Re:Humanities ’15 Post

Save. Share. Self-Destruct.

I am finally finding the time to write about the digital humanities conference I attended on April 9th and 10th. While I won’t address the whole two day conference in this post, I would love to share a couple of highlights.

The conference started on Thursday evening with a conversation about live-tweeting practices. (The whole conference was live-tweeted with the hashtag #rehum15. This discussion was swiftly followed by a keynote presentation by Whitney Trettien, a PhD candidate at Duke. Her talk was called “Destroying the Book to Come.” Afterwards, students presented at a poster session.

The second day of the conference was much more exciting for me, since it was full of student talks. Certain talks were more exciting to me than others, probably because they related more closely to my own talk. Andrew Rikard from Davidson’s talk, called “Scraping Mold Off Immortality,” critiqued Digital Humanities focus on the canon, arguing that we should strive not to repeat the categorizing impulses we have succumbed to in the past. Instead, we should strive for more diversity in our research because we have so much access to texts.

Rikard’s talk was nicely synthesized by Allen William’s, entitled “The Spook Who Sat By the Time Machine: Cultural Studies in the Digital Humanities.” He suggested that we often praise digital humanities for its universalizing abilities when the scholarship it produces often is not universal at all. He argued that DH work, with all of its advantages, may not be considering race in as critical of a way as it could.

Finally, the conference concluded with Wendy Hsu’s keynote speech. Her slides for this presentation can be found on her website.

I had a wonderful time at this conference, and was happy to attend for the second year in a row!

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