History Can Be Open Source: Democratic Dreams and the Rise of Digital History
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 In 2006, pioneering digital historian Roy Rosenzweig published an article in the Journal of American History entitled “Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past.” By then Wikipedia had already become, he said, “perhaps the largest work of online historical writing, the most widely read work of digital history, and the most important free historical resource on the World Wide Web.” Rosenzweig declared that historians “have a responsibility to make better information sources available online” and called the profession to “emulate the great democratic triumph of Wikipedia—its demonstration that people are eager for free and accessible information resources.”
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 2 Thirteen years after Rosenzweig’s plea, technological innovation, institutional resources, professional norms, and shifting scholarly attitudes have converged to prove Rosenzweig right: history can be open source. And yet, while scores of digital projects have provided free, high-quality, peer-reviewed digital historical material, the historical profession has rarely stopped to take critical stock of not only of open education resources (OER), but the rise of digital history itself. The field of digital history is most often still discussed in the future tense, in terms of the scholarly promises of emerging technologies and practices, rather than through reflection upon the rewards reaped by what is now several decades of academic labor. It is the goal of this piece to historicize digital history and the wider digital humanities by confronting their past and present claims to “democracy.” Placing digital history’s rise in a historical and institutional context, surveying the past and present landscape of digital projects, and evaluating their inconsistent, often problematic, and yet foundational democratic aspirations, this article moves beyond questions of technological innovation and digital access to engage more fundamental and intractable questions about inequality, community, and participatory historical inquiry.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 1 The dream of “democratization” fueled much of the rise of digital history and the larger digital humanities. Early discussions of digital history, nearly all written by white men, lauded the democratic potential of new technology. “In the 1990s, the animating spirit behind much of our work in the digital humanities was democratization,” said William G. Thomas III, a digital historian and co-founder of digital humanities centers at the University of Virginia and the University of Nebraska. “Our ambitions then were only secondarily to experiment with new forms of scholarship. They were primarily to democratize history: to transform the way history was understood by changing the way it was produced and accessed.” Founded in 1994, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University—later renamed for Rosenzweig—declared that it “used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past.” Such claims borrowed from the wider digital humanities. As Bridget Draxler and the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance (HASTAC) explained, it was the fundamental mission of the digital humanities “to democratize knowledge to reach out to ‘publics,’ share academic discoveries, and invite an array of audiences to participate in knowledge production.”Optimistic calls for democratic digital work echoed throughout universities, museums, archives, and beyond.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 As early digital humanists touted the democratic potential of digital technology, Silicon Valley’s prophets preached the “theory of disruptive innovation” to eager university administrators with the promise of inevitable democratic revolutions. But disruption is not a synonym for democracy. As Rosenzweig put it, “neither the democratization or the commodification of higher education is inherent in technology.” In fact, digital humanists such as Safiya Umoja Noble, Kim Gallon, Jessica Marie Johnson, and others, building upon the work of intersectional feminists, demonstrate how persistent systematic injustices prevent participatory equality and expose patterns of marginalization lurking in supposedly value-neutral digital worlds. What, then, does “democracy” mean in a world caught between evolving technology and intransigent structural barriers? And how have digital humanists confronted the insatiable conquest of market logics in American life—a rapacious neoliberalism that political theorist Wendy Brown argues has “inaugurate[d] democracy’s conceptual unmooring and substantive disembowelment.”
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Grappling with the practice of digital history and analyzing its maturation, particularly in light of its contemporary critics, demands a critical engagement with the long quest for “democracy.” “Democracy,” of course, is a slippery term: vague, often unreflective ideas of “democracy” drove much of the development of the field of digital history. It is not the goal of this essay to arrive at a positive, substantive definition of “democracy”—centuries of writers, theorists, and activists have already tried and failed to mobilize popular consensus around the term. Nevertheless, we identify and evaluate the three major strains of “democratization” deployed by digital historians over the past several decades: the first emphasized expanded access by championing digitization and open online distribution of historical material to new users; the second hoped for democratization at the level of production, inviting greater participation and collaboration in the conception and construction of digital projects; and the third, inspired especially by the scholarship of intersectional feminists and critical race theorists, sought to identify longstanding inequalities and level perceived structural injustices within the digital humanities and academia more broadly.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 To evaluate these democratic dreams, this essay first roots digital history and the digital humanities in a postwar university landscape torn between New Left idealism and neoliberal transformation. It then tracks the digital history boom of the 1990s and early 2000s, evaluating a generation of digital humanists, lured by the promises of the early internet, who extended access to information and fostered collaboration to widen participation in producing knowledge. Believing that digitization could tear down barriers to the world’s knowledge, they increasingly introduced the open access movement to academics. But “democratization” is not so simple, and this essay grapples with the contradictions and complexities of an historical moment when not only digital historians but public historians, archivists, and publishers all struggled to balance self-professed democratic commitments against powerful neoliberal impulses inside and outside of academia. Then, this essay explores a more recent generation of digital humanists, who, frustrated especially with the political economy of academia, are especially cognizant of stubborn structural barriers—the neoliberal university and deep-seated divides along the lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, and colonialism. Like Alexis Lothian and Amanda Phillips, they “wonder how digital practices and projects might participate in more radical processes of transformation––might rattle the poles of the big tent rather than slip seamlessly into it.” Finally, surveying recent digital history projects, especially in light of contemporary criticism, this essay considers the myopia of much “democratic” rhetoric in digital history, arguing that while much of history can indeed be open source, democracy itself remains elusive.
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 For the sake of clarity, definitional precision demands outlining terms such as digital history, digital humanities, open access, and open educational resources. We consider, for the purposes of this essay, digital history as the component of the digital humanities rooted in the methods and discipline of history. While digital history has a genealogy distinct from the broader digital humanities, and even as many practitioners are invested in drawing its disciplinary boundaries—some, notably, by emphasizing history’s particular capacity for public engagement—digital history nevertheless overlaps deeply with the institutions, technology, and debates occurring within the broader digital humanities. While digital history is the focus of this essay, we also consider the larger landscape of digital humanities as essential context for our evaluation of democratization. Of course, definitions of digital humanities abound: “What is DH?” has long been a punchline. Nevertheless, we draw on Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s capacious definition of the digital humanities as “a nexus of fields” both employing digital tools to conduct humanities scholarship and using humanities methods to make sense of the digital world. Likewise, when we discuss open access (OA) and open education resources (OER), we borrow from established definitions, such as that resulting from the 2001 Budapest Open Access Initiative. We therefore use open access to refer to materials not only freely accessible online but also licensed in such a way as to permit users to freely retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them. OER are simply OA materials used primarily for educational purposes. And yet, before these terms could mean anything at all, democracy-seeking academics were busy building their foundations on college campuses across the country.
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 1 Democratic dreams inspired many of the earliest digital humanities initiatives. While historically-minded computing in the 1960s and 1970s was often confined to a core of “cliometric” historians, the participatory democracy of the New Left would shape an emerging digital history. “We seek the establishment of a democracy of individual participation, governed by two central aims,” Tom Hayden and members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) wrote in their iconic 1962 Port Huron Statement, “that the individual share in those social decisions determining the quality and direction of his life [and] that society be organized to encourage independence in men and provide the media for their common participation.” Roy Rosenzweig’s pioneering work would grow directly out of such ideals. As a former student and colleague, Elena Razlogova, explained, “Roy applied his unreconstructed ‘new left’ radicalism to new digital realities.” As protests rocked campuses across the West, computer programmers, software engineers, and “hackers” embraced—often in parallel to the competitive corporatization surrounding new hardware developments—the notion of shared knowledge and pioneered the principles that would later undergird digital history’s push for “democratization.” Richard Stallman, for instance, a freshman at Harvard University in 1970, became active in the nearby hacker community at MIT and, believing “free software” to be a social and ethical imperative, later founded the GNU project and launched the GNU General Public License (GPL) to allow for the free use, modification, and distribution of software.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 The tech utopians of the New Left, however, worked in universities increasingly captive to the political economy of Cold War America. What is often cited as the first digital humanities project, Roberto Busa’s Index Thomisticus, depended upon the financial support of IBM, for instance. Corporate funds tentacled themselves into every corner of academia. Neoliberal logics, as historian Johann Neem and others have demonstrated, further eroded higher education’s capacity to foster democracy through education by slashing public funding, replicating corporate administration, and incentivizing profit-seeking research. The neoliberal university was born.
¶ 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 1 Over the following decades, the scramble to adopt new technologies only further blurred the academic pursuit of “democratization.” At the same time that academics championed digital tools as a means to bring education to the masses, notions of world-flattening technology offered moral cover for the decidedly anti-democratic ends of business inside and outside of academia. The Digital Humanities emerged alongside relentless cost-cutting, the adjunctification of instruction, and diminished public support for humanities education. Digital history would rely more heavily upon librarians and support staff, not tenured professors; would be housed in centers, not departments; and would depend upon outside grants, not institutional funding. The field’s democratic potential was constricted before it had even begun, limiting its capacity to fulfill the promises of the New Left. A survey of early digital projects therefore reveals both the accomplishments and limits of early work in digital history and the broader digital humanities.
¶ 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 In the 1990s, the digital revolution—particularly the advent of widespread personal computing and the “world wide web”—inspired numerous historians and other humanists, eager to make knowledge more accessible, to embrace digital technology. In 1995, the American Studies Crossroads Project, one of the earliest websites of any humanities organization, led English scholar Randy Bass to partner with historian Brett Eynon to lead the Visible Knowledge Project. Bass and his collaborators privileged pedagogical innovation and student participation. Other would-be democratizers equated democratization with expanded accessibility. While discussing the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)—an effort to establish digital standards of textual presentation—at the 1994 meeting of the Modern Language Association, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen identified three fundamental requirements for scholarly editions of electronic text: “accessibility without needless technical barriers to use; longevity; and intellectual integrity.” Early digital humanities projects followed suit. In 1995, two scholars launched The Walt Whitman Hypertext Archive, a collection of digital manuscript facsimiles and hypertext editions of Whitman’s poems that aimed to make all of Whitman’s public and private work available to all. The William Blake Archive similarly launched free and online in 1996 to “provide unified access to major works of visual and literary art.” The Women’s Writers Project, launched in 1999, used TEI standards “to overcome the problems of inaccessibility and scarcity which had rendered women’s writing invisible for so long.” The “digital humanities”—a phrase not yet widely used—was busy being born.
¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 American historians likewise strove to expand access to scholarly work through digital technology. In 1993, Edward Ayers and a large, rotating team at the University of Virginia launched The Valley of the Shadow as “an applied experiment in digital scholarship.” The project was a digital archive: it allowed users to freely compare letters, newspapers, maps, official records, and a wealth of other digitized sources from two counties, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and Augusta County, Virginia (one Union and one Confederate) before, during, and after the Civil War. It was also, wrote Michael O’Malley and Roy Rosenzweig, “probably the most sophisticated historical site on the Web.” Gary Kornblith wrote in The Journal of American History that the project “represents the logical outcome of major trends in late-twentieth-century American academic life: computerization, interdisciplinary collaboration, the postmodern complication of traditional narrative, and the democratic search for ways to recognize, even celebrate, the role of ordinary people in making history and culture.”
¶ 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 In 1994, Roy Rosenzweig, then a pioneering social historian at George Mason University, founded the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) to “incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences and encourage popular presentation in presenting and preserving the past” Rosenzweig worked with the American Social History Project to produce pedagogical CD-ROMs. In 1998, Edward Ayers and William Thomas formed the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia. At the University of Houston, Steven Mintz and Sara McNeil pioneered a free (though not yet “open”) digital history text, Digital History: Using New Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Research, providing an enduring example of a practical, student-centered project that also explored—in its case, through “hyperlink history”—the new possibilities afforded by its digital platform.  In 1998, the CHNM launched History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, a vast collection of primary sources, pedagogical essays, syllabi, reference material, and other teaching tools that that brought academic historians and high school teachers and students into collaboration . Such projects demonstrated that expanding access and participation both motivated emerging digital scholarship.
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Lisa Spiro, in her essay “Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities,” argued that a set of core values, rather than traditional disciplinary boundaries, demarcated “digital humanities.” Surveying Digital Humanities manifestoes and combing the rhetoric of the young field, she proposed “openness” as the first of five values governing the field. “Many scholars hope and anticipate that open practices,” two digital humanists, George Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons, wrote, “will broaden access to education and knowledge, reduce costs, enhance the impact and reach of scholarship and education, and foster the development of more equitable, effective, efficient, and transparent scholarly and educational processes.”
¶ 15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Proponents of digital technology also embraced a participatory ethos. In addition to openness, Spiro, for instance, also touted “collaboration,” “collegiality and connectedness,” and “diversity” as foundational values. Democratization interpreted as both the expansion of access and participation, was integral to the digital humanities from the very beginning. Andrea Hunter, writing in the Canadian Journal of Communicationin 2015, argued that such a democratization was the best answer to the chronic definitional question: “What is the digital humanities?” Hunter reframed the question away from technology by emphasizing gains in “access and participation.” Only through such a democratization, she argued, could the digital humanities realize its disciplinary promise. To illustrate her argument, Hunter specifically cited two projects: The Orlando Project, a self-described “new kind of electronic textbase for research and discovery” produced by the University of Alberta and the University of Guelph that revolves around “Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present”; and CHNM’s Omeka, a digital platform designed to allow users to curate and share their own historical archives. The first project was designed to bring obscure sources online and out of the archive; the second to allow users to become historians themselves. Both aimed to make the humanities accessible to a wider audience.
¶ 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 1 Such projects illustrate the common desires of digital historians and digital humanists to disseminate knowledge beyond the walls of particular colleges and universities. “The notion of the university as ivory tower no longer makes sense, if it ever did,” argued the five authors of the 2012 book Digital Humanities. “Since the Digital Humanities studies and explicates what it means to be human in the networked information age, it expands the reach and relevance of the humanities far beyond small groups of specialists locked in hermetically sealed conversation.” By connecting specialists across fields, they argued, the digital humanities will “open up the prospect of a conversation extending far beyond the walls of the ivory tower that connects universities to cultural institutions, libraries, museums, and community organizations”
¶ 17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 The open access movement grew alongside the digital humanities. As Martin Paul Eve put it in his recent survey of open access in the humanities, “the overwhelming assumption from the literature on open scholarship is that it has co-evolved with broader technological developments. The digital revolution brought open licensing into the mainstream with the establishment of Creative Commons in 2001. The following year, a UNESCO forum championed what they called “a universal educational resource available for the whole of humanity, to be referred to henceforth as Open Educational Resources [OER].” OER—resources that are not simply freely available online but released into the pubic domain or with an open license that allows users to copy, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them—had been born. When the Public Library of Science (PLOS) began publishing open access journals in science and medicine, open access established a foothold in the academy.
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 “Open access,” however, remains a relatively new idea for many historians outside of the digital humanities. In a notice appended to their 2014 open monograph, The History Manifesto, historians Jo Guldi and David Armitage wrote, “Even two or three years ago, most academics in the humanities, and certainly most members of the non-academic public, had not heard much if anything about the Open Access movement.” But already, as advocate Martin Weller put it, “openness is now such a part of everyday life that it seems unworthy of comment.” Creative Commons’ open licenses are now ubiquitous parts not only of academics’ general internet browsing but increasingly of their scholarship as well: a number of pioneering publications in the humanities are now following the sciences into open access publishing and grant money is appearing for such projects. In fact, according to Eve, “It is now more often the practicalities of achieving such a goal that are the focus of disagreement.” And this is where many projects have stalled—until recently.
¶ 19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 In just a few short years, barriers to participation in digital humanities have fallen and institutional supports have risen. New publishing venues for open-source scholarship and pedagogy; streamlined digital platforms and lowered technological barriers; injections of public and private grant money; the institutionalization of digital humanities in research universities, the development of scholarly guidelines and best practices; and the growing acceptance of open-source scholarship and pedagogy among the academic community have all created the conditions for a digitized history.
¶ 20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Funding seeded the digital humanities across American universities. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation planted many institutional bedrocks and continue to fund initiatives reshaping the DH landscape, digital public history projects in particular. The NEH, for instance, whose charter declares that “the humanities belong to the people of the United States,” spun off a new Office of Digital Humanities in 2008. In 2015, citing an “urgent and compelling” need to pioneer digital publishing, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded several million-dollar grants to university presses for the exploration of digital publishing models. Other wealthy foundations have focused on digital publication. Yale University Library, for instance, received a $3 million grant in 2014 from The Goizueta Foundation to launch a Digital Humanities Laboratory. It is just one of many new ventures that have smashed barriers to online “publication” with appeals for expanded access.
¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Historian Daniel Cohen, in the same year that Rosenzweig penned his plea for open source history, said “Resources that are free to use in any way, even if they are imperfect, are more valuable than those that are gated or use-restricted, even if those resources are qualitatively better.” Recent polls have shown that academics are not fundamentally opposed to open projects, provided they can be reassured that they are using a rigorous product. But without the guarantee of peer review, how can digital humanities projects win over hesitant academics? As Martin Paul Eve writes, “any transition to open access must necessarily interact with the value systems of the academy and its publishing mechanisms.” Those very publishing mechanisms have begun to embrace open access, harkening a shift in academia’s prestige economy: scholars can now remain within existing academic structures even as they push the boundaries of access and audience.
¶ 22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 University presses, libraries, and academics have spent more than a decade experimenting with and innovating new publishing platforms for open scholarship. University presses have been particularly vigorous in their experiments with open-access and open-source publications. The University of Michigan Library and the University of Michigan Press launched the digitalculturebooks imprint in 2006 with the goal of “developing open platforms that make openness part of the scholarly peer review process” and publishes work under an Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Creative Commons (CC) License. Under Mark Saunders, the University of Virginia Press received substantial institutional and Mellon grant funding in 2006 and 2007 to seed the publication of online texts under its Rotunda Imprint, bringing The Papers of Thomas Jefferson and The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution online.
¶ 23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 But if open licensing and digital publishing platforms are relatively straightforward, a financial model to sustain the infrastructure of academic publishing is not. “If there ever was a time for a university press to go into open access,” Neil B. Christensen, the director of digital business development for the University of California Press, said in 2015, “this is the time.” That year, the Press launched dual platforms for publishing open-access journals and monographs, Collabra and Luminos. Striving for long-term sustainability, the press’s open-access business model revolved around authors’ fees and paid reviewers. Collabra, for instance,charges authors a $825 publication fee. Such a model borrows from the sciences, where fee-based publication undergirds open-access standbys such as PLOS ONE (which charges $1,700 to publish a research article) and Elsevier’s suite of science journals (which typically change between $1,500 to $4000 to publish a research article.) A pay-to-publish open access model, foreign to academic historians, would democratize access at the expense of participation: by opening up research, it would close off routes to publication—the currency of academia—for all but a few. Under such a model, open access risks becoming, in the words of information scientist Ulrich Herb, “an instrument that creates exclusivity, exclusion, distinction and prestige.”
¶ 24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 Much of the financial dilemma confronting the institutionalization of open access owes to larger changes in the financing of higher education. While the postwar university maintained an awkward relationship with the corporate world, the mania for deregulation in the 1980s accelerated the neoliberalization of higher education. As public funding stalled and then slowly collapsed, universities began to see research and grant-funding as profit centers. The ongoing adjunctification of teaching labor further accelerated as increasingly bloated administrative regimes imposed new managerial methods designed to recover costs and improve efficiency. Lacking public funding but unwilling to pass costs onto practicing historians and other academic humanists, humanities publishers have largely relied upon public and private grants. In 2012, for instance, the University of Minnesota, through the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, launched The Open Textbook Initiative, a catalog of online, open-license textbooks. In 2018, The Graduate Center’s Digital Scholarship Lab at the City University of New York received a nearly one-million-dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation to develop Manifold, an open-source web-based publishing platform.
