Final Project Proposal – Seminar Paper

Below is a copy of the final project proposal submitted earlier in the semester, followed up some updates text based on feedback.

For the final project, I plan to write a seminar paper on subquestion “b” as indicated in the final assignment, concerning problematic legacies, and tie the concept into how the digital humanities field continues to evolve. The question states: How do digital platforms/projects/tools evidence, retain, intervene in, or speak to unequal power structures that may be legacies of colonialism? In my paper, I plan to address unequal power structures in the forms of digital tools, mapping and various articles. 

As part of my works cited, I plan to refer to the following readings and digital platforms:


  • Digital Humanities: The Expanded Field – specifically the “Big Tent” metaphor, how we address structures of power, and how we should not have a US-centric approach to the field
  • A DH That Matters – advocacy for marginalized communities, how our biases pervade technologies
  • Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities – who’s in and who’s out, what is foundational to the digital Black humanities
  • Why Data Science Needs Feminism – the 7 principles of data feminism, specifically power
  • Visualizing Sovereignty: Cartographic Queries for the Digital Age – imagining sovereignty beyond Western cartography, the map as a “technology of possession” 
  • The September 11 Digital Archive: Saving the Histories of September 11, 2001 – catered to a sector of victim’s families (does not include people who were racially profiled as a result of the attacks)
  • Dividing Lines. Mapping platforms like Google Earth have the legacies of colonialism programmed into them – the connection between mapping and power
  • Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display – Drucker urges us to not follow along with the assumptions of data tools, we must challenge them (question their meaning)
  • Difficult Heritage and the Complexities of Indigenous Data – TBD

Digital Platforms

Next Steps

  • As I continue to further develop this paper, I plan to add more resources to cite.
  • Based on feedback:
    • Frame an argument in a way that reveals a new problem / contributes to the conversation
    • Provide an angle / opinion to the conversation, showcase voice
    • Possible thesis: we are unconsciously biased and are therefore selective of the history we choose to archive – as a result, there are voices who are left out of the conversation as we continue to make this field (and society as a whole more inclusive / welcoming / less of gatekeeping).