create a community-driven course which highlights existing work in the area, as well as to encourage future scholarship by highlighting projects and processes from around the globe through a series of case studies, augmented by theory and relevant concepts (eg social justice, postcolonial and decolonial theory, diversifying the curriculum initiatives, data feminism). This short paper will provide the opportunity to problematize some of the issues and challenges of working within a social justice framework, highlight existing best practice, as well as to discuss issues of ethics, privacy, and copyright. The additional duty of care when developing and disseminating content created by or about marginalised, indigenous, or minority populations, and/or those whose ethics and traditions differ from dominant western values will be highlighted. And lastly, how these considerations are taken into account by practitioners who do research in reparative ways when dealing with contested histories and/or material cultures will be discussed.
3:25 – 3:55 pm Activism and Collaboration in Digital Spaces
Data Feminism and Protest Literacy: The Student-Faculty led “March With Us!” Project
Mary Okin and Olivia Bowman (San Jose State University/University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
San Jose State is known as the public university where the Olympic Project for Human Rights was founded by Harry Edwards and for its student athlete-activists Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their fists in an antiracism protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics winner’s podium in Mexico City. While these three leaders are well known, they represent a vibrant 1960s community of young student-activists demanding socio-economic and political change, including women and many other allied groups left in the margins of national history. The March With Us! project began in an undergraduate class at San Jose State University and uses data preservation as a form of teaching resistance and protest literacy at the intersections of antiracism and digital storytelling. Students working on the project, search for their networked stories through data collection using archives. They also preserve history by conducting interviews with alumni and emeritus faculty. In this paper, we demonstrate how student researchers casting a wide net for protest history data learn the hidden and intersectional labor of protest. We also highlight the powerful women activists breaking gender boundaries as leaders of the anti-war, Chicano, Black, and Asian American protest groups whose voices were silenced in the real time and subsequent documentation of San Jose State campus history. Their stories inspired the March With Us! project’s feminist approach to exploring antiracism as a historical phenemenon. Describing the methods and findings of this project from both the perspectives of an instructor and student, we show how digital humanities collaboration is allied to organizational techniques that create effective campaigns for change. Finally, we reflect on the role digital humanities projects can play in promoting protest literacy and critiquing institutional powers that continue to rehearse systemic injustice, including public universities that corporatize or suppress student protest history.
Collaborative Storytelling And The Self-Reflexive Gaze: Imagining, Visualizing, And Adapting African Exoticism Through Video Games
Shiyi Zhu (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
There has been a fascination with the fantasy and imagination of Africa throughout history, from early colonial days to contemporary novels and digital media, a fascination that has attracted the interest of artists, novelists, literary critics, and game designers alike. This paper focuses on three video games published on itch.io: Lotus of the Nile (2020), a game in which users create African artwork and explore the cultural heritage behind it; Monster Stock Art (2022), where users can create African monsters based on mythology and their own imagination; and our recently published artwork Journey to CONLAY (2022), a digital adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s two travel writings, “Heart of Darkness” and The Rescue. Through the examination of hyperlinks and other forms of computer-human interactions in these three games, this paper examines how interactive video games can contribute to the traditional Saidian postcolonial scholarship by forming a dialog and providing insights into the binary self/other relationship. Specifically, it highlights the interactive media form as a self-referential medium that reveals and reflects upon the subject’s conscious entertainment of the otherness as an imaginary space or an “unheard-of symbolic system”, as suggested by Roland Barthes. In order to make out meaning in electronic texts, we draw on the idea put forward by Deegan and Sutherland that electronic texts can be considered collaborative workspaces in which users are responsible for manipulating and creating meaning. Thus, this paper explores how video game mechanisms can open up a new perspective on the relationship between self and other, and how narrators’ gazes can also be transformed into collaborative imaginations of exoticism and exoticization in a new medium, as well as new insights into the relationship between self and other.
Wednesday, March 15
10:00 – 10:30 am – Project Showcase
Lianyu Jin (Nanjing City Wall Protection and Management Center, China)
Critical Engagement with Historical Data
Jamie Rogers and Rhia Rae (Florida International University, USA)
This brief presentation will highlight the work accomplished thus far for the recently awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grant, “Enhancing Access and Research Possibilities through Critical Engagement with Historical Data.” This work will ultimately produce a set of open data resources that provide insight and underscore south Florida’s position within our nation’s fraught history of struggle for equity and racial justice. The resources will also expand our collective understanding of the interpersonal networks, community building, and investment by and for Miami’s Black community during the pre-redlining era. Outcomes of the initiative include the development of data resources in the form of text, tabular data, and geospatial assets. The data resources will be based on the archive of Dana A. Dorsey (1868 – 1940). This archive consists of warranty deeds, mortgages, legal documents, and correspondence, which detail the properties and locations of what were the newly created Miami sub-divisions from around 1900 through 1940. Dorsey was regarded as a successful Black businessman of his time and known as the first Black millionaire in Miami. Our work will enhance access to the information found in the papers of Dana A. Dorsey, to highlight community building and make the stories of Black lives more discoverable. This initiative will also help us to better understand the roles of civic groups, trade groups, and community alliances in the paths of success for Black people in this community. The core values of this work include addressing the significant gaps in our historical record, critical engagement in data collection processes that are rooted in humanity through the histories of individuals, and establishing a model for future human centered data work.
