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Digital Humanities Speaker Series

CoDHR hosts a Speaker Series every academic year in order to bring external scholars in the field to Texas A&M University to meet with faculty, staff, and students and present a lecture or workshop to the community. Each year follows a theme and participating speakers highlight current topics of interest in the field.

2023-24: Sustainability

See our Building Sustainable Projects page for resources related to this year's theme.

Jentery SayersJentery Sayers

November 15, 2023

Associate Professor, Department of English and Media Studies
University of Victoria

"Degrowing Digital Projects"

Presentation slides can be viewed here.

While digital projects in the humanities are frequently associated with innovation, less attention may be paid to their care and maintenance over time. This talk draws from recent research in activity theory and minimal computing as well as allied fields, such as game studies, to address the "degrowth" of digital projects from the labor perspective. First, I outline the motives and trajectories of this perspective, and then I communicate the importance of value-sensitive design to determining three things: 1) a project’s needs and desires, 2) what work is required and from whom, and 3) how to sustain the labor involved. Degrowth aims to reduce computation’s alienating effects in the interests of social organization and collective expertise, and it does so by foregrounding the cultures and habits of digital projects over their technical particulars. These issues matter for the livelihood of practitioners as gig economics and precarious labor become the norm in the technology sector.

Alison Langmead

February 28-29, 2024

Clinical Professor, History of Art & Architecture and School of Computing and Information
Director, Visual Media Workshop
University of Pittsburgh

"Sustainability in the Age of 'Generative' Computation"

Presentation slides can be viewed here.

In this age of generative computational systems that appear to produce 'human-responsibility-free' images and texts, how can we better identify what it is that we are trying to sustain in our intentional, scholarly, digital work? What constitutes an ethical, productive sustainability practice in a computational environment increasingly populated by machinic outputs masquerading as human creations? How many of our approaches partake of the assumption that the more we retain the better for the machine and not for us humans? This talk will address a number of socio-technical constraints that impact many humanists as they make decisions about how long they want their projects, products, and communities to last.

Roopika RisamRoopika Risam

April 24-25, 2024

Associate Professor, Digital Humanities and Social Engagement
Film and Media Studies Department and Comparative Literature Program
Dartmouth College

Dr. Roopika Risam's research focuses on data histories, ethics, and practices at intersections of postcolonial and African diaspora studies, digital humanities, and critical university studies. She is the author of New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy, and co-editor of multiple volumes, most recently Anti-Racist Community Engagement (2023) and The Digital Black Atlantic (2021). She is the director of the Digital Ethnic Futures Consortium, founding co-editor of Reviews in Digital Humanities, co-PI of Landback Universities, and co-president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities. Dr. Risam is finishing her second book, Insurgent Academics: A Radical Account of Public Humanities (Johns Hopkins University Press), and she is working on a trade book on data and empire. She recently received the 2023 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award from the International Association for Research in Service Learning and Community Engagement.

Flyer for Dr. Risam's lecture "Make Like Frozen and 'Let It Go!': A Minimal Computing Approach to Sustainability for Digital Humanities Projects".

"Make Like Frozen and 'Let It Go!': A Minimal Computing Approach to Sustainability for Digital Humanities Projects"

Wednesday, April 24th from 3:00 to 4:30 PM in the Liberal Arts and Arts & Humanities Building (LAAH), 453