¶ 25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Advocates of OER have continued to experiment with alternative models of sustainable, open-access publishing. “Access to the work we produce must be opened up as a site of conversation not just among scholars but also between scholars and the broader culture,” wrote Kathleen Fitzpatrick in Planned Obsolescence, her exploration into the future of technology and academic publishing. In 2015, Caroline Edwards and Martin Paul Eve launched the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), with grant money from the Mellon Foundation and partnerships with university libraries, to provide a new, sustainable, open-access publishing platform for the humanities. University libraries, meanwhile, continue to experiment with publishing models. “If making scholarly research publicly accessible on the Web could go some way toward enlightening the general public about the importance and the skill of scholarly work,” Brown University’s faculty dean, Kevin McLaughlin, said, “that would be fantastic.”
¶ 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 The gold standard of academic scholarship remains the university press, and, over the past years many have incorporated open publishing into their regular imprints. In 2006, The Orlando Project turned to a traditional press, Cambridge, to “publish” the project. Cambridge’s agreement marked a turning point in academic legitimation of open source publishing. “They are the name,” a producer of the project said, “they have standards.” Cambridge in particular has continued to experiment with open access. Their 2014 publication of The History Manifesto, a book-length essay by historians Jo Guldi and David Armitage, marked a new highpoint of academic respectability for open access publication in the history profession.
¶ 27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 Cambridge is not alone. The University of Virginia Press has long published projects online, if not necessarily with formal open access. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press has published multiple influential books online through both an open review and open licensing. The University of Michigan, from 2011 to 2013, oversaw the open peer review and eventual dual publishing of Writing History in the Digital Age at the same time the University of Minnesota similarly published Debates in the Digital Humanities. Beginning in 2019, the Public Library of Science began to allow authors to participate in their version of an open review, where readers’ reports, editorial decisions, and author responses are all made publicly available.
¶ 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 These developments offered prototypes for how open access platforms can extend traditional notions of “publication.” And such efforts continue to multiply. The boundaries of “publication” are expanding. Stanford University Press, for instance, recently received a large Mellon Grant to bring peer review to digital-native projects. With such efforts proliferating across the university press landscape, academic credibility can hardly be considered any longer an obstacle to democratized access. And yet academic credibility is not the only remaining obstacle to the flourishing of a democratized digital humanities. In fact, the very mechanisms that triggered its expansion—grant-funding, institutional backing, easy traffic in earnest rhetoric rooted in “democratization”—have raised legitimate alarms. “Access,” it seems, is not the only barrier to a more democratic humanities.
¶ 29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 Digitization by itself did not guarantee the broad-based notion of “democracy” so ardently touted by early champions of the digital humanities. Robert Darnton, historian and librarian at Harvard University, examined Google’s massive book digitization project in a 2006 issue of The New York Review of Booksand argued that,“Yes we must digitize. But more important, we must democratize. We must open access to our cultural heritage. How? By rewriting the rules of the game, by subordinating private interests to the public good, and by taking inspiration from the early republic in order to create a Digital Republic of Learning.” Such language has done important work, and great strides have been made in expanding access under the banner of democratization. At its worst, the digital humanities can seem an esoteric world, one more concerned with the code that goes into projects than the utility of the projects themselves. New endeavors can seem designed to win grants, but not users. The digital humanities have expanded rapidly over the intervening decades, and yet, William Thomas lamented in 2012, “We are in danger of losing that animating spirit, and we need to recover the democratization at the heart of the Digital Humanities movement.”
¶ 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 The collision of technology and the humanities incites hyperbole: utopians dream of technological revolutions in research and a democratized world of free learning; skeptics warn of a predatory neoliberalism and privatized, profit-driven scholarship and pedagogy that privilege shallow instruction from de-skilled educators. As early as 1999, Rosenzweig himself, writing in a review essay for the American Quarterly, lamented the “bifurcated tendency toward visions of utopia and dystopia” in discussions surrounding digital humanities.
¶ 31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 For decades, the disruption-minded, messianic rhetoric of Silicon Valley overlaid digital history with the moral appeal of democratized scholarship and pedagogy. In 2006, Siva Vaidhyanathan encouraged digital humanists to challenge techno-fundamentalism, “the misguided faith in technology and progress.” Critics note that the self-important utopian rhetoric surrounding the digital humanities often mirrors the language and reflects the libertarian social values of Silicon Valley. The rhetorical similarities between digital humanities and Silicon Valley are stark. A typical claim made by a commentator in 2010 is indicative: “The digital humanities should not be about the digital at all. It’s all about innovation and disruption. The digital humanities is really an insurgent humanities.” It is a necessary criticism that much of the rhetoric justifying academic and educational “disruptions” can conceal ulterior motives.
¶ 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Market logics—corporate restructuring, adjunctification, and relentless financialization—have infected American higher education. While student radicals dreamed of democratizing the production and dissemination of knowledge, policy makers and administrators increasingly embraced corporate models of governance, reimagining the mission of the postwar university and what scholars of higher education have called an “academic capitalism.” Since at least the 1970s, policy makers have slashed funding to universities and administrators have not only decimated the ranks of tenure-track faculty, they have incentivized profit-seeking research, consistently raised tuition, and embraced corporate bloat. Surrendering to the imperatives of the market, universities emphasize the production of marketable skills over the inculcation of democratic values or informed citizenship. STEM programs reign, humanities programs decline. This is the academic context in which the digital humanities came of age.
¶ 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 The potential de-skilling of education—manifested most obviously in the shrinking of the ranks of full-time academic faculty—and the relentless chasing of patronage from billionaire-philanthropists and endowment-bureaucracies—while touting “innovation,” “disruption,” and “democratization” —haunts the Digital Humanities. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Richard Grusin, Patrick Jagoda, and Rita Raley warned in 2016 of the “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities,” arguing that the “same neoliberal logic that informs the ongoing destruction of the mainstream humanities has encouraged” the growth of digital humanities as an institution in higher education. That same summer, three academics writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books blamed digital humanities for abetting the neoliberalization of the American university. “Despite the aggressive promotion of Digital Humanities as a radical insurgency,” they wrote, “its institutional success has for the most part involved the displacement of politically progressive humanities scholarship and activism in favor of the manufacture of digital tools and archives.” Singling out the digital humanities turn in English—they did not engage the field of digital history—they characterized digital humanists’ utopian rhetoric as a self-serving veil concealing the move toward computation over interpretation, external funding over institutional support, and general administration-supported corporatism over traditional academic labor. The authors placed much of the impetus for the Digital Humanities on the labor of what they saw as a conservative core of literary scholars who operated at University of Virginia between 1999 and 2002. The Trojan Horse of “disruption” can certainly overshadow the promise of a democratized history.
¶ 34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 The specter of exploited labor, for instance, can and should haunt open-access projects. In the neoliberal academy, scholars are expected to offer more of their labor without due compensation or recognition. few beyond a small circle of prominently situated scholars receive significant compensation for writing traditional articles, books, or textbooks. Despite a lack of remuneration, as Stevan Harnard pointed out in his groundbreaking 1994 “subversive proposal,” open access is possible because academics—whose salaries are already paid by universities—produce what he calls “esoteric” work: work grounded in an internal economy driven by readership and impact, not profits. A copyright designed to protect an author’s personal profits hardly makes sense for the bulk of academics who receive no profits to protect. As Martin Paul Eve put it, “why should academics retain the economic protections of copyright if they are not dependent upon the system of remuneration that this is supposed to uphold?” In a digital world in which the marginal cost of reproduction is nil, open access advocates such as John Willinsky and Creative Commons’ Cable Green argue that academics have an ethical obligation as humanists to share our work and our knowledge with the public and with our students. And, given the gravity of the current cost crisis in higher education, such work seems increasingly imperative.
¶ 35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 2 Academic writing is, of course, only one component in a larger publishing ecosystem. While digital platforms may eliminate the cost of physical publication, what about the work of peer review, editing, copy editing, and the other intellectual labor that goes into publishing academic work? Who, for instance, will pay for the labor it took to publish this piece in The American Historical Review? This article received a traditional solicited peer review as well as a separate open review in which seventeen separate academics offered feedback in eighty-eight individual comments that ranged from full readers’ reports to discreet points of fact. “Since my job is to summarize the reports and incorporate them into a letter offering some direction for revisions,” the Review’s editor, Alex Lichtenstein, wrote in his open response letter to the authors, “I find this far too labor intensive to be a regular editorial practice. I simply would not have the time to manage this with every single article. I suppose that if the AHA could hire multiple editors to do this kind of work on open peer review, it might be possible. In an open access world, I must say, that would take very hefty author processing fees!” Without wider public investment in the production of knowledge, and a reconfiguration of what qualifies as academic labor under tenure and promotion guidelines—an already tenuous proposition for the masses of contingent faculty—open access may only be able to meet the needs of consumers by exploiting producers.
¶ 36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 Despite the proliferation of digital history and positive shifts in professional norms, was William Thomas right to argue in 2012 that “we are in danger of losing that animating spirit” of democratization? Certainly grants and conspicuous institutional backing should be for naught if the digital humanities drifted further from its democratic promise. Digital history betrays its core principles if it fails to engage users by privileging professional advancement, grant-winning, and innovation-for-innovation’s-sake over the pursuit of readership, ease of use, public participation, pedagogical utility, and the pursuit of a multi-faceted “democratization.”
¶ 37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 Digitization does not mean “democracy.” But in the pursuit of new projects and new grants, for instance, scholars have long been content to dump information online and call it “democracy.” Instead, as historian Patricia Limerick noted in 1997, “we are in much greater need of methods and strategies for filtering, sorting, managing, synthesizing” than simply finding new ways to access information that will never really be consumed.
¶ 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 Archivists have recognized this challenge. “The digital world challenges our notion of preservation,” the Society of American Archivists (SAA) declared in 1997. It claimed that “In the digital world access is the central distinguishing quality of preservation.” Archivists have digitized untold amounts of archival materials over the past two decades. The work of regular archivists, interns, outsourced labor, and crowd-sourced labor—over 20,000 volunteers participated in The Smithsonian Digital Volunteer program, for instance—have opened up archives to the world. Copyright has limited more recent materials—“The management of intellectual property is potentially the greatest challenge to the development of digital collections,” according to archival scientist Lorna Hughes—but even innovations such as the “digital reading room” at the Special Collections and Archives at the University of California, Irvine, offer workarounds. Archivists have, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of metadata schemes for achieving interoperability, although a proliferation of competing schemes–Dublin Core, MARC, MODS, METS, EAD, and more—have rendered “the dream of integrated access to diverse information resources,” as Murtha Baca put it, “still just that – a dream.” Still, as Limerick argued, “access” cannot be achieved simply through digitization. It is therefore the work of digital humanists to curate such raw materials and render them into usable forms.
