As a community, the Global Digital Humanities Symposium is committed to supporting work at the intersections of critical DH; race and ethnicity; feminism, intersectionality, and gender; access; and, anticolonial and postcolonial frameworks. We approach the humanities with an interdisciplinary lens, and we welcome scholarship and projects that work across borders.
To help support applicants who may be unfamiliar with the conference proposal genre, here are some clarifying guidelines on what we look for in proposals:
- A Global Digital Humanities-related topic(s) (please refer to the Call for Proposals for a list of suggested topics)
- A clear focus and description of the project or scholarship, along with what its stakes are, whether social, cultural, and/or political.
- If proposing a full panel, a cohesive description of the panel’s overarching theme(s), and how each speaker’s talk contributes to the panel topic as a whole.
Your proposal will be initially reviewed by outside experts who have participated in MSU Global in previous iterations. Their feedback will be taken into consideration when the subcommittee of conference organizers make their final decisions. If your proposal is selected, this abstract will be published online on the conference website.
Reviewers will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:
- General Evaluation
- The presentation’s subject matter would be of interest to a wide variety of symposium attendees
- The theoretical framework and/or method used will be of interest to those attending a digital humanities symposium
- The abstract describes an original, significant contribution
- The abstract demonstrates an ability to communicate clearly to an interdisciplinary audience (Note: this criterion refers to the ability to reach audiences of many disciplines and not to language-specific or English-language knowledge)
- Alignment with the interests of the symposium, generalized from the CFP
- The focus is global, transnational, Indigenous, non U.S.-centric, on border cultures and migrations, etc.
- This proposal would enhance the symposium’s goals of centering cultures, languages, or regions that are not traditionally and historically centered in other digital humanities conferences, particularly those in North America and Europe
- The presentation aligns with the CFP’s interests in discussions of identity, equity, or larger systems of power, such as of Indigeneity, migration, documentation status, postcoloniality, gender, sexuality, disability, class, and/or labor.
- The presentation aligns with the symposium’s interest in how DH can understand, or intervene in, complex problems in the larger world, for example, the environment or rights and activism.
We encourage you to take a look at examples of the wide range of previously accepted abstracts (listed under “Past Symposia”).
Examples of accepted proposals
Accepted abstracts from previous symposia are archived and viewable on our website, under the menu “Past Symposia.” All abstracts are provided as links in each symposium’s Schedule.
For example, last year’s abstracts can be found by clicking on the Schedule drop-down menu:
Below, we offer an example for each type of proposal. We encourage you to take a look at further examples of the wide range of abstracts by visiting past symposia’s schedules.
15 Minute Presentation
Jennifer Ross, (University of Toronto, Canada), “A Geography of Terror and Repression”
Since the inauguration of the War on Terror in 2001, couanterterror rhetoric and policy have grown ever more present in responses to domestic crisis and, increasingly, democratic expression. Following Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 flooding of New Orleans, heavily armed police, military, and paramilitary forces herded “looters,” “insurgents,” and, in one instance, assumed terrorists into an outdoor detention facility modeled after Guantánamo Bay. Paramilitary units also deployed to Puerto Rico in 2017 to secure San Juan’s exclusive Santurce District, guard infrastructure workers, and protect fresh water supplies. More recently, private security contractors have been used to suppress democratic movements for social justice and Native sovereignty. In Standing Rock, North Dakota, contractors and state prosecutors portrayed water protectors as a “pipeline insurgency” to be quashed by paramilitary forces. Just a few years later, contractors snatched up Black Lives Matter protestors in Portland, Oregon and drove them away in unmarked vans.
An act of sousveillance, “A Geography of Terror and Repression” turns the tools of mapping and surveillance against a state deploying draconian tactics in the name of security. This project marshals GIS, a medium steeped in military conquest and Western imperialism, to pinpoint individual eruptions of counterterror state violence against racialized populations. Moreover, the project reveals the interrelation of security tactics and personnel by tracing the movement of contractors from one area of real or perceived crisis to another. Hosted initially on ArcGIS Story Maps to provide a national overview of counterterror state violence, each marker then links to a location-specific digital project utilizing Omeka, Leaflet, or Python to document security tactics and public resistance. By visualizing the continuously expanding purview of contractor deployment, this project ultimately reveals a disturbing trend growing out privatization, the quest to protect white supremacy, and the erosion of civil and human rights in the name of security.
