Mobilizing New Digital Worlds: The Stakes of Postcolonial Digital Humanities

Mobilizing New Digital Worlds: The Stakes of Postcolonial Digital Humanities
6 June 2019, 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Bush House Lecture Theatre 1, King’s College London

Roopika Risam, Salem State University

As the emergence of digital cultures have been celebrated for openness, accesses, and the democratization of knowledge, they have simultaneously led to a rise in inequality with respect to race, gender, sexuality, disability, nation, and other axes of oppression. In response, this talk examines how postcolonial digital humanities offers a viable approach to understanding, uncovering, and remediating inequalities in one dimension of digital culture: digital knowledge production. Drawing from her book New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy (Northwestern University Press, 2018), Risam explores how the full supply chain of knowledge production – from research to service to teaching – is implicated in an information-age politics of knowledge that has not only reproduced but also amplified dominant cultural values. She further considers solutions that redress this challenge, arguing for the mobilization of cultural workers who are poised to create new digital worlds that more fully realize what it means to be human in the 21st century. 

Roopika Risam is an Assistant Professor of English and the Faculty Fellow for Digital Library Initiatives at Salem State University, where she also serves as Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies, Coordinator of the Combined B.A./M.Ed. in English Education, and Interim Coordinator of the M.A. in English. Her research interests lie at the intersections of postcolonial and African diaspora studies, humanities knowledge infrastructures, digital humanities, and new media. Her first monograph, New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2018. She is co-editing two volumes: Intersectionality in Digital Humanities with Barbara Bordalejo for Arc Humanities Press and The Digital Black Atlantic with Kelly Baker Josephs for the Debates in the Digital Humanities series (University of Minnesota Press). Along with Carol Stabile, she is co-director of Reanimate, an intersectional feminist publishing collective recovering archival writing by women in media activism. Currently, she is co-chair of the Association for Computers and the Humanities 2019 conference. Additionally, she recently received the Massachusetts Library Association’s Civil Liberties Champion Award for her work promoting equity and justice in the digital cultural record. 

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception. 

Free to attend | Spaces are limited so please register in advance.

This lecture is organised as part of the ‘Digital Diasporas: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ conference, led by the translingual strand of the Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community project. The lecture is hosted and organised in collaboration with Digital Humanities and the Language Acts & Worldmaking project at King’s College London.


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