¶ 39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 Textbooks stand at the intersection of curation, access, and pedagogy. The lack of sophisticated, professionally curated textbooks, in fact, partly inspired Rosenzweig’s call for open source history. Traditional rather than disruptive, pedagogical rather than research-based, eye-glazing rather than grant-winning, textbooks are nevertheless the most widely used tool in humanities classrooms. Mintz and McNeil recognized this as early as the 1990s with their Digital History survey text, but few academics followed them. Textbooks should have been ripe targets for the open access movement. Nowhere else are current costs and potential savings quite so clear and many outside of academia have long recognized the democratic and cost-annihilating potential of open texts. A closer look at textbooks in history and literature is revealing. For decades, scholars have allowed responsibility for textbook creation to fall upon for-profit education companies, unwieldy non-profit bureaucracies, under-resourced lone wolves, and unregulated open wikis. Perhaps Wikipedia, despite Rosenzweig’s plea, poisoned historians’ attitudes toward open texts. A 2014 “Textbooks and Teaching” roundtable in the Journal of American History cited only the unreliability of open texts, rather than their promise. For years, the construction of an open-licensed, collaborative textbook fell to the educational industrial complex and its network of funder-disrupters.
¶ 40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 In 2014, we proposed a new model for history textbooks. After a year-long collaboration, over 350 historians produced the first edition of The American Yawp, an open American history textbook project. We launched the project as a radical experiment in mass collaboration and institution-free pedagogy—an experiment that hundreds of thousands of users now benefit from each year. But The American Yawp was only a logical extension of the democratic promise inherent not just in the rise of digital history, but in a moment when technological innovation, institutional resources, professional norms, and shifting scholarly attitudes have converged to prove Rosenzweig right: history can be open source. But can it be democratic?
¶ 41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 Ours is not the only project to explore the possibilities of massive collaboration. According to Roy Rosenzweig’s 2006 plea for open source history in the Journal of American History, Wikipedia is democratic in two senses: it is a free, widely accessible resource, and it is a massively participatory project. Applying the principles of democracy to classrooms increasingly means involving students in the production of knowledge. With the support of a five-year, $50 million digital media and learning initiative, Henry Jenkins explored the impacts of participatory culture, specifically the opportunity for digital technology to enable the popular production rather than simply the consumption of culture. Jenkins and his fellow travelers work to transform education around technological opportunities to develop cultural competencies and encourage student involvement in not just consuming, but also producing and disseminating knowledge. The democratizing tactics of these educators have included student blogging, video-making, podcasting, and even gaming or social networking. According to Jenkins, academics, educators, and policy makers need to “shift the focus of the conversation about the digital divide from questions of technological access to those of opportunities to participate and to develop the cultural competencies and social skills.” For some, the expansions in participatory culture promise to shatter nearly all hierarchies and replace them with egalitarian, collaborative relationships.
¶ 42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 Still, even a broad emphasis on participation can elide structural inequalities. Issues of gender, racial, and sexual representation, for instance, dominate humanistic inquiry but continue to plague the practice and production of the digital humanities. Miriam Posner argued in 2016 that we must confront these questions, but “to truly engage in this kind of critical work .… would require dismantling and rebuilding much of the organizing logic that underlies our work.” Similar essays by Tara McPherson—“Why Are the Digital Humanities So White?”—Bethany Nowviskie—“What Do Girls Dig?”—and host of other critics hint at problems that are foundational and cannot be solved through modest organizational statements or more equitable faculty appointments and grant disbursements.
¶ 43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 According to Sharon Leon, the very act of historicizing digital history has often reinforced inequality. Leon, for instance, argues that women, particularly women of color, have been especially eager to connect digital work to community needs but that the emphasis on published research in digital history has obscured their contributions. Critics therefore argue that digital humanists, far from ushering in democratic triumphs, have often only further marginalized already marginalized voices. As digital humanists institutionalize themselves further into the landscape of higher education, they must recognize that they are often no longer insurgent underdogs, but, increasingly, the very gatekeepers they have so successfully positioned themselves against.
¶ 44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 The digital humanities, of course, do not have a monopoly on democratic yearnings. In fact, some of the most active engagement in democratic discourse comes from outside of the digital humanities. The Democratizing Knowledge Projectat Syracuse University, for example, draws from an impressively interdisciplinary core faculty and eschews digital practice in favor of analog forms of scholarship and activism. Through an annual summer institute, campus forums, creative pedagogy, and connections beyond the walls of the academy, the project pursues its goal of “confronting white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and colonial heritages.”
¶ 45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 Digital history is not the only subdiscipline of history that has struggled to realize democratic commitments in an increasingly digital world. Public history, for instance, has long emphasized public engagement and civic participation as core tenets. Suzanne Fischer defines the field’s mission as “cracking open history as a democratic project, and doing it transparently, in public.” Andrew Hurley likewise argues that “The attempt to leverage historical knowledge on behalf of social change has absorbed a significant segment of the field since the 1970s,” Over the past decades, public historians have therefore also championed, as Hurley puts it, the “uncensored, open-access realm of cyberspace… as an exemplary venue for democratic civic engagement.” But what does a democratic, digital public history look like? Sheila Brennan rightly warns that “projects and research may be available online, but that status does not inherently make the work digital public humanities or public digital humanities.” Digital tools can, in fact, prove decidedly undemocratic.
¶ 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 Technological sophistication and community needs to do not always align. Hurley, who created the Virtual City Project, an initiative to create 3d-models of historic landscapes, worried that the innovative technology that would win him funding would lose him his audience: “Technology that was supposed to democratize knowledge and bring people together was having the opposite effect.” Lara Kelland’s Parkland History digital project, built to capture the neighborhood’s importance to Black life in Louisville, similarly struggled to win community engagement. While laboring to incorporate local voices, “our hopes for engaged and sustained dialogue about the neighborhood’s past, present, and future have yet to materialize,” she wrote. Suspecting that “the digital divide in its many forms has contributed to this silence,” Kelland redoubled her face-to-face work in the community and created new, local, in-person programming. Like Laurenellen McCann, she argues that digital projects must work with communities, not for them. Sharon Leon, for instance, in her presentation of “digital public history” work, has emphasized the idea of a digital “user-centered history.” These are lessons that digital humanists have had to learn. Only by annihilating the distance between the production and consumption of knowledge, the authors of Digital_Humanities argue, are digital humanists “able to revitalize the cultural record in ways that involve citizens in the academic enterprise and bring the academy into the expanded public sphere.”
¶ 47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 1 A digital history that views users as passive consumers overlooks the democratizing possibilities of participatory practices. And if we further define democracy as necessitating challenges to inequalities, then even participatory projects may fail to measure up. Over the past several years, digital humanists have offered examples of participatory projects that do. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the Colored Conventions Project, and the Refusing to Forget Project, for example, all capture a democracy of access, collaboration, and activism. After providing maps and other material on “the dispossession and resistance by San Francisco Bay area residents,” the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project allowed users to “Help Stop Evictions” by donating to the “not-for-profit collective,” reporting illegal vacation rentals, supporting local unions, avoiding calling police on neighbors, and pledging to abstain from renting from anyone who has unscrupulous landlords. Similarly, the Colored Conventions Project, an exploration of nineteenth-century Black organizing, offers educational tools—exhibits and lesson plans—and archival materials to encourage both learning and research. But it also encourages visitors to “Mobilize NOW for a Future Where Black Lives Matter” through voter registrations and census participation. The project’s dozens of teaching partners assented to a “memo of understanding” that includes a promise to “commit to confronting the under-representation of women” by incorporating the voices of women alongside formal male delegates in teaching assignments to capture those “largely written out of the minutes” of formal conventions. The Refusing to Forget project, a digital collaboration dedicated to raising awareness of the spate of state-sanctioned, anti-Mexican violence in the early-twentieth-century Texas-Mexico borderlands, similarly combines collaborative scholarship, educational tools, and public engagement. In addition to sharing primary documents and lesson plans, the project organizes historical marker campaigns, sponsors museum exhibits, and holds teaching workshops. Like the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and the Colored Conventions Project, the project shows that digital work, scholarship, and real-world issues are not so easily disentangled.
¶ 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 1 Most immediately, projects like these show that technology cannot be the only defining feature of digital history or of the broader digital humanities. Critical race and gender studies have offered the most pointed criticisms of the digital humanities and remind practitioners that democratization demands a reckoning with deeper, structural inequalities. The work of Audre Lorde and others reminds us that broken systems won’t fix themselves. Lisa Nakamura argues that race and racism suffuse our digital lives. Whiteness, critics argue, dominates the institutions and logics of digital space. Even coding—once a feminine activity—has been thoroughly gendered as masculine. Scholars such as Safiya Umoja Noble—who urges the digital humanities to “consider the degree to which our very reliance on digital tools … exacerbates existing patterns of exploitation and at times even creates new ones”—argue that, as Noble puts it, “the political, social and economic dimensions of technologies” are all “co-constituted in racialized and gendered ways that involve power and often foster and maintain systematic discrimination and oppression.” Miriam Posner, for instance, has warned against the fetishization of code among digital humanists, arguing that passive calls encouraging women and persons of color to learn to code fail to confront longstanding structural inequalities and therefore actively perpetuates structural racial and gender inequalities. And even code, some critics argue, is not valueless. “There is no such thing as a ‘merely technical’ design decision,” wrote Julia Flanders. “Our technical systems are meaning systems and ideological systems.” Fiona Barnett, Zach Blas, micha cárdenas, Jacob Gaboury, Jessica Marie Johnson, and Margaret Rhee, drawing on the work of queer theorist Kara Keeling, even created QueerOS to confront what they argue are foundational inequalities embedded in our digital tools.