South Asian Canadian Digital Archive
Thamilini Jothilingam (South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley, Canada)
The South Asian Canadian Digital Archive (SACDA; https://sacda.ca), an initiative of the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, is a pan-Canadian digital archive that documents the history and heritage of the South Asian diaspora in Canada. SACDA partners with memory institutions, individuals, families, and organizations to digitize, describe, and provide online public access to heritage materials created by, or relevant to, the South Asian Canadian diaspora. The SACDA fills a critically important archival and historical gap in Canadian history. In the context of South Asian Canadian archival materials being rarely available, erased, or neglected, documenting the lived experiences and the cultural heritage of South Asian communities is an urgent preservation priority. SACDA thus facilitates access to inclusive Canadian heritage by collecting, preserving and presenting primary source materials of the South Asian Canadian diaspora. Ultimately, the SACDA is intended to be used as a cultural, research and educational tool that preserves and presents the history of the South Asian Canadian diaspora across Canada. The SACDA aims to provide a robust account of South Asian Canadian history and fill in gaps in the historical record left by Canadian archives and museums that have under-collected, under-described, and under-utilized South Asian Canadian records. With extensive community engagement and a focus on social histories, with collaborative tools as praxis, SACDA seeks to transform existing knowledge infrastructures and foster knowledge diversity and equity. SACDA embraces an open source collection management system, Collective Access, to build multilingual collections. SACDA emphasizes the cultures of orality, tacit knowledge, and visual histories, and has created a thesaurus to replace conventional controlled vocabularies. At the core of its praxis, SACDA seeks to actively involve the community in archival processing and holds community sessions to collect metadata in local languages, generations and vernaculars. Thus, knowledge, from creation to sharing, becomes a community-driven project that informs, and is informed by, our collective histories.
A Minimal Computing Approach to Building Computational Language Resources for Southern African History
William J Turkel, Ruramisai Charumbira, and Jaylen Edwards (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
Digital historians who work in languages such as English can draw on a wealth of pre-existing tools for linguistic analysis. Scholars who work in so-called under-resourced languages have few, if any such luxuries. In Southern Africa, the lack of computational linguistic resources for indigenous languages is due, in part, to colonial practices that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o called Europhonism, “the replacement of native names, languages, and identities with European ones” and the subsequent “dismemberment of African memory” (Something Torn and New, 2009). Here we describe the beginnings of a project to create a morphosyntactic analyzer for the chiShona language. The project is minimal in every sense. Our sources are modest, consisting of a few dictionaries and other materials printed in the 20th century. Our goal is modest: an open source tool that can provide interlinear glosses for speakers of English and other indigenous Southern African languages like isiNdebele. Our team consists of two historians (one a native speaker and historian of the region, the other a programmer with no knowledge of African history) and an energetic and enthusiastic undergraduate computer science student. In addition to conveying our fundamental optimism, we hope to both draw other collaborators and potential users into our own project, and to suggest one small-scale approach to supporting anti-colonial practice in the digital humanities.
Tuberculous Imaginaries: Arts-Based Interventions in Medical Histories
Sean Purcell (Indiana University, USA)
Tuberculous Imaginaries was a museological video art installation that was presented at the iFell Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana in May 2022. This project displayed primary materials collected by American tuberculosis researchers around the turn of the twentieth century and applied digital video to recontextualize and remix these materials for public display. Composed of three video feeds and an informational website, the installation meditated on the human material which grounds modern medical epistemics. This material, which is always pulled from the body of a sick, dying, or dead patient, is the main index from which medicine makes its arguments, and Tuberuclous Imaginaries recontextualized these materials to ask, from whom were these objects made? Bringing these objects into an open conversation with its viewers Tuberculous Imaginaries displays medical history in ways that are both critical and non-iatrocentric (that is, not dependent on ‘great’ medical scientists and narratives of scientific progress). This presentation uses Tuberculous Imaginaries to build upon practices of design and critical making employed by digital humanists to ask how these approaches can be better employed by medical humanists, medical museum workers, and medical historians. Addressing medicine’s violent, exploitative past, this presentation asks how speculative, creative modes of working with primary evidence may critique modes of acquisition implicit in medical research. Further, reflecting on the shortcomings of the Tuberculous Imaginaries installation, this presentation asks how the patient may be brought into the focus or be made opaque through a remixing and remediation of these materials. Link to the original installation website: https://tuberculousimaginaries.github.io/Installation
Against Microcredentials: Seeding Anti-Colonial and Care-Filled Digital Pedagogical Otherwises
Ashley Caranto Morford (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, USA), Kush Patel (Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, India), and Arun Jacob (University of Toronto, Canada)
In this paper, we discuss the seeds of a free, virtual, global, and ongoing digital humanities (DH) school committed to anti-colonial digital pedagogy and praxis. This school seeks to challenge and work against the institutional defaults of DH, which perpetuate colonialism and border imperialism in DH by centering elite, white, Brahmanical, and Western-centric knowledge production within resource-rich infrastructures. We wish, instead, to foster a learning environment and collective that is sustainable, nourishing, responsible, and equitable. As we will reflect on within this paper, amidst the process of creating such a space, we have been contending with the following questions: How might we build a globally accessible virtual DH school committed to anti-colonialism where socially conscious, civic minded material can be pedagogically engaged with the lived locations and material realities of those who are traditionally on the margins of DH knowledge production, especially precariously employed educators, community organizers, autodidacts, international students, disabled community members, and those residing outside of Western nation-states? What form of resistance might such a school offer to and against the increasingly global, micro-credential centered, and skillification focused approaches to open pedagogy in DH, wherein digital competencies are packaged as key instruments that will instill DH learners with the vocational skills to compete in the capitalist market? In conversation with contemporaneous initiatives seeking to build more just otherwises to digital learning practices, we will conclude this paper with a discussion on what is at stake in how microcredential approaches to DH threaten to unbundle digital pedagogies from the anti-oppressive care practices that critical educators and community organizers around the world are engaged in, committed to, and working to uphold.
