[globaloutlookDH-l] [Redhd] DH organizations around the world

Alex Gil colibri.alex at gmail.com
Fri Jun 26 10:30:14 MDT 2015

Dear Paul,

I look forward to discussing this things over some coffee in Sydney next
week, but here are some public answers to your queries:

1. The map is "hand drawn" in neatline. No precision went into it. Fuzzy
seemed rhetorically better suited. (Also less work). I'd like to call it a
conversation napkin, in honor of it's birth on a night of collegial
conversation at dhsi 2015.

2. These is are key questions. Your 4 distinctions are right on! In the
etc, I would add their base of operations, the venues for their
conferences, the source of their papers and the *language* they privilege.
All of these can be represented by different maps or other ways. The truth
will always remain outside of all of them, but we can approximate the ideal
napkin map in the sky the more representations we have. In the case of my
map, I wanted to provincialize all these organizations a bit.

I like to think about these things as Walter Mignolo
<http://local%20histories/Global%20Designs>, who speaks of "spatial
confrontations between different concepts of history." Slightly different
from his approach, my solution is to reconcile those confrontations within
myself, à la Gloria Anzaldúa
As a result, my logic is not "fair" and spread out across the board
according to one set of formal rules. On a one by one case, I drew borders
that were sometimes sending the message "limit your pretensions," in
others, "go forth and prosper!", all according to my "concepts of [our]
history," and where I would like to see us go. In other words, this is a
humble napkin I bring to our conversations (and I'm delighted by the
quality of the one we're having right now!). I hope you've noticed also
that I've been changing the map as people have been giving me suggestions
and letting me know how they see themselves in my cracked mirror. The about
page too.

3. Each of these you mention would continue to refine our conversations. I
would like to start with one for current location of employment or
affiliation. I volunteer to make a more precise series of layered heat
maps, like the one CenterNet has, if all the orgs send me their data.
Promise not to share the data with a single living soul unless given
permission to.

4.  Agreed! And these are precisely the issues I was hoping to get a sense
of from folks in the community. We may yet approach our realities by
listening to each other and translating each other as much as possible. In
other words, how would you draw a map of all of us? How would you map your
organization(s)? Who do you represent? How will we transform best in the
coming decade or two, leading (hopefully) to a more extensive federation,
as Domenico and I discussed?

As I suggested above, it would be nice to see more maps, napkin or not. We
started with Melissa Terras' map that focused on centers. Then I did this
one <http://www.arounddh.org/journey/> that focused on projects. Now this
one focusing on organizations. At the end of the day, for me the most
important thing has been the relationships and conversations that these
maps have helped me forge. This one included.

Looking forward to seeing you in Sydney!

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 3:57 AM, Spence, Paul <paul.spence at kcl.ac.uk> wrote:

