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The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities


In recent years, the question of what it means to “decolonize” digital humanities has been broached by scholars engaged in both postcolonial digital humanities and #TransformDH, strands of the field that have pushed for greater attention to digital humanities projects and methods that foreground intersectional engagement with race, gender, class, sexuality, nation, disability, and other axes of identity that shape knowledge production. Such approaches to digital humanities have asked how to decolonize the archive (Povinelli 2011; Lothian & Phillips 2013; Cushman 2013; cárdenas et al. 2015; Risam 2015), address gaps in knowledge produced online (Lor and Britz 2005; Sheppard 2005; Koh & Risam 2013), make legible narratives and histories that have gone untold (Rawson 2014; Thorat 2015; Verhoeven 2015), understand the specificities of digital Dalit experience (Nayar 2011), locate the subaltern in cyberspace (Gajjala 2013), or use technologies to push back against existing forms of representation that may be troubling (Sanders 2014; Priego & Gil 2013; Olsen 2014). Taking a look at the theoretical basis of such work in both postcolonial and science and technology studies (STS), this chapter situates the stakes for decolonization within digital humanities, locating a historical scholarly genealogy for this work and outlining what work toward decolonization looks like in practice within digital humanities.