10:45 – 11:45 am – Biographical Critiques as Critical Feminist DH Pedagogy
Kush Patel (Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, India)
Anne Cong-Huyen (University of Michigan, USA)
Aditi Bhat (Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, India)
M. Nithya Kirti (Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, India)
Gayatri Shanbhag (Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, India)
From within their current positions as graduate students, as an academic librarian, and as a faculty member, the presenters of this virtual panel will each unpack a set of biographical writings  connected to digital humanities (DH) pedagogy and illuminate key methodological tensions in building feminist technological critiques via digital storytelling tools such as Twine. Together, we ask: How might personal histories connect to non-fictional or fictional tellings of anti-oppression technological stories? What source materials might help to represent “the self” socially and communicate responsibility for progressive change? The virtual panel will invite conference participants to reflect on the presenters’ biographical essays, including Twine accounts, and further discourse on surviving our institutional and everyday worlds locally and with purposeful transnational networks. The panelist abstracts are as follows:
Panelist 1: Building and navigating an academic career in the US and India, the concept, framing, and device of “the instructor bio” in a course outline has been a personal and collective project for me, which is to say, at once structured around the notion of personhood and accountable to shared voices that make learning and teaching meaningful, even though professionally still precarious. Drawing upon my work in critical digital pedagogy, my biographical essay asks: what does it mean to unpack our instructor biographies in and with the digital to center knowledges that we travel with, including those digitally mediated by and connected to communities and kin? How might the instructor bio extend into a form of micro, collaborative, and digital life writing of the course itself to deliberately blur the binaries of the didact and autodidact, and orient this relationship towards desired, participatory, and progressive social goals?
Panelist 2: Having long written about the importance of acknowledging individual situated identity in critical digital humanities work, I will speak about my background in feminist networks and collectives, and the importance of these experiences for my own professional development, and my mentorship of more junior scholars and librarians now. From these examples, I will discuss the challenge and toll of doing and sustaining distributed work, and I will reflect on how these groups have evolved over time. Some of them have dissolved naturally into comfortable professional relationships, others have become more fraught because of hierarchies and institutional politics, while others have retreated into small private arts collectives designed to support members in tiny communities of mutual aid. At the heart of these reflections is the role of the individual, identity and relationship to institutional power, and practices of support for surviving academia.
Panelist 3: My biographical project takes three life episodes to comment on the core beliefs and structures of cisheteropatriarchal society that a) limit the understanding of menstruators to cis-women; b) put the labour of managing, measuring and making sense of one’s menstrual health on the individual; and c) restrict caring for health to a commodity. The episodes include encounters with gynecologists and family which created a gendered, normative ideal of “womanhood” that I tried to fulfill with a Body Composition Scale. Navigating this world from a place of economic and caste privilege, which afforded me access to local health care networks in India, my approach to producing a Twine narrative takes my relationship with menstruation as a starting point to allow the reader to understand the unresolved complexities and contradictions inherent in prevalent gynecological norms as well as their corresponding body type and digital weight tracking practices.