60 Minute Panel
Anne Cong-Huyen (University of Michigan), Viola Lasmana (University of Southern California), and Kush Patel (University of Michigan), “En-Compassing Latitudes: Methodologies, Pedagogies, and Trajectories of Global DH”
This panel brings together Asian American scholars, both librarians and academic researchers, to share and reflect on the breadth of scholarship and pedagogy informed by the interrelated frames of transnational Asian American and global digital humanities. We will discuss ongoing pedagogy, research, and collaborations that both adhere to and defy understandings of digital humanities scholarship. Despite their varied forms and subject matter, at the heart of these presentations and the projects that inspired them, are a core commitment to transformative, anti-colonial, social justice work informed by women of color feminisms, queer feminisms, and third world feminisms.
Our first panelist will discuss the ongoing work of FemTechNet and the feminist “hang-based pedagogy” methodology practiced by its Situated Critical Race + Media committee (SCRAM), a feminist anti-colonial distributed network of women and non-binary scholars of color whose work pushes expectations of collaborative digital scholarship. Over the past several years this network has met virtually, collaboratively authored scholarship, organized in-person Network Gatherings at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, and piloted Media Map, an interactive platform about race, feminism, and technology created through transnational collaboration and collective grant sharing.
Our second panelist will explore alternative articulations of global digital humanities by focusing on transpacific digital media that engage both the analog and the digital. They will examine how transmedia storytelling transforms understandings of the place and space of narrative, temporality, history, and social justice in transpacific contexts. A global and transpacific understanding of digital humanities allows for new imaginaries and praxis, and offers a definition of a Global Digital Humanities focused on transpacific connections, as well as the Global South.
Our third panelist will talk about the processes of supporting digital community engagements in a public university with queer, feminist, and anti-colonial methodologies. Critiquing disparities in power and privilege not just at the intersection of technologies and gender, but also between non-academic and academic groups, they will discuss how this work stems from and addresses the labor of survival within neoliberal infrastructures of higher education. Equally, this talk will highlight related DH pedagogy collaborations between the Global North and Global South as bridging features of our contiguous worlds lest we look past how we learn and who we learn with.
Richard Ajah (University of Uyo, Nigeria), “Digital Mapping of Culpability and the Culpable in African War Texts”
Studies on African war texts have been approached from traditional close reading methods of enquiry, subjected to trauma, memory and psychoanalytical theories and less scholarly attention given to distant reading through digital tools. This study establishes the possibility of corpus building of African war narratives despite digital infrastructural shortcomings in Africa. It combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the digital mapping of culpability and the culpable in African civil war represented in these corpora. With AntConc and Voyant, Ahmadou Kourouma’s trilogy and Scholastique Mukasonga’s autobiography were mined and examined using an eclectic framework of postcolonial theory and onomastics. The corpus analysis investigates how outputs of both digital tools of concordance, clusters, Keywords, Word Cloud, collocation and visualisations help in the analysis of the portrayal of guilt and the guilty in these corpora. Anthroponyms, ethnonyms and toponyms, and their collocates are subjected to the postcolonial dynamics of otherness, subalternity and identity to underscore how they reflect authorial postcolonial ideology and judgement on African wars. In Kourouma’s trilogy, appropriation of culpability is postcolonially negotiated and contextually indicated through word frequencies and ranking. Boigny, Gbagbo, Doe, Koroma, tribal toponyms have common word frequencies same as the Tutsi and Hutu in Mukasonga’s genocidal autobiography. Numbers and curves are used to illustrate culpability chart that indicates the levels of guilt appropriated to historical figures and tribes represented in these corpora.
Roopika Risam (Salem State University) and Alex Gil (Columbia University), “Mobilizing Digital Humanities for Social Justice: A Rapid Response Research Workshop”
(From 2020 – Note that this workshop was accepted to run in person but did not take place due to the abrupt shift to a virtual event)
In 2018, the Torn Apart/Separados team responded to Trump’s family separation immigration policy by pooling our skills to create a DH project in 6 days, shedding light on carceral infrastructures detaining immigrants. From this, we extrapolated a model for “rapid response research” (RRR): public DH projects mobilizing scholars around the world to respond to political, social, and environmental crises.
This workshop engages participants in RRR to share our model and equip them with skills to undertake RRR. We build on experience facilitating hour-long RRR sessions at the Association for Computers and Humanities conference, Stony Brook University, and Trondheim University, where participants collected and visualized metadata from news stories on protests in Puerto Rico and collected and mapped Confederate monuments in New York and Sami cultural heritage in Trondheim, Norway. We will select a timely topic and prepare model datasets in advance so participants can focus on experiencing the research and development process.