¶ 49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 History-minded digital humanists have likewise proposed alternative practices. Kim Gallon calls for “a technology of recovery, characterized by efforts to bring forth the full humanity of marginalized peoples through the use of digital platforms and tools.” She specifically champions the “black digital humanities”—the intellectual space created by the collision of Black studies and the digital humanities—which, she argues, “troubles the very core of what we have come to know as the humanities by recovering alternate constructions of humanity that have been historically excluded from that concept.” Jessica Marie Johnson, a scholar of transatlantic slavery, has criticized digital historians for replicating the very dehumanization they so demonize. “From blogs and journals built on fourth-generation hypertext markup language (HTML) guided by cascading style sheets (CSS) to databases using extensible markup language (XML) and standard query language (SQL),” Johnson argues, “scholars using digital tools mark up the bodies and requantify the lives of people of African descent.” Like Gallon, she champions a Black digital practice to counter the “presumed neutrality of the digital.” Digital historians, such work suggests, must recover not just lost voices but paradigms of imagination occluded by longstanding power inequalities.
¶ 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 Pedagogically minded digital humanities projects have especially taken these criticisms to heart. William Thomas and Elizabeth Lorang, for instance, advocated “an alternative modality of engagement with the digital on our campuses—one built around reciprocity, openness, local community, and particularity.” Amy E. Earhart of Texas A&M, a large public land-grant university, and Toniesha L. Taylor of Prairie View A&M, a nearby historically black land-grant university, turned these ideas into practice. Their White Violence, Black Resistance Project sought not only to “bring to light timely historical documents” but also, employing students from both institutions, to “expose power differentials in our own institutional settings.” Such projects remind us that, however well-funded and well-defined it becomes, the digital humanities betrays its founding principles if it remains confined to an esoteric community of coders and tech-utopians. It must be practiced with fundamental ends in mind. It must be designed to be used. It must privilege accessibility. It must seek out readers and reach actual users. And it must draw upon the insights of humanities scholarship to push the boundaries of what democracy means by exposing and confronting the inequalities that suffuse our objects of study as well as our professional structures.
¶ 51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 Digital history is certainly capable of refashioning professional paradigms. Its much-touted emphasis on collaboration, for instance, cannot be underestimated. In 2011, AHA president Anthony Grafton urged historians to reject the myth of the solitary scholar. Arguing against Wilhelm von Humboldt’s idealization of “loneliness and freedom” as the hallmarks of academic life, Grafton wrote, “there is much to be gained by recognizing, and promoting, collaboration … and, with it, the elements of joy and creative fantasy that can too easily be lost as we go about our traditionally lonely craft.” If academic historians typically toil under a professional paradigm designed for the isolated scholar, the so-called “digital turn” and the rise of digital history have generated new collaborative energy that spills across traditional research opportunities: new technologies and emerging paradigms are facilitating academic collaboration. And it need not even be institutionalized. Andrew Torget, reflecting on his early work at the University of Virginia and arguing that “digital projects by necessity require collaboration,” nevertheless believed collaboration could be flexible and informal. “I see,” he said, “a movement towards collaborative teams built around projects and problems that will last for as long as the project or problem does. You may have a home department, but you will also have collaborative teams that form and dissolve over time depending on what you’re working on.” But is collaboration enough?
¶ 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 1 Over two decades of work in digital history and digital humanities have opened access to new resources. Universities and grant-giving institutions have provided homes for practitioners. University presses have embraced open scholarship and professional norms are shifting accordingly. In the meantime, digital humanities scholars have built proper platforms for new projects: vast worlds of knowledge are within reach of any average web user. A textbook project can begin with a WordPress installation. Inviting mass collaboration is as easy as adding a CommentPress plug-in. Encouraging students to communicate with a text—and with each other—is as easy as a one-click Hypothes.is integration. A personally curated exhibit is as easy as a visit to a digital humanities librarian and an installation of Omeka. But it takes work, too. Democratization doesn’t happen on its own. Democracy isn’t some fortunate byproduct of technological advancement. We may be able to save our students from exploitative textbook companies, for instance, but the pursuit of a truly democratized digital history requires more substantive change than individual academics, and perhaps even administrators, can achieve. History can be open source, in other words, but the pursuit of democracy requires throwing off shackles more burdensome than copyright restrictions.
Leave a comment on paragraph 53 1
Left’s radical democratic visions inspired much early work in digital history.
Contemporary practitioners—buffeted not only by a popular neoliberal mania for
“disruption” and libertarian notions of techno-futurism, but also by higher
education’s decaying public mission and intransigent structural
inequalities—still share those dreams. Spanning the rise and maturation of
digital history and the digital humanities, invocations of democracy have
transcended their original context and could become just another tool for
digital humanists to carve out greater and greater academic space for their
work and for themselves. But such invocations have allowed practitioners to
challenge traditional academic boundaries surrounding the production of
distribution of knowledge. “Democracy” is, and always has been, at root a
discourse about power: about agency and access and equality. “Democratization,”
therefore, cannot rely on institutions, philanthropy, or even technology alone,
but must emerge consciously alongside critical self-reflection in the
conception and execution of the work. And even then, democracy may prove
unobtainable. An endless, hopeless, necessary dream.
¶ 54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0  Roy Rosenzweig, “Can History Be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past,” The Journal of American History (June 2006), 117-146. 119.
¶ 55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0  Ibid., 137, 145
¶ 56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0  Digital history speaks in the “future tense,” argues Cameron Blevins. Blevins, “Digital History’s Perpetual Future Tense,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0  This paper largely restricts itself to processes in the United States. Ideologies surrounding the digital humanities, and particularly the rise of open access, have different contexts outside of the U.S. The United Kingdom, for example, now requires open access publishing for many recipients of state research funding. See Margot Finn, “Plan S and the History Journal Landscape: Royal Historical Society Guidance Paper,” Royal Historical Society (October 23, 2019) [https://royalhistsoc.org/royal-historical-society-publishes-guidance-paper-on-plan-s-and-history-journals/].
¶ 58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0  See especially Drew VandeCreek, “‘Webs of Significance’: The Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project, New Technology, and the Democratization of History,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 1.1 (2007), http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/1/1/000003/000003.html. These ideas within the digital humanities drew on wider trends in studies on technology and communication. Philip E. Agre argued that digital technologies would enable “the intellectual lives of academics to be democratized,” thereby opening the “existing scholarly and library practices [that] reflect the wisdom of centuries.” Yochai Benkler rejoiced in 2006 that “a radical change in the organization of information production” was leading to “better democratic participation.” Agre, “Supporting the Intellectual Life of a Democratic Society,” Ethics and Information Technology, 3 (2001), 289. Benkler, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 2.
¶ 59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0  Sharon Leon has traced the contributions of women in the rise of digital history, noting that while women performed much of the labor, men’s names dominated project mastheads. The founding essays on digital history were likewise nearly all written by white men. Gender often divided those who performed the work from those who were given platforms to articulate its significance. Sharon M. Leon, “Complicating a ‘Great Man’ Narrative of Digital History in the United States,” in Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities, edited by Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
¶ 60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0  William G. Thomas, “Trends in Digital Humanities: Remarks at the CIC Digital Humanities Summit,” Keynote Address, CIC Digital Humanities Summit, April 19, 2012 [http://railroads.unl.edu/blog/?p=794]. Cameron Blevins similarly argues that digital history began with “an overriding ideology: to democratize access to the past.” Blevins, “Digital History’s Perpetual Future Tense.” Writing in 1999, Ed Ayers trumpeted the historical profession’s recovery of forgotten voices—of women, people of color, the poor—but said, “The great democratization of history over the past few decades has not been accompanied by a democratization of audience.” The digital humanities, it was argued, would do just that. Edward L. Ayers, “The Pasts and Futures of Digital History,” Virginia Center for Digital History, 1999 [http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/PastsFutures.html].
¶ 61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0  Stephen Robertson, “The Future of RRCHNM,” November 17, 2014 [http://.chnm.gmu.edu/about-rrchnm/the-future-of-rrchnm/].
¶ 62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0  Draxler, Bridget, et al. “Democratizing Knowledge.” Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory. September 21,2009 [http://hastac.org/forums/hastac-scholars-discussions/democratizing-knowledge-digital-humanities].
¶ 63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0  Rosenzweig, “Live Free Or Die?: Death, Life, Survival, And Sobriety On The Information Superhighway,” American Quarterly51 (March 1999), 172.
¶ 64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0  Safiya Umoja Noble, “A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist Technology Studies.” Scholar & Feminist Online 13, no. 3–14, no. 1 (2016): 1–8; Kim Gallon, “Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016]; Jessica Marie Johnson and Mark Anthony Neal, “Introduction: Wild Seed in the Machine,” The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research Vol 47, No 3 (2017). See also “Slavery in the Machine,” a special issue of sx archipelagos, 3 (July 2019), http://archipelagosjournal.org/issue03.html, especially Johnson, “We Are Deathless (Slavery in the Machine)” and “Xroads Praxis: Black Diasporic Technologies for Remaking the New World.”
¶ 65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0  In Brown’s estimation, neoliberalism has left democracy “gaunt, ghostly, its future increasingly hedged and improbable.” Brown, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (MIT 2015), 9. See also Brown, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019). Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009); Henry A. Giroux, Terror of Neoliberalism: Authoritarianism and the Eclipse of Democracy (Routledge: 2004); Mark Olssen, Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Social Democracy Thin Communitarian Perspectives on Political Philosophy and Education (Routledge: 2009); and Lisa Duggan, The Twilight of Democracy: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy (New York: Beacon Press, 2004).
¶ 66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0  In his 2016 exploration of “the struggle for self-rule” in the Atlantic world, Toward Democracy, Historian James T. Kloppenberg argued that democracy has been less a unified set of institutions and more an unattainable goal after which we must forever strive. James T. Kloppenberg, Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). As John Dewey wrote in 1926, “Democracy has to be born anew every generation.” John Dewey, “The Need of an Industrial Education in an Industrial Democracy,” Manual Training and Vocational Education(February 1916), 410. From Alexis de Tocqueville to Jane Addams to Alain Locke, positive definitions of “democracy” have fueled both investigations and interventions into American life. For a sampling of additional recent work detailing historical contests over “democracy,” see, for instance, Manisha Sinha and Penny Von Eschen, editors, Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race, and Power in American History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012); Caleb McDaniel, The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013); and Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln(New York: Norton, 2005).