Panelist 4: I came to biographical writing as a way to move beyond the social and structural defaults of an “optimal user” interacting with digital technology in the field of user experience design (UX). This form of writing has enabled me to work with my subject position and accountabilities as a design practitioner and researcher, as well as anchor, claim, and reclaim my identity as a queer woman following a public declaration in class inspired by Audre Lorde. In thinking with and responding to a recurring personal question “am I queer enough?”, my writing and interactive game problematize the articulation of bisexual desire located in whiteness and made explicit in the context of online queer communities such as the r/bisexual sub-reddit group on Reddit. This project analyzes how the design, use, and community fora of such a platform promote the biases of language, race, caste, class, gender, geography, heteronormativity, and ability to persist and structurally exclude the expression of bi+ desires outside the default. Panelist 5: My biographical writing names my responsibility as a design researcher and practitioner as well as my ideology as a critical maker in the field of Industrial Art and Design Practices. The essay opens with questions of my long-time discomfort with the gendered box of femininity and its expected performativity through what I wear. Connecting this discomfort to contemporary marketplace logics of “loose gender-neutral” clothing in which looseness is a constructed measurement of subversion, my project examines how divisions of gender, class, and caste are reinforced through the branding, marketing, and making of loose or oversized clothes in India. Taking inspiration from the “Feminist Data Manifest-No” project, I conclude by explicitly naming my refusals to class elitism, patriarchal ascriptions, and caste hierarchies both implicit and explicit in such appropriative branding, manufacturing, and technological practices and explain my commitments to centering queer-feminist and anti-colonial politics to help outline the limits of sartorial agency in transgressing the gender binary.
Footnote:  We find ourselves thinking with the Black feminist teachings and writings of bell hooks and Audre Lorde; with Dalit feminist works of Vijeta Kumar and Sharmila Rege; with queer artists and scholars bridging contexts and selves such as Sasha Costanza-Chock, micha cárdenas, Bonnie (Bo) Ruberg, anna anthropy, Soha Kareem, and merritt kopas; with Indigenous scholar-activists Elizabeth LaPénsee, Eve Tuck, Jennifer Wemigwans, and Minket Lepcha; with digital storytellers like Schuyler Esprit and Maria Cotera; and with the disability justice critiques of Remi Yergeau, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and Joshua Halstead.
Friday, March 17, 2023
11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Data, Ethics, & Futures of DH
Smart Heritage, Smart Cities and Big Data: How to Transform Data Excess into Data Intelligence?
Natalia Grincheva (University of the Arts Singapore)
My presentation will discuss challenges and opportunities of integrating big data generated by contemporary museums in data ecology and data fabrics of smart cities. In the age of increasing datafication and digitalization, museums have transformed into powerful “information centres,” not only generating big data but also rapidly improving their capacity to collect, organize, process, and analyse an exponential volume of data aggregated from different sources. For instance, museums’ collections spread across physical and virtual realities and accumulate vast digital records, complementing wider open source and open data initiatives. Moreover, online, and onsite visitors generate complex geo-spatial data that transcend geographic boundaries of museums as single-location entities. On their path to transform from collection-driven to audience driven organisations, contemporary museums and heritage sites have to develop data and digital infrastructures that are needed to be more closely integrated into larger urban environments. While the majority of smart cities stress the efficiency of data management for more proactive strategic urban development, data generated by museums and heritage sites are currently not meaningfully integrated into strategic smart city planning and implementation. Furthermore, smart city initiatives are lacking effective evaluation tools and little research has been done to measure specific meaningful outcomes of embedded smart city technologies. For instance, crucial outcomes could be evaluated against a city’s cultural vitality and place making as well as against its level of citizen engagement in urban co-design and co-creation activities. However, there is no a dedicated research yet that would connect all three issues togethers in relation to smart heritage and big data generated by key creative city actors such as museums and heritage sites. My presentation will address this gap by outlining new integrative frameworks and methodologies to transform a rapidly accelerating museum data excess into more intelligent systems that can benefit social and urban development of smart cities.
Data Cooperatives for the Future
Vivek Seshadri (Presenting) and Safiya Husain (Karya Inc)
Through this presentation, I will use a case-study of Karya Inc to give an answer to the question: what if a significant portion of the billions of dollars spent on data acquisition went directly to the people generating it? The global data industry is worth over USD 40 billion yet most AI/ML training datasets exist in siloes. They are produced in digital sweatshops where workers are underpaid for generating expensive high-quality datasets, contributing to unethical data generation and monopolisation. In this presentation, I first intend to deconstruct the current data industry and ideate on how community-based cooperatives can be the solution to creating a financially sustainable and ethical data ecosystem. This context setting will include key research from the ILO and WEF and conclude by exploring two key research studies conducted by Karya on the effectiveness of crowdsourcing digital language work in low-income communities. Utilising the findings from these studies, we then bring forth our vision of an ethical data collective, its potential uses, challenges to its implementation and intended global impact. Then, I highlight Karya Inc, the world’s first data cooperative, as an example of how this ethical ecosystem can work. Karya will be used as a case study to explore the challenges, successes and profound questions that arise during the journey to creating sustainable and scalable impact using data work. The presentation will conclude by posing important questions surrounding the true meaning of data ethics, what we really mean by data ownership, and who should ultimately benefit from for-profit technologies. Finally I will conclude with a set of principles nudging the audience to think more critically about the technologies they use and the unethical ecosystem that fuels them.