The objective is to immerse participants in the experience of RRR and equip them with skills to lead such social justice DH interventions. Participants will learn the collaborative processes behind RRR, how to assemble a team, how to manage data curation, and how to prototype.
This workshop is suitable for participants with a range of skill sets – from research to coding. Beginners in DH will gain confidence and a method they can deploy with off-the-shelf tools. Seasoned practitioners will experience how their skills can be combined for powerful effect for social justice.
Gabriel Calarco (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Iñaki Cano García (Universität Potsdam, Germany), Pamela Gionco (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Rocío Méndez (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), David Merino Recalde (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain), Federico Sardi (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), Maria Alejandra Sotelo (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Gabriela Striker (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Cristian Suárez-Giraldo (Universidad EAFIT, Colombia)
“El mismo texto, diferentes ediciones digitales. Resultados y experiencias de estudiantes de “Digital Publishing with Minimal Computing/Ediciones digitales con minimal computing” Global Classrooms (UMD/USAL)”
Entre septiembre y diciembre de 2020, se desarrolló el curso “Digital Publishing with Minimal Computing/Ediciones digitales con minimal computing”, una iniciativa “Global Classrooms” entre la University of Maryland (EE.UU.) y la Universidad del Salvador (Argentina), a cargo de Raffaele Viglianti (UMD/MITH) y Gimena del Rio Riande (USAL/CONICET). Se impartió en modalidad online con el apoyo de las investigadoras Nidia Hernández y Romina De León (HD CAICYT LAB/CONICET), con clases semanales con un enfoque teórico-práctico.
La virtualidad que impuso la pandemia redimensiona la globalización de la asignatura, pues permitió configurar un grupo más heterogéneo, integrado por personas de diferentes ámbitos académicos y profesionales, y una mayor diversidad de lugares de procedencia.
La actividad central del seminario implicó un trabajo colaborativo en grupos de ambas instituciones participantes, a través de un sistema de control de versiones (GitLab), con el objetivo de crear una edición digital bilingüe (inglés-español) de un fragmento de un texto francés del siglo XVII: la “Descripción de Buenos Aires” incluida en la “Relación de un viaje al Río de la Plata”, de Acarete du Biscay, a partir de la traducción inglesa de la época y, traducida a su vez de esta, una versión en español de mediados del siglo XIX.
Para realizar estas ediciones, siempre bajo las perspectivas de la minimal computing, trabajamos con marcado XML-TEI. Su publicación en línea se realizó también con herramientas de acceso abierto, en sitios estáticos, creados con Jekyll y alojados en GitLab. Todos los recursos utilizados permitieron ejercer soberanía digital sobre nuestras ediciones.
Nuestra propuesta es presentar los resultados de las ediciones realizadas durante el curso, que manifiestan una amplia variedad de enfoques, así como relatar nuestra experiencia con un trabajo colaborativo en un entorno bilingüe y llevado a cabo con tecnologías y metodologías de las Humanidades Digitales.
Devin Higgins and Manasi Mishra (Michigan State University, USA), “SiRO, a Platform for Promoting Studies in Radicalism Online”
Studies in Radicalism Online (“SiRO”) is a scholarly online database, managed by the Michigan State University Libraries, and supported by ARC (the Advanced Research Consortium) at Texas A&M University, that provides access to a trove of important resources for education in digital humanities and studies in radicalism. SiRO aggregates data in different languages about radicalism from across the world and provides a space for scholars engaged in these studies to build a virtual community. SiRO aims to publish digital peer reviewed objects to promote scholarship in the area of studies in radicalism. It is an extremely diverse resource that includes collections on civil rights, independence movements, racial equality, gender equality, LGBTQ+ liberation, etc., alongside reactionary movements that have sought to hinder the progress of equality. The history embedded in SiRO illuminates how both left and right wing movements have been promulgated and resisted across a range of social conditions.
The proposed showcase will highlight collections of civil rights movements and other social movements by BIPOC in the context of the present political and social climate. Archives of such movements that took place in history that include literature, news, photographs, interviews and films are an invaluable resource to study the origins, methods and impacts of the movements and political resistance. Digitization of such archives gives access to civil societies, governments, researchers and reformers across the world and an online platform like SiRO can help them connect and synergize efforts to promote equity and justice in the entire ecosystem.
We recognize that there is a lack of awareness today about the importance of digital archives focusing on extremism and radical movements (Holt, 2019). The proposed poster presentation will introduce SiRO to the international digital humanities community and also seek recommendations for improving SiRO’s outreach across the world.