Building Supportive Communities: Methods and Perspectives on Promoting Inclusivity, Intersectionality, and Interdisciplinarity in the Digital Humanities

Jessica Elam, Rockhurst University

Sarah Evans, Molloy College

Edwin Lohmeyer, University of Central Florida

Joshua Jackson, North Carolina State University

October 5, 2018, 8:30am-9:30am, KU Burge Union

This panel’s central theme is support in the digital humanities: how do we build and maintain open, inclusive, and supportive communities for our students, underrepresented groups, a broad range of interdisciplinary practices, and fellow scholars.

The panel chair opens with a presentation on three years of participant observation in cultivating diverse, inclusive communities in the university makerspace. She demonstrates successful methods in providing access to and literacies with emerging digital technologies through digital pedagogies involving experimentation, free play, and hands-on learning.

The next panelist discusses ways to foster inclusive communities for women in the game design industry, based on her ethnographic research in hosting a women-only game design group. Her work is one step in a broader effort to create safe spaces for marginalized populations to engage with the digital humanities at large.

The third panelist examines the intersection among critical making methodologies and aesthetic strategies inherent to traditions of the avant-garde. Through recent demonstrations of physical computing projects, sculptural assemblage, and glitch, he argues for an interdisciplinary framework within the digital humanities and art communities that works toward social and political intervention via critical media practices.  

The final panelist demonstrates the power of resilience within a digital humanities community through an auto-ethnographic, phenomenological study of a mistaken reply-all to a department listserv. He shows how the immediacy of digital platforms, the essence of mimetics, and a supportive community of peers came together to implement a rapid, creative solution to defuse a potentially divisive situation.