Configuring Digital Practices for Scholar-led, Multilingual, and Sustainable Publishing
Markus Reisenleitner (York University, Canada)
Academic publishing has become one of the most profitable businesses in the global digital knowledge economies, consolidating the production and distribution of Humanities scholarship in the hands of an oligopoly of for-profit publishers. Control of access to publishing expertise and professional tools, as well as paywalled websites and databases as distribution channels, have limited access to Humanities scholarship to geographically, economically, socially and linguistically privileged users in the Global North. This presentation focusses on alternative models, and the tools to sustain them. How can digital tools be mobilized for production workflows and labour practices that reclaim humanities publishing for a responsible and reparative stewardship of a multiplicity of knowledges in plural languages? The presentation draws on a practical implementation in a peer-reviewed online journal that understands itself as a knowledge democratization project, free to submit to and free to read. The journal relies on open tools to streamline production workflows and multi-platform, multi-language publishing while trying to balance sustainable minimal computing and labour practices. Typesetting in both html and PDF is generated from a single galley, and aggregation in multiple venues (OJS, WordPress and Érudit) is automated through API calls. Particular emphasis in the production is placed on visual material and the potential for multilingual side-by-side publishing, as well as on ease of use through an interface developed in Flask, and the maintainability of code through gitlab. The presentation argues that such strategies can contribute to opening up Humanities publishing to a plurality of epistemologies and cultural texts and practices.
1:30 – 2:45 pm – Lightning Talks
Erotizing Digital Infrastructures of Affect: Bareback Culture, Pornified Storytelling, and Queer Healing
Yidong Wang (University of Kansas, USA)
Bareback culture is pursued by a community of bisexual, gay, and queer men as a practice to amplify pleasure, cultivate communal bonds, and transcend normative boundaries around social relationships. As the HIV-related death rate declines and preventive measures like PrEP become more accessible, bareback gay sex takes on a cultural articulation that intentionally deviates from the sexual politics of respectability. The prevalence of digital communication platforms, including self-publishing media, geosocial applications, and pornographic content websites, not only facilitates the seeking of bareback sex, but by itself also presents as an eroticism that supplies fantasies on anonymity, connectivity, and exhibition. Digital sociality and bareback eroticism converge into an affective experience of desire and sexuality. In this talk, I build on Lauren Berlant’s theorization of affect as material, political, and infrastructural and connect the digitalized bareback culture with what I am calling “queer healing.” Queer communities have a long history of innovatively using digital communication platforms to tell life stories that are otherwise silenced. This tradition of digital storytelling can be understood as an act of healing (from queerphobia, collective trauma, or the internalized expectation of the body to be regulated in certain ways). In a time characterized by political regression, environmental cataclysm, and public health crises, queer digital storytelling alludes to a reimagination of personal wellbeing as a communal, politicized site where contested discourses of healing emerge. In the case of digitalized bareback culture, queer healing enacts a resistance against the dominant interpretation of wellness within the parameters of neoliberal politics, corporate conglomeration, and heteronormative surveillance.
Tyler Musgrave (University of Michigan, USA)
Hashtags are used to provide insight on narratives present on social media platforms. Specifically, Black social media users globally have leveraged hashtags for within-group dialogues such as, activism, black joy and other culture-based communalities. In other times, hashtags have been leveraged to call attention to global racial and social injustices impacting Black social media users online and offline. Many have argued social media platforms are global digital public spheres bridging physical locations and bringing communities from across the diaspora together – for better or for worse. This presentation explores how social media platforms become places for diasporic conflict, specifically, #diasporawars between global Black social media users.
Virtual Bodies: How the Rhetoric of Embodiment Enables Harm in Virtual Spaces
Sarah Immel (Whitworth University, USA)
Virtual reality claims to foster an inclusivity unlike any other: by enabling individuals to feel present in an experience without regard to their physical location or condition, it opens those experiences up to people who might otherwise be excluded. It has the potential to create a breakthrough not only in digital access but also in the digitally mediated access of physical events and activities, but ought we to embrace these new allowances without first considering their constraints? In this paper, I challenge the language of embodiment used to promote the reality of virtual exchanges. Looking in particular at the promotional language surrounding the Metaverse, I demonstrate how this emphasis on the physical presence of the user serves to dehumanize others represented within the same space, enabling the objectification and harm that we see in the numerous reports of sexual assault brought forward in virtual spaces like Horizon Worlds. Not only does the company’s valuation of physical presence enable these injustices, it also fails to provide a framework for users to understand and cope with the kinds of harm they may experience in virtual spaces. In place of this painful objectification of humans, I suggest that our public discourse around virtual reality should turn toward an object-oriented rhetoric in order to make sense of digitally mediated interactions and the kinds of force, harmful and otherwise, exerted through them. By considering digital objects such as avatars as actants in their own right, rather than embodiments of their human subjects, we can better understand the power they have over us and mindfully respond to—or even prevent—the very real harm which stems from these virtual spaces.
