Following my post-MLA entry, from which I got some amazing support and feedback, I have been collaborating on a proposal for the NEH sponsored Vectors-CTS Summer Institute on the Digital Approaches to American Studies with fellow grad students Renee Hudson and Jeremy Schmidt from UCLA. The final project proposal, Documenteur: Im/mobility and Otherness in Los Angeles, tackles many of the concerns expressed in my last post about Digital Humanities as a field: the lack of diversity, cultural criticism, the emphasis on tools and toys over critique, etc. Our goal, in brief, is to utilize our backgrounds in Asian American and Chicano Studies to critically analyze representations and documentation of otherness in LA media in the latter half of the 20th century, and to build an interactive site that challenges users to gain access to information based on their own restricting documentation (which is constructed based on their own actions on the site).
The institute and the community it brings together sounds amazing, and I know the competition is steep, but thus far I’ve already been overwhelmed with the encouragement I’ve gotten from peers, many from different institutions, who are also applying to the institute and who have shared their projects with me. The community formation that has been facilitated through THATCamp, Twitter, and now this application process have been great. There is hope for us after all!
It’s a crazy process, especially being geographically separated and occasionally beleaguered with tech issues, but many thanks to my amazing collaborators for putting this beast together with me!
Now to get back to grading, to prepare for my second exam, and then to write a paper on mediated sex economies in Linh Dinh’s Love Like Hate for the Technologies of Asian Migration and for AAAS. Lots of traveling to come. Please let me know if you’ll be at either one of those, so the coalition and collaborating can continue!