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“Gendering Labor in DH”

“Gendering Labor in DH”

Berkshire Conference on the History on Women, Genders, and Sexualities – 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
Alicia Peaker, Bryn Mawr College
Ashley Sanders, Claremont University Consortium
Emily McGinn, University of Georgia
Jenifer Bartle, Wellesley College
Rachel Schnepper, Grinnell College

Session Abstract

The fields of digital humanities (DH) and digital scholarship (DS) have increasingly had resources dedicated to them by decision makers in a broad variety of higher education settings. #alt-ac positions are frequently created—either with hard or soft funding—with the aim of capturing and expanding upon increased interest in these emerging fields on college and university campuses. Success in DH/DS requires broad participation and the work of many hands, from programmers and developers to content specialists and myriad individuals responsible for complex infrastructure. Yet we have seen a common reductionist approach, frequently along gendered lines, in the creation of these #alt-ac positions.The gender dynamics at play in these #alt-ac positions can be subtle, often revealed in the organizational structures of DH/DS centers and programs. This roundtable proposes to bring together a collection of women navigating digital humanities #alt-ac careers.  We are expected to be both visionary leaders and management virtuosos. However, more often than not, our jobs are framed as service oriented roles that magnify the perception that we are here to organize the other players rather than be active contributors and collaborators on projects.  Collectively, this panel has seen these issues of gender, service, and DH collide in a number of ways. Each participant will briefly describe her background, roles, responsibilities, the challenges of the gendered nature of her work, and some ways she has found to address those issues.


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