¶ 67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0  Alexis Lothian and Amanda Phillips, “Can Digital Humanities Mean Transformative Critique?” Journal of e-Media Studies 3 (2013), 4. DOI:10.1349/PS1.1938-6060.A.425.
¶ 68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0  Stephen Robertson, former director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, credits the rise of digital history to “radical historians committed to democratizing the creation of the past and to collaborating with teachers.” It is this democratic commitment, he argues, that distinguishes digital history from digital humanities. Stephen Robertson, “The Differences between Digital Humanities and Digital History,” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016]. See also Tom Scheinfeldt, “The Dividends of Difference: Recognizing Digital Humanities’ Diverse Family Trees,” Found History, April 7, 2014 [https://foundhistory.org/2014/04/the-dividends-of-difference-recognizing-digital-humanities-diverse-family-trees/]; and Susan Hockey, “The History of Humanities Computing,” in Susan Scheibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth eds. Companion to Digital Humanities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).
¶ 69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0  For a humorous representation of the scores of definitions, see Jason Heppler’s “What Is Digital Humanities?” (whatisdigitalhumanities.com), a project that aggregated 817 descriptions of digital humanities produced between 2009 and 2014..
¶ 70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0  Kathleen Fitzpatrick, “The Humanities, Done Digitally,” Debates in the Digital Humanities (Minnesota, 2012). For an even broader definition, see Jessica Marie Johnson’s scheme of four digital humanities: “digital humanities as articulated by global academic institutions,” “humanistic inquiry using digital tools,” “digital media as material and messaging,” and “digital practice as using the digital to live in the world.” Jessica Marie Johnson, “4DH + 1 Black Code / Black Femme Forms of Knowledge and Practice,” American Quarterly 70:3 (September 2018), 666.
¶ 71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0  Budapest Open Access Initiative, “Budapest Open Access Initiative Statement” [https://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read].; Peter Suber et al, “Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing” [http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/4725199]; David Wiley, “Defining the ‘Open’ in Open Content and Open Educational Resources” [http://opencontent.org/definition/].; Peter Suber, “A Field Guide to Misunderstandings About Open Access” SPARC Open Access Newsletter, April 2, 2009 [http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/04-02-09.htm]; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, “Open Education Defined” [https://hewlett.org/strategy/open-education/].
¶ 72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0  See James Miller, Democracy Is in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987); Maurice Isserman, If I Had a Hammer…: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left (New York: Basic Books, 1987); Irwin Unger, The Movement: A History of the American New Left, 1959-1972 (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1974); Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (New York: Albert Knopf, 1979); Wini Breines, Community Organization in the New Left, 1962–1968: The Great Refusal (New York: Praeger, 1982); and Rebecca E. Klatch, A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).
¶ 73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0  Bonnie Goodman, “In Memory of Roy Rosenzweig,” History News Network(January 8, 2008), [http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/43739].
¶ 74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0  See, for instance, Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Doubleday, 1984).
¶ 75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0  Stallman would champion “free software” over “open source” software. Richard Stallman, “Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software,” GNU, [http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html].
¶ 76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0  Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira note, for instance, that an early draft of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial-complex” used instead “military-industrial-academic complex.” Chatterjee and Maira, editors, The Imperial University Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (Minnesota: 2014), 17. See also Wendy Brown, ”The End of Educated Democracy” Representations 116; Colleen Lye and James Vernon, “The Humanities and the Crisis of The Public University,” Townsend Center Newsletter (Fall 2011), 19-41. For how neoliberalism poisons pedagogy, see especially Enrique Dussel, Pedagogics of Liberation: A Latin American Philosophy of Education, trans. David I. Backer and Cecilia Diego (Punctum Books, 2019); Paulo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. Donald Macedo (New York: Continuum, 2005); and Linda Martín Alcoff, “Educating with a (De)Colonial Consciousness,” Lápiz 1 (2014), 78–92.
¶ 77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 0  Susan Hockey most prominently identifies Busa’s project as the first digital humanities project. Susan Hockey, “The History of Humanities Computing,” in Susan Scheibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth eds. Companion to Digital Humanities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004). Busa’s project, notably, obscured the labor of the women who turned the project into reality and drew rebukes from humanists who feared the dehumanization of quantitative-based scholarship. Melissa Terras and Julianne Nyhan, “Father Busa’s Female Punch Card Operatives,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016]; Meredith Hindley, “The Rise of the Machines,” Humanities. 34, (2013).
¶ 78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0  According to Wendy Brown, the twentieth century was, “for all its ghastly episodes” and “the cruel exclusions of Western humanism,” still “something of a golden age for public higher education.” Brown, Undoing the Demos, 180. Neem likewise argues that Americans have long expected higher education to serve society, but the needs of society have increasingly become indistinguishable from the needs of the market. Neem shows how, for instance, the evolution of the Common Core demonstrates that “the importance of knowledge for personal growth or effective citizenship is relegated to the sidelines.” Johann, N. Neem, What’s the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform (Baltimoree: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), 64-65.)
¶ 79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0  Public funding for universities has plummeted since the 1970s. From 1976-2001, appropriations, as a percent of state revenue, for higher education fell nationally from 6.7% to 4.5%. Thomas J. Kane and Peter R. Orszag, “Use of State General Revenue for Higher Education Declines,” Tax Policy Center and the Urban Institute (2002) [https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/59871/1000462-Use-of-State-General-Revenue-for-Higher-Education-Declines.PDF]; Christopher Newfield, Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-year Assault on the Middle Class (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011), 1; and Colleen Lye, Newfield and James Vernon, “Humanists and the Public University,” Representations 116, The Humanities and the Crisis of The Public University (Fall 2011), 3. During those same years, the number of faculty grew by 75.8%; the number of nonfaculty professionals grew by 239.2%. Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein, The American Faculty: The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 269. On the growth of corporate accounting practices in higher education, see Newfield, Unmaking the Public University, 127-129. For a critical assessment of new administrative methods, see the work of Charles Schwartz, a retired physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who made a retirement hobby out of fact-checking the university’s financing. Charles Schwartz, “Financing the University” [https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~schwrtz/]. Government deregulation incentivized many of these trends. The 1980 Bayh-Doyle Act, for instance, allowed universities to profit from research (even publicly funded research), reorienting academic priorities around their commercial potential. According to former president of Harvard, Derek Bok, researchers using corporate funds are subsequently twice as likely “to be influenced by commercial considerations in choosing their research topics.” Derek Bok, Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 61. For more on the neoliberalization of the university, see also Ellen Strecker, The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University (New York: The New Press, 2010); and Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
¶ 80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0  In a 2011 exploration of the new career trajectories created by the digital humanities, for instance, Tom Scheinfeldt, the managing director of the George Mason Center for History and New Media, reported that 90% of the Center’s budget was supported by grants and, “With a very few exceptions, staff positions at CHNM are contingent on continued grant funding.” Tom Scheinfeldt, “Center for History and New Media, George Mason University,” in Off the Tracks: Laying New Lines for Digital Humanities Scholars (2011) [http://mcpress.media-commons.org/offthetracks/part-two-position-descriptions-at-established-and-emerging-digital-humanities-centers/center-for-history-and-new-media-george-mason-university/]. The University of Virginia’s Scholars’ Lab was, administratively, under the University of Virginia Library and staffed by “library faculty” and “staff.” Bethany Nowviskie, “The Scholars’ Lab (Digital Research & Scholarship Department), University of Virginia Library” in Off the Tracks. On the overall prominence of staff in DH, see especially, Leon, “Complicating a Great Man Narrative.”
¶ 81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0  Randy Bass et al, Crossroads Project[http://crossroads.georgetown.edu/]. For more on Crossroads and its innovations see John Carlos Rowe, ed. A Concise Companion to American Studies (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2010), 335-336; Matthias Oppermann, American Studies in Dialogue: Radical Reconstructions between Curriculum and Cultural Critique (Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2010), 167-168; and Ann Kovalchick and Kara Dawson, eds. Education and Technology: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004),182;
¶ 82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0  C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, “Textual Criticism and the Text Encoding Initiative,” (paper presented at the annual meeting for the Modern Language Association, San Diego, California, December 1994). Available online at: http://www.tei-c.org/Vault/XX/mla94.html. See also Susan Hockey, “The History of Humanities Computing,” in Susan Scheibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth eds. Companion to Digital Humanities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).
¶ 83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0  Ed Folsom and Kenneth Price, The Walt Whitman Archive[http://whitmanarchive.org/].
¶ 84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0  Morris Eaves et al, The William Blake Archive[http://www.blakearchive.org/staticpage/archiveataglance].
¶ 85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0  Despite significant support from various foundations, the project requires subscriptions that continue to hamper access. Only one of the two authors of this piece, for instance, has access through their university to the excellent database.
¶ 86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0  Michael O’Malley and Roy Rosenzweig, “Brave New World or Blind Alley? American History on the World Wide Web,” Journal of American History84 (June 1997), 135-155, 146.
¶ 87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0  Gary J. Kornblith, “Venturing into the Civil War, Virtually: A Review,” The Journal of American History 88 (June, 2001), 145-151, 146.
¶ 88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0  See, for instance, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, “About,” n.d. (http://chnm.gmu.edu/about/).
¶ 89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0  Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, “Our Story,” n.d. (http://rrchnm.org/our-story/history/).
¶ 90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0  Virginia Center for Digital History, “About,” n.d., (http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/index.php?page=About).
¶ 91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 0  Digital History: Using New Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Research [digitalhistory.uh.edu].
¶ 92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0  History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web [http://historymatters.gmu.edu/].
¶ 93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0  Lisa Spiro, “This Is Why We Fight: Defining the Values of the Digital Humanities,” in Matthew K. Gold, editor, Debates in the Digital Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012).
¶ 94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0  George Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons, “Assumptions and Challenges of Open Scholarship,” International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 13 (2012), 166–89, 167, cited by Martin Paul Eve, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies, and the Future(New York: Cambridge, 2014), 3.
