Call for Papers – Revealing Meaning: Feminist Methods in Digital Scholarship

Posted August 2019 

This volume, tentatively titled Revealing Meaning: Feminist Methods in Digital Scholarship, will gather chapters in which digital methodologies can engage directly with intersectional feminist scholarship. The sheer volume of data available online (primary and secondary source material, social, political, environmental, personal, etc) offers the opportunity to investigate previously inaccessible or otherwise understudied research topics. As white, female, academic editors of this book, we recognize that the web is biased towards white, middle-to-upper class men (Wagner et al, 2015, Sengupta and Graham, 2017, Wellner and Rothman, 2019). Thus, we are interested in how digital research, broadly conceived, makes room for alternative methods and approaches and opens the conversation to new voices. 

The true promise of digital methods is being able to tell stories which were previously understudied or otherwise ignored on the basis of class, race, gender, etc.  Choices of language, data, platform, and variables reveal researchers’ biases and experiences. By sharing stories about the way we choose to do our work, we can offer a more robustly intersectional approach to data-driven humanities research. We foreground method as our unifying theme, seeking discussions of how methodological choices impact the ways of producing meaning. 

The telling of these stories is itself feminist in nature. We are specifically interested in stories about research methods that describe the lived experience of doing the work rather than creating instructional guides for replicating a specific study. We hope this volume will create conversations amongst practitioners of digital scholarship. We intend to structure our collection around topics such as the ethics of working with data, critical views of technology, interoperability, maintenance and costs of human labour, and evolving research methodologies.

We invite contributions on topics such as: 

  • Data collection methods & collections as data
  • Privacy on the web
  • Difficulties locating data/information
  • Changing research questions based on data availability
  • Choices about digital representations of things/people
  • Adapting to existing platforms/programs vs. reinventing the wheel
  • Openness of methods/platforms/programs
  • Collaboration
  • Digital infrastructure, or lack thereof
  • Development of standards (ontologies/taxonomies)
  • Failure
  • When to walk away from a digital project

 

Important dates

Abstracts (500 words) & 3-pg CVs for all contributors – November 22nd

Full draft (5000 words) – June 2020

Peer review of relevant section/chapters – Summer 2020

Final drafts – November 2020

Junior scholars, people of colour, and other under-represented communities in academia are particularly encouraged to send proposals. Please send all materials to Kim Martin (kmarti20@uoguelph.ca) and Heather Froehlich (hgf5@psu.edu) by November 22, 2019 with the headline ‘Revealing Meaning’. Feel free to contact us about any questions you may have.

 

Works Cited

Sengupta, A., and Graham, M. “We’re All Connected Now, So Why Is The Internet So White And Western?The Guardian, October 2017.

Wagner, C., Garcia, D., Jadidi, M. and Strohmaier, M., 2015, April. It’s a man’s Wikipedia? Assessing gender inequality in an online encyclopedia. Proceedings of the Ninth International AAAI conference on Web and Social Media.

Wellner, G. and Rothman, T., 2019. Feminist AI: Can We Expect Our AI Systems to Become Feminist?. Philosophy & Technology, pp.1-15.

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