[globaloutlookDH-l] Where is the nation in postcolonial digital humanities?

Alex Gil colibri.alex at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 10:13:14 MST 2014


I agree for the most part, Ernesto.

I do find the idea of thinking about transnational flows useful for
thinking about our current world, though. For example, Appadurai's 5
"scapes" are easy to understand by students and have enough meat in them to
generate good conversations among seasoned thinkers.

The part I agree with you on is the most is the fact that nationality and
the nation are here to stay for now. In digital humanities we have many
flows, but also an overwhelming number of national memory projects. If the
nation is imagined through it's media, digital archives are certainly
contributing. This is the case of the US, and happens in the form of
funding and institutional support for projects. I would hazard that two
sorts of general "genres" have thrived: a canonical one centered on the
history of the English language and European art; and one that we could
describe as the soft multicultural narratives of modern liberals. These are
gross generalizations, of course, but lacking evidence to the contrary...

Going back to freezing now,
A.





On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM, Ernesto Priego <efpriego at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello Alex, all,
>
> Thanks for sharing this post with the list. I read it yesterday and I
> thought it was a very interesting post. The questions Barrett asks at the
> end are relevant.
>
> However, I hope you don't mind a sincere and personal reply inspired by
> the emotions and thoughts that reading this article provoked in me over the
> last few hours and which I haven't been able to express anywhere else.
> Below are just some disjointed ideas.
>
> I find concepts such as "post-national" really troublesome. On a personal
> and political level the concept annoys me; it upsets me. What are the
> pre-required affordances for "post-nationalism"? What is really meant by
> this? (and with this question I don't mean "let's read closely the key
> authors who have used this terms to find out how to understand the term
> properly"). It seems to me that more than ever the concept and reality of
> Nation (the country where one was born and one has a identification
> document from) imposes very concrete conditions that in my opinion render
> the idea of post-nation as Utopianism.
>
> As someone who has travelled (in a very limited scale) with a Mexican
> passport for some 20 years, I have never been in a situation in which I can
> say that the concept of "Nation" has been left behind. On arrival to other
> countries, my wife, colleagues, friends go through a queue which is
> different than mine. Often, they have to wait for me to be finally allowed
> in. Last year in Vancouver, I was the only passenger from the whole plane
> who had to go through two different border checks including an extended
> interrogation that was triggered by the words "Mexican academic".
>
> In the digial sphere, I continuously witness the consolidation of
> localisms, parochialisms and a general lack of interest in what happens
> outside "the Developed World". Everyday I grow more and more disappointed
> at how the "World Wide Web" is not really international nor global nor, er,
> "postnational".
>
> I have gradually lost interest in much of the theory that as a young
> student fascinated me (this includes postcolonialism). I think there is an
> implicit symbolic violence in the proliferation and popularity of terms
> that really do not mean much when contrasted to the reality of millions,
> not only stateless persons and refugees, but also regular people of all
> walks of life and social classes who are denied freedom of transit and
> other human rights precisely because of their nationality. Post-national
> DH? Post-national subjectivities?  I doubt it very, very much. Maybe for a
> happy few, or for the citizens of nations whose passports are welcome by
> treatises around the world, but not for millions of others.
>
> Thanks for reading.
>
> Best,
>
> Ernesto
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *Dr Ernesto Priego*Lecturer in Library Science
> Acting Course Director, MSc/MA Electronic Publishing, City University
> London
>
> City University London offers a wide range of postgraduate courses
> delivered by world-leading academics. Register for our Open Evening<http://www.city.ac.uk/events/2014/feb/postgraduate-open-evening>on Wednesday 19
> th February to find out more.
>
> MediaCommons' THE NEW EVERYDAY is happy to announce the publication of a
> cluster on
> THE MULTIMODALITY OF COMICS IN EVERYDAY LIFE,
> curated by Ernesto Priego of City University London and David N. Wright of
> Douglas College.
>
> http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/tne/cluster/multimodality-comics-everyday-life
>
> http://epriego.wordpress.com/  @ernestopriego<https://twitter.com/ernestopriego>
> Editor-in-Chief, *The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship *
> http://www.comicsgrid.com/
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>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM, Alex Gil <colibri.alex at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Here's a post by Paul Barrett which offers some thoughts on the
>> (possible) role of the nation in DH. I hope you find it useful:
>>
>>
>> http://dhpoco.org/blog/2014/01/20/where-is-the-nation-in-postcolonial-digital-humanities/
>>
>> My hellos from cold NYC,
>> A.
>>
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