Ethical Sustainability in the Digital Humanities
Catherine Foley (Presenting), Jeff Goeke-Smith (Presenting), and Dean Rehberger (Michigan State University, USA)
Digital Humanities projects tend to come and go. The reasons are legions, but to name a few — funding ends, faculty members loss interest, institutions change hosting agreements, code becomes too insecure and costly to upgrade. For the most part, this may not be a bad thing since the value for the field, faculty member(s), and/or student(s) is often in the praxis and not the long-term sustainability. However, some projects do demand a higher concern for sustainability that can vary from the importance of access to materials to the promises made to contributors and communities. To that end, this talk examines the keys to ethical sustainability for digital projects that need to be built into the DH project — not as an afterthought — but into every phase of planning, development, and dissemination. That is, ethical sustainability must be seen as a key element of the project from the very beginning if it is to be useful and transferable to other institutions, libraries, and/or archives. To confine this to a lightening talk, this presentation will look at only one long term project, the Quilt Index, and the underlying strategies used for ethical sustainability that have kept it online and growing for more than two decades. At the heart of these strategies must be a strong ethical component that considers content, contributors, and user communities.
Red Card: Key Themes in the Contentious Social Media Debate on the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup
Global sporting events are traditionally a source of nationalistic pride for the host country. However, as these events shift from “traditional” liberal democracies in the Western hemisphere, host countries such as Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia have come under the spotlight for alleged human rights abuses. Qatar, the 2022 FIFA World Cup host, invested enormous resources into its infrastructure while deploying a worldwide public relations exercise to project a positive societal image. Nonetheless, the World Cup has been dogged by unprecedented negative coverage calling for boycotts and public viewing blackouts. Online activism is most prevalent on Twitter, where close to 150,000 tweets since September 2022 (with a potential reach of 113 million people) have expressed concerns about human rights abuse in the host country. This poster analyzes 10k tweets with the hashtag “BoycottQatar2022” and uses the digital humanities method of topic analysis to identify the main issues in the debate swirling around the event. A preliminary analysis of original tweets in English in November extracted from the Twitter API database shows that the concerns are centered on three thematic areas: mistreatment of immigrant workers was most common (49%), followed by LGBTQ and women’s rights in Qatari society (combined 34%) and, lastly reflecting emerging global consciousness on climate change, environmental concerns related to the sporting event. The analysis also explores if there are geographical patterns in the issues highlighted and change in public sentiment related to FIFA in 2022 compared to 2018. The social media controversy surrounding the 2022 World Cup has ramifications not only for Qatar’s public image, but also for FIFA and associated brands. This poster provides a quantitative assessment of the most pertinent subjects underlying the controversy from a social media context that clouded what is usually a celebratory sporting event.
The Uvalde Shooting: Political Polarization and the Impact of Influencers over time
Political polarization is complicated and can be further divided into affective polarization and ideological polarization. Social media has been thought to accentuate affective political polarization. In this study, public opinion following the May 24, 2022, Uvalde shooting from Twitter feeds was collected and analyzed using machine learning algorithms. This was done both in June 2022 after the shooting and in December 2022, 6 months after the shooting. We found that from June to December, both Pro-Gun and Pro-Police opinions within the top 25 tweeters grew, while Anti-Gun, Anti-Police, and Neutral (in both categories) fell. In June, 8% of the top 25 tweeters were Pro-Gun, 52% were Anti-Gun, and the remaining 40% were neutral on guns. In December, support for Pro-Gun rose to 20%, while support for Anti-Gun and neutral positions both fell – the former to 48%, the latter to 32%. Opinions on the police saw a similar trend. Our data suggests that Twitter feed analysis can be used to characterize public opinion and also assess the effect of amplification. Six months after the Uvalde shooting, we found the pro-gun, pro-police sentiment and neutral positions far outweighed the anti-gun and anti-police sentiment. These findings suggest that during times of crisis, influential tweeters can break the media bubble and influence public opinion, but this effect may not be long lasting. Political polarization and polarized opinion eventually return after acute events. Our data suggests that Twitter feed analysis can be used to characterize opinions and effects based on amplification.
Discourse-Stylistic Features in Oduduwa Secessionists’ Social Media Campaign
PraiseGod Aminu (University of Pittsburgh, USA) (Presenting) and Uduak-Abasi Uyah (Covenant University, Nigeria)
The Oduduwa secessionist group is an ethnic separatist movement that seeks an independent nation for the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria. The group adopts a radical approach to secessionism and has conducted extensive online campaign and activism on social media. Unfortunately, there appears to be insufficient linguistic research on discourses produced by this emerging group of activists. Hence, social media campaign published by the Oduduwa secessionists have been selected to uncover various discourse-stylistic strategies at work from the standpoint of the socio-cognitive model of critical discourse analysis (CDA). While employing a mixed-method approach, this research analyses 600 samples purposively retrieved from Facebook and Twitter. The study reveals the ideological structures concealed in the rhetoric produced by members of the group. The secessionists construct a cognitive binary of positive self-presentation and negative other-representation, categorizing Nigerians as well as the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as the Other. The underlying motive is to reinvent an identity that is different from a typical Nigerian. Preliminary findings reveal that since the Oduduwa agitators are a group of individuals determined to secede from Nigeria, the structures of their campaign discourse reflect discourses that reinvent the group’s identity and elucidate their ideological stances. Expectedly, grammatical and discursive structures common to activist discourse, such as hate speech, name-calling, coinages, indexicality and threatening language that portray prejudice and cultural divisiveness, are evident in discourses produced by the Oduduwa group. Oduduwa separatist movement, as the marginalised group, strongly enunciates their cultural ideology through these strategies, and in pursuit of their self-determination, they accentuate their belief and resistance ideology in ethnic difference and cultural distinctiveness. This research concludes that language use in social media should not be dismissed as casual talk as they play significant roles in polity’s social transformation and societal sustenance.