>  Dear Alex
> Thanks for this very interesting visual summary, which helps us think
> globally about professional associations and representation in the digital
> humanities. This interests me a lot, as I’m currently doing research into
> architectures of participation in DH and, in broader terms, the cultural
> geographies of digital scholarship.
> I have a number of questions about how you created the visualisation –
> from that point of view, it would be helpful to have more information about
> the criteria used to draw boundaries.
> Some comments/queries:
> ·         Geographical boundaries and language sometimes roughly coincide
> – most often they don’t. I suspect we need a more fine-grained approach,
> taking multiple perspectives, if we want to reach any firm conclusions
> ·         Your ‘about’ page talks of territoriality. When we are talking
> about associations, it is important to distinguish between [1) their
> professed geographical area of focus, if that even exists, [2] our
> perception of their focus, according to the evidence at our disposal [3]
> organisational pragmatics – e.g. the criteria used to distribute funds, [4]
> membership data, etc etc. To give three examples of how categorisations can
> be problematic: I have heard various prominent ACH people object when
> people identify the organisation too closely with North America at various
> times over the years; EADH adopted a regional ‘focus’ in the last few
> years, but has always had, and continues to have (in spite of its clear
> primary focus on Europe), global outreach (with very strong connections to
> Japan at various stages, for example); HDH explicitly identifies itself as
> international, and therefore not just limited to Spain (or indeed
> Spanish-speaking territories).
> ·         If we use membership data, that opens up a whole lot of new
> questions: there is a difference between location of residence,
> institutional location, location of birth/origin etc etc. Are we measuring
> personal identification with a particular geography, the pragmatics of
> where someone has institutional support, or something else entirely?
> ·         There are a whole host of other issues here that affect how we
> interpret culture, language and geography in DH: the fact that people can
> speak multiple languages; the disjoint between cultural identity and
> nationhood; the difficulty in identifying some countries with continents or
> agreeing on definitions of their boundaries; contested geographies and
> labels; the fact that professional association membership is probably not a
> good indicator of actual DH research activity;  the varying degrees of
> accuracy and granularity of various data sources (including membership
> lists) etc etc.
> You are admirably honest about the fact that the map is not fully
> representational; nevertheless, you have created it, you have performed a
> representation (which is already leading to interpretation by those of us
> viewing it), and I was wondering if you could say more about which
> direction(s) you imagine taking this in.
> Best wishes
> Paul
> ----------------------------------------
> Paul Spence
> Senior Lecturer
> Department of Digital Humanities
> King's College London
> 26-29 Drury Lane
> London
> WC2B 5RL
> paul.spence at kcl.ac.uk
> http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/ddh/research/index.aspx
> Twitter: @dhpaulspence (English)/@hdpaulspence (castellano)
> *From:* Redhd [mailto:redhd-bounces at lists.humanidadesdigitales.net
> <redhd-bounces at lists.humanidadesdigitales.net>] *On Behalf Of *Alex Gil
> *Sent:* 25 June 2015 14:18
> *To:* A list for participants in the ADHO DH Global Outlook Community;
> Lista de distribución de la Red de Humanidades Digitales (RedHD); Online
> seminar for digital humanities; Association Humanistica; Asociacion
> Humanidades Digitales Hispánicas; Southasia Dh; Ahdig
> *Subject:* [Redhd] DH organizations around the world
> ** apologies for cross posting **
> Dear all,
> Here is a quick neatline sketch <http://testing.elotroalex.com/dhorgs/>of
> the digital humanities organizations I can see around the world today. The
> map is quick and dirty, and misrepresents much. It would be nice to get a
> representation of memberships from each org by city or state, that would
> help localize trans-nationality more accurately. In lieu of that I'm hoping
> this can spark a conversation about representation, language and location.
> If you have private suggestions, feel free to send me a line. I welcome all
> public suggestions.
> As I say in the about page:
>  This map does not represent the trans-national membership of these
> organizations. A heat map from member tallies would be more accurate.
> CenterNet is absent. Humanistica and ACH have a much wider reach than the
> map gives them credit for. My rationale for doing it was to show the
> territoriality of the largest number of members in each of these orgs, OR
> the regions they de facto represent. I find my lies point in the direction
> of a tension between language vs. region, representation vs. proportional
> membership. The lies are meant to spark a conversation about how we can
> move forward organizationally at the global level, through and around ADHO.
> I would favor moves in the direction of clearly defined meso-level
> regional/national organizations—open to global membership, of course, but
> clearly based somewhere—for the support of semi-local communities. The key
> here is support and representation for semi-local communities. To be clear,
> I am not against co-existence and collaboration with language-based
> trans-regional organizations that stretch the planet, and do believe we can
> achieve local support and representation if we work together carefully at
> the intersections of language/region/representation, as long as we foster
> local growth and agency. On that note, I should point out that many
> organizations represented here are already both language-region, like the
> RedHD or the DHD.
> In addition to these regional/language chapters, I imagine a union that
> can organize a global conference and foster collaboration. What ADHO is
> trying to do now.
> _______________________________________________
> Redhd mailing list
> Redhd at lists.humanidadesdigitales.net
> http://lists.humanidadesdigitales.net/listinfo.cgi/redhd-humanidadesdigitales.net
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