Expectations vs. Reality.

Records and record keeping is an intricate process. The validity and availability of records depends on many factors such as bias, motivation and many other factors that even come to the person who is keeping those said records (Basically there are many questions to be asked be they obvious and/or nuanced). There is a problem with keeping records for the marginalized communities especially for the communities of color here in the Western world. Are they reliable? Are they complete? Do they gloss over the context of the people? Who kept those records that are now being researched by the modern researchers. In designing the course for the Digital Humanities those questions have to answered in order to present a more nuanced approach in pedagogy. Those are the questions I am asking when I read the article “Teaching the Digital Caribbean: The Ethics of a Public Pedagogical Experiment” by Kelly Baker.

Records and archives by their design are mundane and at times can be very dry. The challenge comes in deciphering those records in order to be presentable to a wider audience and I would classify the students even in a Masters program as a wider audience as well. But through those records the above questions must be answered before giving the full picture to the students. That is where the problem comes in the records and the archives themselves might be incomplete in a scholarly sense because the record keepers and the writers of those records might be very unreliable when they were recording the event pertaining to the marginalized community.