¶ 95 Leave a comment on paragraph 95 0  Spiro, “Why We Fight.”
¶ 96 Leave a comment on paragraph 96 0  Andrea Hunter, “The Digital Humanities and Democracy,” Canadian Journal of Communication 40 (2015), 407-423.
¶ 97 Leave a comment on paragraph 97 0  The Orlando Project [http://orlando.cambridge.org/]; Omeka [https://omeka.org/].
¶ 98 Leave a comment on paragraph 98 0  Anne Burdick et al, Digital_Humanities (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012), 82 [https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/digitalhumanities].
¶ 99 Leave a comment on paragraph 99 0  Martin Paul Eve, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies, and the Future(New York: Cambridge, 2014), 16.
¶ 100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0 Creative Commons licenses built on the earlier work of David Wiley and his Open Publication License. In 2002, Wiley dissolved his license and formally joined Creative Commons. David Wiley, “OpenContent is officially closed. And that’s just fine.,” Open Content (June 30, 2003). Early critics however, accused Creative Commons of failing “to confront and look beyond the logic and power asymmetries of the present.” See David Berry and Giles Moss, “On the “Creative Commons”: a critique of the commons without commonalty,” Free Software Magazine, Issue 5 (July 15, 2005).
¶ 101 Leave a comment on paragraph 101 0  UNESCO, “Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries,” July 1-3, 2002, http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001285/128515e.pdf. See also Sally M. Johnstone, “Open Educational Resources Serve the World”. Educause Quarterly 28: 3(2005), 15-18; and T.J. Bliss and M Smith, “A Brief History of Open Educational Resources” in: Jhangiani, R S and Biswas-Diener, R., eds., Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. (London: Ubiquity Press, 2017). 9–27.
¶ 102 Leave a comment on paragraph 102 0  For a timeline of the Public Library of Science, see https://www.plos.org/history.
¶ 103 Leave a comment on paragraph 103 0  “The term ‘open access,’” according to Martin Paul Eve, refers to the removal of price and permission barriers to scholarly research.” Martin Paul Eve, Open Access, 3.
¶ 104 Leave a comment on paragraph 104 0  Jo Guldi and David Armitage, “Why Open Access Publication for The History Manifesto?” Cambridge Open (2014) [http://historymanifesto.cambridge.org/blog/2014/09/why-open-access-publication-history-manifesto#sthash.FYCNEiH9.dpuf]. “This is a new era for all of us,” said Harriette Hemmasi, university librarian at Brown University, upon receiving funds to explore digital publishing. Carl Straumsheim, “Piecing Together Publishing,” Inside Higher Ed (February 25, 2015) [https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/02/25/researchers-university-press-directors-emboldened-mellon-foundation-interest].
¶ 105 Leave a comment on paragraph 105 0  Martin Weller, The Battle for Open: How Openness Won and Why It Doesn’t Feel Like Victory (London: Ubiquity Press, 2014), 2.
¶ 106 Leave a comment on paragraph 106 0  Eve, Open Access, 7
¶ 107 Leave a comment on paragraph 107 0  Sharon Leon, surveying NEH-grant-winning digital history projects, found that “the Divisions of Preservation and Access, Public Programs, and Education Programs” funded the majority of projects. Leon, “Complicating a Great Man Narrative.”
¶ 108 Leave a comment on paragraph 108 0  Straumsheim, “Piecing Together,” n.p.
¶ 109 Leave a comment on paragraph 109 0  Amanda Patrick, “The Goizueta Foundation supports creation of a Digital Humanities Laboratory at Yale,” Yale News(December 11, 2014) [http://news.yale.edu/2014/12/11/goizueta-foundation-supports-creation-digital-humanities-laboratory-yale].
¶ 110 Leave a comment on paragraph 110 0  Daniel J. Cohen, “From Babel to Knowledge: Data Mining Large Digital Collections,” D-Lib Magazine 12 (March 2006) [http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march06/cohen/03cohen.html].
¶ 111 Leave a comment on paragraph 111 0  Eve, Open Access, 3; “When presented with the concept of OER, most faculty say that they are willing to give it a try,” concluded one report. I. Elaine Allen and Jef Seaman, Opening the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education(Wellesley, MA: Babson Survey Research Group, 2014), 2.
¶ 112 Leave a comment on paragraph 112 0  Eve, Open Access, 4
¶ 113 Leave a comment on paragraph 113 0  Digitalculturebooks, “About Us,” n.d. [http://www.digitalculture.org/about/].
¶ 114 Leave a comment on paragraph 114 0  On the question of funding and sustainability of open access publishing, see Martin Paul Eve, Paula Clemente Vega, and Caroline Vega, “Lessons from the Open Library of the Humanities,” Liber Quarterly 30 (2020), 1–18.
¶ 115 Leave a comment on paragraph 115 0  Carl Straumsheim, “‘Paying It Forward’ Publishing,” Inside Higher Ed (February 10, 2015) [https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/02/10/u-california-press-builds-open-access-publishing-model-around-paying-it-forward].
¶ 116 Leave a comment on paragraph 116 0  Ulrich Herb, “Open Access and Symbolic Gift Giving,” in Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open Access, edited by Joachim Schöpfel and Ulrich Herb, 69–81 (Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1206377. See also Samuel Moore, “Common Struggles: Policy-Based vs. Scholar-Led Approaches to Open Access in the Humanities” (unpublished Doctoral Thesis, King’s College London, 2019) [https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:24135/] and Ryan Burns, “New Frontiers of Philanthro‐Capitalism: Digital Technologies and Humanitarianism,” Antipode 51 (2019), 1101-1122.
¶ 117 Leave a comment on paragraph 117 0  The 1980 Bayh-Doyle Act, for instance, allowed universities to profit from even publicly funded research, redirecting research toward commercial potential.
¶ 118 Leave a comment on paragraph 118 0  In the late 1990s the University of Chicago redesigned its core curriculum based on the advice of management consultants. David L. Kirp, Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003), 33-51. According to the former president of Harvard Derek Bok, researchers using corporate funds are twice as likely “to be influenced by commercial considerations in choosing their research topics.” Derek Bok, Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 61. BB&T bank has funded grants at over 60 colleges requiring courses to assign Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. S. Douglas Beets, “BB&T, Atlas Shrugged, and the Ethics of Corporation Influence on College Curricula,” 13 (2015), 311-344. See also Brown, Undoing the Demos, 270-271. For an example of corporate dollars creating an academic initiative designed to meet corporate needs, see the relationship between J.P. Morgan Chase and the Lerner School of Business at the University of Delaware. [https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2019/december/jpmorgan-chase-lerner-certificate-data-analytics/].
¶ 119 Leave a comment on paragraph 119 0  Between 1976 and 2001, the number of faculty grew by 75.8% compared to 239.2% growth for nonfaculty professionals. Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein, The American Faculty: The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 269. On new accounting practices see Newfield, Unmaking the Public University, 127-129; and Neil Fligstein, The Transformation of Corporate Control (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997). For a critical assessment of new administrative methods, see the work of Charles Schwartz, a retired physicist at UC Berkeley, who made a retirement hobby out of fact-checking the UC administration. [https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~schwrtz/] See also Ellen Strecker, The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom, and the End of the American University (New York: The New Press, 2010); and Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
¶ 120 Leave a comment on paragraph 120 0  For more on Manifold see https://manifoldapp.org/. For examples of projects built through the platform see https://cuny.manifoldapp.org/projects/all.
¶ 121 Leave a comment on paragraph 121 0  Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (New York: NYU Press, 2011), 174.
¶ 122 Leave a comment on paragraph 122 0  See, for instance, Open Library of Humanities, “About,” n.d., [https://www.openlibhums.org/site/about/].
¶ 123 Leave a comment on paragraph 123 0  Straumsheim, “Piecing Together,” n.p.
¶ 124 Leave a comment on paragraph 124 0  Hunter, “Digital Humanities and Democracy,” 418.
¶ 125 Leave a comment on paragraph 125 0  Jo Guldi and David Armitage, The History Manifesto(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
¶ 126 Leave a comment on paragraph 126 0  PLOS refers to their process as a transparent Peer Review History. For more see https://www.plos.org/faq#loc-Peer-review-history.
¶ 127 Leave a comment on paragraph 127 0  Robert Darnton, “Google and the Future of Books,” The New York Review of Books, (February 12, 2009).
¶ 128 Leave a comment on paragraph 128 0  William Pannapacker,“Stop Calling It ‘Digital Humanities,’” The Chronicle of Higher Education(February 18, 2013; http://chronicle.com/article/Stop-Calling-It-Digital/137325/).
¶ 129 Leave a comment on paragraph 129 0  Thomas, “Trends,” n.p.
¶ 130 Leave a comment on paragraph 130 0  Roy Rosenzweig, “Live Free Or Die.” 161.
¶ 131 Leave a comment on paragraph 131 0  Siva Vaidhyanathan, “Introduction: Rewiring the ‘Nation’: The Place of Technology in American Studies,” American Quarterly58 (September 2006), 557.
¶ 132 Leave a comment on paragraph 132 0  Safiya Noble identifies digital utopianism as a neoliberal ideology and credits critical theorists with complicating triumphalist DH narratives. Safiya Umoja Noble, “A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist Technology Studies.” Scholar & Feminist Online 13, no. 3–14, no. 1 (2016): 1–8. Brian Greenspan, however, argues that utopian ideas are necessary for radical ends. Brian Greenspan, “Are Digital Humanists Utopian?” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016]. See also Ruth Levitas, “For Utopia: The (Limits of the) Utopian Function in Late Capitalist Society,” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 3 (2000): 25–43; Louis Marin, Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces (Amherst, N.Y.: Humanities Press International, 1984); and Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).
¶ 133 Leave a comment on paragraph 133 0  Mark Sample, “I’m Mark, and Welcome to the Circus,” HASTAC Blog, September 10, 2010 [http://hastac.org/blogs/cforster/im-chris-where-am-i-wrong].
¶ 134 Leave a comment on paragraph 134 0  See, for instance, Pannapacker,“‘Digital Humanities.’”
