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

Domenico Fiormonte domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com
Mon Jun 29 04:35:43 MDT 2015

Gracias Isabel. Es un punto muy importante.
And thanks Øyvind for remembering us of "power structures".

In fact I'd like to comment briefly on Paul's observations and Alex's reply
via a quote of Richard Hill, president of the Association for Proper
Internet Governance and former ITU senior officer:

"As a first step, it is important to recognise that power matters when it
comes to the Internet, and to recognise that it is highly concentrated at
("The true stakes of Internet governance",

Of course DH issues are "small" in comparison to the problems of the
Internet, but you can't avoid speaking of power (and resources) when
dealing with structured organizations (including scholarly ones). The fact
I can spend less than 1000 euros each *year* for all my
research/travelling/ expenses or that our someone from Cuba have no
research money at all cannot be ignored. "Where" and "what" often coincide.
And who benefits from the present unbalance is also clear. Please let's be
honest about this -- "as a first step".

So, once again, the problem of governance/policymaking boils down to a
problem of unevenly distributed resources which in turns produce
undemocratic practices. Linguistic and cultural dominance through English
language is not a mere or neutral instrument of this unbalance. I will
return to this problem in a separate post as a response to Gregory Crane's
article on "Big Humanities and DH in Germany", but in answering Øyvind's
observations I'd like to say that the price paid to the dissemination of
our ideas cannot lead to the extinction of less profitable languages and
cultures. What we should do is much simpler and has been done for
centuries: let's translate! I prefer the risk of being misunderstood in
translation than the risk of seeing disappearing the need for translation.

I've found these words referred to the famous work of African writer Ngũgĩ
wa Thiong’o:

"This is the dilemma of the African writer today: either he may use a
European language and thus gain recognition (and financial reward) from a
worldwide audience, but at the risk of cutting himself off from the very
roots of all but the most esoteric creative flowering, the common
experience of his own society; or he may use his own mother tongue,
stoically shun the appeal of the world market, remain one of the inglorious
Miltons of the present age, but help his own people’s advance into the age
of mass literacy and pave the way for future achievements and renown."

Dialogue through the "age old medium of translation", as Ngũgĩ writes in
his book, is not only possible but necessary.

So I'm not a pessimist. Despite this _pars destruens_  I've been always
ready to give my "constructive" contribution: as some Red de HD friends
know, I made several proposals for changing this situation in a forthcoming
paper, and I hope I could share them on this (and other) list(s) very soon.

All the best


2015-06-27 4:18 GMT+02:00 igalina <igalina a unam.mx>:

>  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.
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