Global Debates in the Digital Humanities


Domenico Fiormonte, Sukanta Chaudhuri, and Paola Ricaurte, Editors


A necessary volume of essays working to decolonize the digital humanities

This collection addresses the lack of perspectives beyond Westernized and Anglophone contexts in the digital humanities. Focused on work that has been underappreciated for linguistic, cultural, or geopolitical reasons, contributors showcase alternative histories that detail the rise of the digital humanities in the Global South and other “invisible” contexts and explore the implications of a truly global digital humanities.

Often conceived of as an all-inclusive “big tent,” digital humanities has in fact been troubled by a lack of perspectives beyond Westernized and Anglophone contexts and assumptions. This latest collection in the Debates in the Digital Humanities series seeks to address this deficit in the field. Focused on thought and work that has been underappreciated for linguistic, cultural, or geopolitical reasons, contributors showcase alternative histories and perspectives that detail the rise of the digital humanities in the Global South and other “invisible” contexts and explore the implications of a globally diverse digital humanities.

Advancing a vision of the digital humanities as a space where we can reimagine basic questions about our cultural and historical development, this volume challenges the field to undertake innovation and reform.

Contributors: Maria José Afanador-Llach, U de los Andes, Bogotá; Maira E. Álvarez, U of Houston; Purbasha Auddy, Jadavpur U; Diana Barreto Ávila, U of British Columbia; Deepti Bharthur, IT for Change; Sayan Bhattacharyya, Singapore U of Technology and Design; Anastasia Bonch-Osmolovskaya, National Research U Higher School of Economics; Jing Chen, Nanjing U; Carlton Clark, Kazimieras Simonavičius U, Vilnius; Carolina Dalla Chiesa, Erasmus U, Rotterdam; Gimena del Rio Riande, Institute of Bibliographic Research and Textual Criticism; Leonardo Foletto, U of São Paulo; Rahul K. Gairola, Murdoch U; Sofia Gavrilova, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography; Andre Goodrich, North-West U; Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change; Aliz Horvath, Eötvös Loránd U; Igor Kim, Russian Academy of Sciences; Inna Kizhner, Siberian Federal U; Cédric Leterme, Tricontinental Center; Andres Lombana-Bermudez, Pontificia, U Javeriana, Bogotá; Lev Manovich, City U of New York; Itay Marienberg-Milikowsky, Ben-Gurion U of the Negev; Maciej Maryl, Polish Academy of Sciences; Nirmala Menon, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore; Boris Orekhov, National Research U Higher School of Economics; Ernesto Priego, U of London; Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla, U of Kansas; Nuria Rodríguez-Ortega, U of Málaga; Steffen Roth, U of Turku; Dibyadyuti Roy, Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur; Maxim Rumyantsev, Siberian Federal U; Puthiya Purayil Sneha, Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru; Juan Steyn, South African Centre for Digital Language Resources; Melissa Terras, U of Edinburgh; Ernesto Miranda Trigueros, U of the Cloister of Sor Juana; Lik Hang Tsui, City U of Hong Kong; Tim Unwin, U of London; Lei Zhang, U of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

Domenico Fiormonte is lecturer in sociology of communication and culture at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Roma Tre, Italy. He is author of Per una critica del testo digitale: Filologia, letteratura e rete (Towards a Critique of the Digital Text: Philology, Literature, and the Internet) and coauthor of The Digital Humanist: A Critical Inquiry.

Sukanta Chaudhuri is professor emeritus of English at Jadavpur University, India. His most recent monograph is The Metaphysics of Text. He was chief coordinator of Bichitra, an online variorum site of the works of Rabindranath Tagore, and editor of Bichitra: The Making of an Online Tagore Variorum. He is currently coordinating a computerized historical dictionary of the Bengali language.

Paola Ricaurte is associate professor in the School of Humanities and Education at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. She is cofounder (with Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejías) of Tierra Común, a network to promote reflection on data colonialism from the Global South.




Domenico Fiormonte, Paola Ricaurte, and Sukanta Chaudhuri

Part I: Global Histories of Digital Humanities

1. Epistemically Produced Invisibility

Sayan Bhattacharyya

2. Alternative Histories of Digital Humanities: Tracing the Archival Turn

Puthiya Purayil Sneha

3. Can the Subaltern “Do” DH? A Reflection on the Challenges and Opportunities for the Digital Humanities

Ernesto Priego

4. Peering Beyond the Pink Tent: Queer of Color Critique across the Digital Indian Ocean

Rahul K. Gairola

5. The History and Context of the Digital Humanities in Russia

Inna Kizhner, Melissa Terras, Lev Manovich, Boris Orekhov, Igor Kim, Maxim Rumyantsev, and Anastasia Bonch-Osmolovskaya

6. Debating and Developing Digital Humanities in China: New or Old?

Jing Chen and Lik Hang Tsui

7. How We Became Digital: The Recent History of Digital Humanities in Poland

Maciej Maryl

8. Social Sciences and Digital Humanities of the South: Materials for a Critical Discussion

Nuria Rodríguez-Ortega

Part II: Exploring and Practicing Global Digital Humanities

9. Mining Verbal Data from Early Bengali Newspapers and Magazines: Contemplating the Possibilities

Purbasha Auddy

10. Digital Brush Talk: Challenges and Potential Connections in East Asian Digital Research

Aliz Horvath

11. “It Functions, and That’s (Almost) All”: Tagging the Talmud

Itay Marienberg-Milikowsky

12. What’s Trending in the Chinese Google Books Corpus? A Google Ngram Analysis of the Chinese Language Area (1950–2008)

Carlton Clark, Lei Zhang, and Steffen Roth

13. In Tlilli in Tlapalli / In Xochitl in Cuicatl: The Representation of Other Mexican Literatures through Digital Media

Ernesto Miranda Trigueros

14. No “Making,” Not Now: Decolonizing Digital Humanities in South Asia

Dibyadyuti Roy and Nirmala Menon

15. Digital Humanities and Memory Wars in Contemporary Russia

Sofia Gavrilova

16. Borderlands Archives Cartography: Bridging Personal, Political, and Geographical Borderlands

Maira E. Álvarez and Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla

17. Developing New Literacy Skills and Digital Scholarship Infrastructures in the Global South: A Case Study

María José Afanador-Llach and Andres Lombana-Bermudez

18. Manuscripts Written by Women in New Spain and the Challenge of Digitization: An Experiment in Academic Autoethnography

Diana Barreto Ávila

Part III: Beyond Digital Humanities

19. Digital Humanities and Visible and Invisible Infrastructures

Gimena del Rio Riande

20. Site-Specific Cultural Infrastructure: Promoting Access and Conquering the Digital Divide

Juan Steyn and Andre Goodrich

21. On Gambiarras: Technical Improvisations à la Brazil

Carolina Dalla Chiesa and Leonardo Foletto

22. Messy Empowerment: Mapping Digital Encounters in the Margins

Anita Gurumurthy and Deepti Bharthur

23. On Language, Gender, and Digital Technologies

Tim Unwin

24. Africa’s Digitalization: From the Ecological Dilemma to the Decolonization of the Imaginary

Cédric Leterme