A Digital Journey to Mecca: The Hajj Trail and Reshaping Imaginaries of the Middle East
Tyler Kynn (Central Connecticut State University, USA)
The Hajj Trail is a digital project which aims to create a historical simulation/game for students to encounter stories from seventeenth-century pilgrimage narratives to Mecca. Coded through the open-source digital storytelling platform Twine, the simulation weaves together imagery, music, events, and historical quotes for over 300 locations in the seventeenth-century Ottoman Muslim world. The purpose of this project is to introduce undergraduate students to the complex history of the hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, through a social historical lens of the Ottoman Empire with the hopes of decentering Europe in students’ imaginations of the past. The simulation takes students along the Ottoman caravan route from Istanbul to Mecca where they encounter the beauty and difficulty of traveling in the early modern world as sourced from early modern travel and pilgrimage narratives themselves. Through the world constructed in the Hajj Trail students have a chance to imagine the complexities of the early modern hajj journey and the multi-faceted experiences that defined it. Students can go through the simulation focusing on the trade and mercantile complexity of the Ottoman world or uncover and map out the larger sacred geography that dotted the landscape along the road to Mecca, or even focus on non-traditional routes to the holy cities and combine their travels with side goals to visit family and friends as real pilgrims chose to do during the seventeenth century. The ultimate educational goal of this project is not only to center the hajj in our understanding of the cultural world of early modernity but also to showcase the ways in which the pilgrimage was embedded into a multitude of experiences that made up the everyday lives of pilgrims and early modern Muslims.
3:00 – 3:30 pm – Curating, Capturing and Digitizing Culinary Heritage…at Scale!
Robert Danhi (Boston University, USA)
Every day, we lose the stories, traditions, and recipes in every corner of the world. With these natural human resources disappearing at an alarming rate, there is an urgent need to capture the culinary wisdom of our family, friends and elders. Using algorithms to parse through randomly captured, unstructured data from online and print big data won’t solve this growing problem. Effective curation, capturing and sharing of cultural heritage, food stories and culinary wisdom is necessary to preserve these resources that are being depleted with each passing day. Our collective intelligence will discover insights into the how’s and why’s these food evolved. Together we will sustain the community to preserve the past, document the present, and together guide the future evolution of food and beverage cultures globally. This presentation will share out on current global activities on building ontological knowledge graphs and open source digital infrastructure to capture structure cultural heritage at scale. This session also includes a multimedia presentation on case study on Sichuan’s Chengdu chili-bean paste, Pixian Douban Djan with all research conducted during COVID hence 100% executed by locals guided by mobile app to record stories from the streets, homes and restaurants.
3:35 – 4:55 pm – Transformative Platforms
Image-in-Image Search for Digital History
Andrea Nanetti (Nanyang Technological University Singapore) and Justin Dauwels (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
Image-in-image search for digital history is an interdisciplinary research project by computer scientists and historians. Its objective is to review best practices in computer vision to detect images that match selected visual content from primary historical sources. It aims to assist historians in effectively finding relevant visual resources among the ever-expanding pool of online images. Existing search engines mainly rely on keywords which place limitations on image search due to language barrier and ambiguity in meaning. To address these challenges, we experimented with existing template-based, feature-based, and deep-learning search techniques without relying on keywords. To overcome the drawbacks of existing methods, we designed a novel image search pipeline containing three modules: feature extraction, approximate nearest-neighbour search (ANN), and reranking. Feature extraction is the cornerstone for image retrieval. We selected ResNet101 as the backbone and implemented various image pooling methods. Then, we reduced the feature maps to one global descriptor. Subsequently, an ANN search is conducted: finding the database vectors closest to the query vector. Different from an evident approach which has linear search complexity and may be time-consuming, the ANN search is able to achieve sub-linear complexity. Next, the engine returns relevant images. However, the ranking may not be satisfactory when powerful illumination and viewpoint changes exist in images. Therefore, we propose a new design for accurate and efficient feature-based reranking, applying a computationally demanding matching procedure. The image-based search engine we proposed can be applied in impactful applications in digital history and beyond. The system is modular and flexible, allowing for more accessible adaptation. Extensive tests have shown that our pipeline achieves state-of-the-art results with acceptable speed.
