• Decolonial and intersectional digital humanities: at what cost?

    Constance Cortez, Karen Mary Davalos, Karen Mary Davalos (see profile)
    ACH 2021, DH2020, US Latinx DH
    Mexican Americans--Study and teaching, Hispanic Americans--Study and teaching, Art, American, Computer art, History
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    ACH2021 Virtual Conference
    Conf. Org.:
    Association for Computers and the Humanities
    Conf. Loc.:
    everywhere with internet connection
    Conf. Date:
    July 21 - 23, 2021
    chicana/o/x art history, intersectional methods, post-custodial methods, decolonial DH, Chicana/o and Latina/o studies, American art, Digital archives, Digital art history
    Permanent URL:
    Rhizomes of Mexican American Art Since 1848 is an online digital tool that addresses the problem of discoverability caused by Eurocentric cataloging and vocabularies and historical erasure due to racism, sexism, and Western notions of art. Informed by intersectionality and decolonial theory, as proposed by Latina, Black, and Indigenous feminist scholarship, Rhizomes uses a broad notion of “art” in order to reach across humanities disciplines, types of institutions, time periods, and modes of creativity, as well as an inclusive notion of “Mexican America” that does not rely on citizenship. Conceived and designed in stages, Rhizomes will eventually assist under-resourced institutions with the digitization of artwork and provide a toolkit for light weight, low-tech online sharing, thereby linking libraries, archives, and museums with relevant materials and enhancing the discovery of Mexican American art. In the first iteration, Rhizomes harvests artworks and related documentation from large, national and midsized regional aggregators, such as the Digital Public Library of America and Calisphere, respectively. However, the first iteration of Rhizomes may not achieve its decolonial and intersectional goals. Although this post-custodial portal avoids the extractive methods of colonial collectors, code requires specificity and precision that limits the application of intersectional and decolonial frameworks. The presentation explores the complex decisions made in the building of Rhizomes that may not resolve the Eurocentricity of the existing aggregators, including the authority of Dublin Core and its erasure of intersectionality. Finally, it asks if the desire for sustainable, low-cost software is incompatible with intersectional and decolonial frameworks.
    The file contains images and text. The images are largely decorative.
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago


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