[globaloutlookDH-l] paper on global DH at re:publica 13

Nishant Shah nishant.shah at inkubator.leuphana.de
Thu May 9 01:08:41 MDT 2013

Dear David (and All),
What a wonderful surprise! I have been a part of the list from the early 
days, but have been a self-confessed lurker so far. I just got back from 
the madness of Re:Publica (the nice kinds, the one where you see pink 
elephants and visit tea parties) and discovered this thread and the 
message on academia. Thank you very much for the interest in the talk 
and for the work we are doing at Centre for Internet & Society in 
Bangalore, India. We have been very curious/anxious about the global 
digital humanities rhetoric that has been slowly trickling into India, 
shaping new policies and practices for Higher Education in the country. 
Over the last 5 years, we have been working closely with different 
policy actors as well as undergraduate colleges and other academic 
partners, to examine what DH can look like in a country that does not 
necessarily have to bear the same historical and political contexts as 
the Global North where DH seems to have emerged in.

My talk at Re:Publica was trying to capture the terms of the debate and 
its implications, moving away from the infrastructure-obsessed dialogue 
and looking at other kinds of infrastructure that become exciting and 
interesting for India (and perhaps the rest of the world). I think the 
talk will be made public in a couple of days and I would be happy to 
share it with the group. In the meantime, I was also a part of a panel 
discussing Open Access and Digital Humanities along with Mercedes Bunz, 
David Berry and Cornelius Puschman which is available for a viewing here 

I have also just written a book chapter for a forthcoming book edited by 
David Theo Goldberg and Patrick Svenson for MIT Press on the state of 
Digital Humanities in a global context, and will be sharing it on my 
Academia page as soon as I can.

Thank you, once again, for the shout out and for making me un-lurk.

Warm regards
P.S. Please excuse any typos - I am writing this on a very tired train 
journey on my way back home.

On 08-05-2013 15:06, David Golumbia wrote:
> Dear list members,
> I've been tied up with a number of things lately and been unable to 
> complete a response to the earlier thread about multilingualism and 
> globalization, which I hope to do soon, as I feel that some of the 
> most important issues have not yet been addressed thoroughly enough.
> While reading the live tweets (hashtag #rp13) of the re:publica 13 
> conference now taking place in Berlin, I ran across this abstract for 
> a paper by Nishant Shah, who directs the research portfolio at the 
> Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore 
> (http://cis-india.org/author/nishant). It seems to me to speak to some 
> of the issues that have been raised as well as some that have not, and 
> that I hope we can discuss more fully in the future.
> David
> "Say 'Digital Humanities' One More Time: Technology, affect and 
> learning in emerging information societies"
> Nishant Shah <https://re-publica.de/en/users/nishantshah>
> One of the ironies of the local-global divide is that certain 
> practices within the local sphere often precede the global 
> nomenclatures that are assigned to them. 'Digital Humanities' is a 
> prime example of this phenomenon where a clutch of practices which 
> emerged with the rise of digital technologies and their integration 
> into the national policies on higher education and learning, are now 
> retrospectively understood as 'Digital Humanities'. So even as the 
> term was gaining currency in the European and North American context, 
> becoming one of the buzzwords through which new conditions of pedagogy 
> and education were imagined within the Universities in the North-West, 
> it had almost no takers in the emerging knowledge industries of South 
> Asia in general, and India in particular.
> Within this context, it has now become natural, for all talks about 
> education to eventually veer towards infrastructure. There is enough 
> reason for that, when we look at the pitiful lack of resources in the 
> country vis-à-vis the size of the population, and many of the larger 
> problems endemic in higher education today, are tied down to this 
> massive infrastructure deficit.Simultaneously, there has always been a 
> severe fragmentation and compartmentalisation of knowledge systems 
> within the academia, which is not restricted to only the Humanities 
> which is increasingly facing the pressure to make itself relevant and 
> produce work-forces for a global finance driven market.
> The questions of professionalising and mainstreaming humanities and 
> social sciences education are almost universal right now, and indeed, 
> one of the ambitions of Digital Humanities projects which are seeking 
> to find validity for education that does not prepare a global 
> information work-force. The realignment of the market with the 
> education system, has been critiqued by theorists of neo-liberal 
> globalisation, who have pointed out how it enables state disinvestment 
> from education and the privatisation of learning resources. However, 
> even in these existing critiques of Digital Humanities (whether they 
> use that term or not), there seems to be a consensual agreement that 
> infrastructure building is necessary and must happen.
> This talk, critically examines the implications of adopting Digital 
> Humanities as a principle in emerging information societies, and 
> drawing from experiments with students in 9 undergraduate colleges in 
> India, examines the ways in which it needs to reconsider its 
> relationship with the more accepted ideas of infrastructure, usage, 
> adoption and learning.
> https://re-publica.de/en/sessions/say-digital-humanities-one-more-time-technology-affect-and-learning-emerging-information-so
> -- 
> David Golumbia
> dgolumbia at gmail.com <mailto:dgolumbia at gmail.com>
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*Nishant Shah*
International Tandem Partner, *Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana 
University, Lueneburg * <http://www.leuphana.de/zentren/cdc.html>
Director - Research, *Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore 
<http://www.cis-india.org> *

*Phone*: +49-(0)176-841-660-87
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