More information are available in the explainer video , an online implementation of our pipeline , and a GitHub page that contains all code .  https://engineeringhistoricalmemory.com/Images/apps/ImageSearch.mp4  https://engineeringhistoricalmemory.com/ImageSearch.php  https://github.com/YYao-42/Image-Search-Engine-for-Historical-Research
Ratchet Feminism On TikTok: Visual Culture Resistance to Oppression
M. Bryn Brody (Colorado University Denver, USA)
Digital visual culture in cyberspace has created new methods for Black queer women to resist the oppression of controlling images. As cyborg beings, Black queer women perform their identities in creative and boundary-breaking ways, often using sexually explicit lyrics and dance to resist white normativity and heteronormativity. Multinational social media platforms like TikTok provide readily accessible platforms for Black queer women to extend the reach of their performances. TikTok also perpetuates oppression by monetizing Black sexuality. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, has experienced a doubling of profits in the past year. Users themselves often seek to capitalize on their performances. Some theorists insist that the commodification of Black sexuality perpetuates Black subjectification. Not all theorists agree, though. Some assert that performing identities in excess of the controlling images allows oppressed people to survive within the ideologies that oppress them. Additionally, the performances create a counter discourse in the midst of oppression, undermining oppressive ideologies from the inside. Sometimes labeled “ratchet feminism,” young Black queer musicians confront respectability politics, often putting them into ideological conflict with well-respected Black feminists like bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins. Using TikTok content creator Thee King Kitty as a case study, this paper analyzes the performance of Black queer sexuality through ratchet feminism as brown jouissance, disidentification, and subversion. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, the research explores the nuanced interactions of Black feminisms in digital visual culture. I hypothesize that identity performance on TikTok specifically and in cyberspace generally acts as a form of resistance that speaks to the lived experiences and needs of Gen Z and Millenials. Through these acts of resistance, youth form solidarities that undermine controlling images and systems of oppression.
History in Digital Spaces. Historical Learning inside the “App into History”
Alexandra Krebs (German Historical Institute, Washington DC, George Mason University USA, and Paderborn University, Germany)
The more the digital transformation of society progresses, the more digital aspects of learning and teaching come into focus. Unfortunately, in the case of historical learning in schools, the status quo of analog teaching forms has mostly persisted. The few attempts at digital historical learning often restrict themselves to simple quizzes or knowledge-based tasks. Furthermore, studies about digital historical learning processes are lacking. Only a handful of works have been carried out in this field until now. To tackle this issue, the project “App into History” addresses digital history learning as a process of historical thinking based on the concept of historical narrativity (Arthur Danto). The modular educational platform enables students to develop historical questions and investigate them using historical sources from digital archives, with several digital tools to tell their own stories while taking a position in controversial debates inside society. In the “Story Modus Bethel,” for example, students investigate for whom a new street in Bethel (Bielefeld, Germany) should be named and write an expert report for the city council. To accomplish this, they use digitized historical sources in the app from the Bethel archive that deal with the history of eugenics, “euthanasia,” and forced sterilization in Germany during the Nazi era. Additionally, two mixed-method studies (a pilot study with university students and the main study with high school students) focusing on user behavior were executed to investigate the historical learning processes and narrations inside the application. For this purpose, qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed using qualitative content analysis, logfile analysis, and machine learning algorithms. The presentation will first discuss the concept of the app and the key findings of the studies, and then provide an outlook on further development through collaboration between German and American archives for a bilingual module.
Into the Fediverse – An Opportunity for Academics to Reclaim the Public Sphere
Jesse Draper (H-Net, USA) and Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Michigan State University, USA)
With the brazen privatization, if not pending chaotic collapse of Twitter, millions of people are looking for alternative spaces to share their work, thoughts, and ill-conceived memes. Among the many digital migrants are a significant number of academics who looking for guidance, and familiar faces, as they try to make sense of the many new Twitter substitutes popping up daily. One such substitute, Mastodon (a software platform rather than a singular website), allows individuals or organizations to set up their own server, or instance, among many in what is becoming a growing “Fediverse” – a collection of independent yet federated, or connected, social networking sites.
H-Net has been the home of moderated scholarly discourse on the Internet for 30 years and the Humanities Commons platform, hosted by DH@MSU brings scholarly individuals and organizations together to share and collaborate on a single platform in new and exciting ways. H-net.social and hcommons.social offer scholars an opportunity to dip their toes into the Fediverse under the guidance of academic organizations they know and trust. This presentation seeks to share our collective experiences navigating this new medium for public discourse and our hopes for what it can become.
We believe this can become a space where the public sphere isn’t shaped by algorithms and bots. It helps to have an independent (yet federated) instance that we can protect from the worst of Twitter while still valuing and championing free speech and intelligent discussion. One of the strengths of the Fediverse is, as the owners of h-net.social and hcommons.social, we can identify and eliminate bad actors and can likewise, identify toxic instances and refuse connection to them. Now that takes discernment and above all transparency in the process, but if we spread this message/goal and build coalitions of instance admins committed to honest, open, legitimate discourse, we believe it’s possible.