Digital Scholarship Seminar Series: Maintaining Diversity in the Digital World

Dorothy Kim, Assistant Professor of English, December 2014

Prof. Kim will be presenting her talk, entitled “Embodying the Database: Race, Gender, and Social Justice” at 5:15pm on February 22nd in Brody Learning Commons 4040. The talk is sponsored by the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center and the Digital Diversity Seminar Series.

The Digital Humanities (DH) have been an equal source of excitement and controversy. Many believe that the use of computational tools and methodologies applied to literary texts and historical data will bring us new avenues of exploration. We can view fascinating trends across our favorite literature using algorithms (read Ben Blatt’s latest book for a fun take on statistical analysis of novels) or gain a better appreciation of what global social networks looked like in the 17th century via the Electronic Enlightenment. Others fear that this style of analysis can rob us of the nuance of the human experience that the humanities provide (Stanley Fish is a noted critic of DH).

Prof. Dorothy Kim of Vassar College, who will be speaking at the library on Thursday, February 22nd, is both a proponent and critic of DH. A medievalist, feminist, and digital humanist, Kim acknowledges the power and possibility of DH, while challenging and bringing to light more troubling aspects of its past and the ramifications of this. She examines issues such as inherent bias in algorithms, the hidden labor behind DH efforts, and the associations between the development of technologies for the humanities and those for far more disturbing uses such as the holocaust or espionage.




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