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

igalina igalina at unam.mx
Fri Jun 26 20:18:33 MDT 2015

This is a fascinating discussion. There are too many points to address so I would just like to take up Domenico's remark about south-south collaboration. One of the frequent ironies of research in the periphery is that you have to go the centre to discover work being done in other peripheries (sometimes even from your own periphery). It would be interesting to map at some point I think, the relationships between the different communities that Alex has mapped. Research projects for example but there are probably other options for focusing on how we are interacting not only with the center but also with each other.

Also, talking about maps I would like to mention another  DH mapping project, Mapa HD by Elika Ortega and Silvia Gutiérrez: http://mapahd.org/el-mapa/

For those of you going to Sydney have a great time.



Dra. Isabel Galina Russell
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas,
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
igalina at unam.mx

De: globaloutlookdh-l <globaloutlookdh-l-bounces at uleth.ca> en nombre de Øyvind Eide <lister at oeide.no>
Enviado: viernes, 26 de junio de 2015 07:14 p. m.
Para: A list for participants in the ADHO DH Global Outlook Community
Asunto: Re: [globaloutlookDH-l] [Redhd] DH organizations around the world

Just to follow up on some aspects (and removing the cc list of lists as it will make lives hard to many list admins with posts from non-members to be taken care of, but please forward as you see fit, this is not to stop discussions), I think the media difference is important here. A text is different from a map and gives different impressions of fixedness vs. fluidity, the truth rhetoric is different, etc. And both are different from a late night discussion erupting with no obvious reason, giving new insight and new understanding. Moving between the media is necessary, but it will always change the stories we can tell. A map used as a drawing to talk over is different from a GIS system. Neatline is somewhere in between.

All we do happens locally. But some locales happen to be within more dominant power structures than others. A dialect being the base for a national language is different in power from other dialects. Every time I go to London I realise the importance of economic power, not only because I can go there but also because I hear my first language all over all the time — and the population of Norway is half of the population of London. Norway (and a large part of the population) is for the time being rich from oil money. They travel a lot.

Still. Someone from the Caribbean with Spanish as their first language can do international research in their mother tongue. Norwegians cannot if we do not focus on very specific areas such as Ibsen or Old Norse studies. Where you stand depends on where you sit but our economic chairs are different from our linguistic, cultural, etc.

ADHO is an attempt to create a meeting space, a place of cooperation between various groups around the world. It is not a goal in itself, it is a mechanism for scholarly cooperation. Some of us invest in it. We know that it is bound up in power structures. I feel it in every meeting, struggling a little bit less every year with the English language — but the struggle never ends, it will never become my language. We see it in who can come to locale places far from other locale places (Australia is not far away in itself, it can only be far away from other locale places).

Maps must be re-drawn. Organisations must be re-built. But we also must avoid spending too much time on running the organisations. It is so easy to make our tools into goals of their own.

All the best,


27. juni 2015 kl. 02:30 skrev Alex Gil <colibri.alex at gmail.com<mailto:colibri.alex at gmail.com>>:

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<http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-Frontera-Mestiza-Gloria-Anzald%C3%BAa/dp/1879960850/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8>.  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<mailto: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 Spence
Senior Lecturer
Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London
26-29 Drury Lane

paul.spence at kcl.ac.uk<mailto:paul.spence at kcl.ac.uk>
Twitter: @dhpaulspence (English)/@hdpaulspence (castellano)

From: Redhd [mailto: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.

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