When we returned in January, I realized that I am still quite unsure of what I want for this project. I still don’t know. While working on my wireframe and project vision, I found myself a bit lost which led to me asking myself about the purpose, the goals, the audience all over again. Moreover, what I am hoping to learn? I continually come back to recovering.
Kim Gallon (2016) argues that there is a “‘technology of recovery’ that undergirds black digital scholarship”. She writes, “…any connection between humanity and the digital therefore requires an investigation into how computational processes might reinforce the notion of a humanity developed out of racializng systems, even as they foster efforts to assemble or otherwise built alternative human modalities”.
In Gallon’s discussion of the recovery project that is the black digital humanities, I am prompted to think about the following as I begin collecting data. First, I need to truly contend with not only what am I trying to recover, but why and how. In looking to how digital projects can play a role in the project of black people’s humanity, I want to learn more about how my own project will do that work and how it may be complicit in taking up actions antithetical to my overall goal. This is why I listed some of my project goals moving forward. I want to be held accountable—and if the internet is good for anything, it is reminding you of something you said months or years ago.
My goals moving forward are:
- Engage and Learn. Read more pieces about the Digital Humanities in Black Studies. This means treating this work as a important as the material components of my project. It is a pledge and a commitment to undertake; however, I would rather minimize the scope of my project rather than have it be divorced of conversations that are happening next door. In order to make this feasible, I hope to read at least 2 pieces about the intersections of Black Studies and the Digital Humanities each week as I move forward. These pieces may or may not be published in peer-reviewed texts. The goal is not to be in conversation solely with texts only accessible through institution granted journal access, but to see what connections are being made among and across s/places. For instance, if the project is also about recovery, then I need to be reading from all archives no matter their elite status. To me, this is a part of CHI’s commitment to public access. It’s not just creating something for the public (however one may define) but to also respond to the creations of others.
- Question and Integrate. With the 2 think pieces, I will annotate my own project’s wire frame and and project vision to ensure that I am questioning and integrating what I learn. What I appreciate so much about the new wireframe programs I am finding is how flexible and malleable they are for a newcomer such as myself. Many that I am coming across allow me to make comments, revisions, and drafts which will undoubtedly come in handy.
- Justify Content. My third goal is related to my first and second in that I want to have a justification for all of my content. In drafting versions of my wire frame and project vision, I find that I’m getting to know my website and what I want—but that I don’t exactly know what I want or why. It’s helpful to see what it can look like and what can be feasible; however, I know that in order to tell a solid narrative I will need to be more intentional about the elements I am including. For instance, how can the addition or placement of particular stills alter my narrative? Will those additions and placements create tension within my story?
In my future posts, I hope that I can bring some of what I learn and updates on my goals while also sharing the challenges and possibilities I encounter.
Gallon, K. (2016). Making a case for the Black Digital Humanities. Debates in Digital Humanities. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.