¶ 135 Leave a comment on paragraph 135 0  Gary Rhoades and Sheila Slaughter, “Academic Capitalism, Managed Professionals, and Supply-Side Higher Education,” Social Text 51, Academic Labor (Summer, 1997), 9-38; Sheila Slaughter and Larry L. Leslie, Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999); Sheila Slaughter and Gary Rhoades, Academic Capitalism and the New Economy: Markets, State, and Higher Education (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009); and Robert Nisbet, The Degradation of the Academic Dogma: The University in America, 1945-1970 (New York: Basic Books, 1971).
¶ 136 Leave a comment on paragraph 136 0  Strecker, The Lost Soul of Higher Education; Neem, What’s the Point of College?;Newfield, Unmaking the Public University; Larry G. Gerber, The Rise and Decline of Faculty Governance: Professionalization and the Modern American University (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); Gaye Tuchman, Wannabe U: Inside the Corporate University (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009); Frank Donoghue, The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities (New York: Fordham University Press, 2018); and Herb Childress, The Adjunct Underclass: How America’s Colleges Betrayed Their Faculty, Their Students, and Their Mission (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019).
¶ 137 Leave a comment on paragraph 137 0  Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Richard Grusin, Patrick Jagoda, and Rita Raley, “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 138 Leave a comment on paragraph 138 0  Daniel Allington et al, “Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities,” The L.A. Review of Books(May 1, 2016) [https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/neoliberal-tools-archives-political-history-digital-humanities/]. For one of many rejoinders, see Juliana Spahr, Richard So, and Andrew Piper, “Beyond Resistance: Towards a Future History of Digital Humanities,” The L.A. Review of Books(May 11, 2016) [https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/beyond-resistance-towards-future-history-digital-humanities/].
¶ 139 Leave a comment on paragraph 139 0  We could here also address the MOOC frenzy, but that bubble has begun to pop and the passion has calmed, whether or not the pernicious logic behind its “disruption”-minded indictment of education remains.
¶ 140 Leave a comment on paragraph 140 0  Stevan Harnad, “Overture: A Subversive Proposal,” in Scholarly Journals at the Crossroads: A Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing, ed. Shumelda Okerson and James J. O’Donnell (Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 1995), 11–12. The adjunctification of academic labor admittedly complicates presuppositions of gainful compensation.
¶ 141 Leave a comment on paragraph 141 0  Martin Paul Eve, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies, and the Future(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 18; see also Peter Suber, Open Access(Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012), 9-15.
¶ 142 Leave a comment on paragraph 142 0  John Willinsky, The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009). As Cable Green, Creative Commons’ Director of Global Learning, put it, “When the marginal cost of sharing is $0, educators have an ethical obligation to share.” Cable Green, “Open Education: The Moral, Business & Policy Case for OER,” Keynote Address, Affordable Learning Georgia Conference (December 11, 2014) [http://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/documents/Cable_EveningPlenaryKeynote.pdf].
¶ 143 Leave a comment on paragraph 143 0  “Editor’s Comments,” AHR Open Review, https://ahropenreview.com/HistoryCanBeOpenSource/editors-comments/. See also Karin Wulf, “Guest Post: Karin Wulf on Open Access and Historical Scholarship,” The Scholarly Kitchen (March 25, 2015) and Eric Slauter and Karin Wulf’s 2014 working paper, “Open Access for the Humanities: A View from the William and Mary Quarterly” [https://oieahc.wm.edu/wp-content/uploads/Slauter_Wulf_OA_MCEAS.pdf].
¶ 144 Leave a comment on paragraph 144 0  Thomas, “Trends,” n.p.
¶ 145 Leave a comment on paragraph 145 0  Online access, of course, does not even necessarily guarantee greater access. See David Parry, “Be Online or Be Irrelevant,” AcademHack, January 11, 2010 [http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/2010/be-online-or-be-irrelevant/].
¶ 146 Leave a comment on paragraph 146 0  Patricia Nelson Limerick, “Insiders and Outsiders: The Borders of the USA and the Limits of the ASA: Presidential Address to the American Studies Association,” American Quarterly 49.3 (1997) 449-469, 453.
¶ 147 Leave a comment on paragraph 147 0  Lorna M. Hughes, Digitizing Collections: Strategic Issues for the Information Manager (London: Facet Publishing, 2004), 286; Jean Dryden, “The Role of Copyright in Selection for Digitization,” The American Archivist 77 (Spring/Summer 2014), 64-95.
¶ 148 Leave a comment on paragraph 148 0  Murtha Baca, “Practical Issues in Applying Metadata Schemas and Controlled Vocabularies to Cultural Heritage Information,” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 36 (October 2003), 47-55.
¶ 149 Leave a comment on paragraph 149 0  Mintz and McNeil, Digital History.
¶ 150 Leave a comment on paragraph 150 0  Weller, Battle, 76. For evidence that OER improves learning outcomes, see Lane Fischer, John Hilton III, T. Jared Robinson, and David A. Wiley, “A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students,” Journal of Computing in Higher Education Vol 27 No 3 (December 2015), 159-172.
¶ 151 Leave a comment on paragraph 151 0  Scott E. Casper ed., “Textbooks Today and Tomorrow: A Conversation about History, Pedagogy, and Economic,” Journal of American History Vol. 100, No 4 (March 2014), 1139-1169.
¶ 152 Leave a comment on paragraph 152 0  The American Yawp: A Free and Online, Collaboratively Built American History Textbook [http://americanyawp.com]. For more on The American Yawp, see Daniel Story and Alex Lichtenstein, “Ben Wright and Joseph Locke on The American Yawp,” AHR Interview, November 19, 2019 [https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/ahrinterview/id/12089015]; Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, “A Free and Open Alternative to Traditional History Textbooks,” Perspectives on History, 53:3 (March 2015) [https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2015/a-free-and-open-alternative-to-traditional-history-textbooks]; “Compiling and Open History Textbook: An Interview with American Yawp Editors Joseph Locke and Ben Wright,” Perspectives on History (April 20, 2015) [https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2015/compiling-an-open-history-textbook-an-interview-with-american-yawp-editors-joseph-locke-and-ben-wright]; and Rachel Beltzhoover and M. Omar Siddiqi, “A Conversation with Ben Wright and Joseph Locke, Editors of The American Yawp,” The American Historian (February 2015) [https://tah.oah.org/content/conversation-ben-wright/].
¶ 153 Leave a comment on paragraph 153 0  Rosenzweig, “Can History Be Open Source?,” 117-146.
¶ 154 Leave a comment on paragraph 154 0  Henry Jenkins, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” [https://www.macfound.org/media/article_pdfs/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF].
¶ 155 Leave a comment on paragraph 155 0  See, for example, Tapscott and Williams, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (New York: Penguin, 2006).
¶ 156 Leave a comment on paragraph 156 0  Miriam Posner, “What’s Next: The Radical, Unrealized Potential of Digital Humanities,” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 157 Leave a comment on paragraph 157 0  Tara McPherson, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White? or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation” Matthew K. Gold, editor, Debates in the Digital Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012) [http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/29].; Bethany Nowviskie, “What Do Girls Dig?” [http://nowviskie.org/2011/what-do-girls-dig/].
¶ 158 Leave a comment on paragraph 158 0  See especially Sharon M. Leon, “Complicating a ‘Great Man’ Narrative of Digital History in the United States,” in Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities, edited by Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
¶ 159 Leave a comment on paragraph 159 0  See also Henry Jenkins, “Bringing Critical Perspectives to the Digital Humanities: An Interview with Tara McPherson” Confessions of an ACA-Fan (March 20, 2015); David Kim, “Archives, Models, and Methods for Critical Approaches to Identities: Representing Race and Ethnicity in the Digital Humanities” (PhD dissertation, UCLA, 2015.)
¶ 160 Leave a comment on paragraph 160 0  Oral historians Julianne Nyhan and Andrew Flinn identified “revolutionary” and “underdog” as the recurring motifs with which digital humanists described themselves. Julianne Nyhan and Andrew Flinn, Computation and the Humanities: Towards an Oral History of Digital Humanities (London: Springer, 2016).
¶ 161 Leave a comment on paragraph 161 0  Carol Fadda et al, Democratizing Knowledge Project[http://democratizingknowledge.syr.edu/index.html].
¶ 162 Leave a comment on paragraph 162 0  “Public history is not only history for a large audience,” Thomas Cauvin explains, “but involves public participation as well.” Thomas Cauvin, Public History: A Textbook of Practice (New York: Routledge, 2016), 179.
¶ 163 Leave a comment on paragraph 163 0  Suzanne Fischer, “On the Vocation of Public History,” #alt-academy (May 8, 2011) [ http://mediacommons.org/alt-ac/pieces/vocation-public-history].
¶ 164 Leave a comment on paragraph 164 0  Andrew Hurley, “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology: Public History Meets the Digital Divide,” The Public Historian 38 (February 2016), 70.
¶ 165 Leave a comment on paragraph 165 0  Sheila A. Brennan, “Public, First,” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 166 Leave a comment on paragraph 166 0  Andrew Hurley, “Chasing the Frontiers of Digital Technology: Public History Meets the Digital Divide,” The Public Historian 38 (February 2016), 80. See also David Hochfelder, “Meeting our audiences where they are in the digital age,” History@Work, March 30, 2016; and Lara Kelland, “Digital Community Engagement Across the Divides,” History@Work, April 20, 2016.
¶ 167 Leave a comment on paragraph 167 0  Lara Kelland, “Digital community engagement across the divides,” History@Work, April 20, 2016.
¶ 168 Leave a comment on paragraph 168 0  Laurenellen McCann, “Building Technology With, Not For Communities: An Engagement Guide for Civic Tech,” Medium.com, March 30, 2015. https://medium.com/@elle_mccann/building-technology-with-not-for-communities-an-engagement-guide-for-civic-tech-b8880982e65a. See also Wendy F. Hsu, “Lessons on Public Humanities from the Civic Sphere,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016).
¶ 169 Leave a comment on paragraph 169 0  See Sharon Leon, “About,” in User-Centered Digital History, https://digitalpublichistory.org/about.
¶ 170 Leave a comment on paragraph 170 0  Anne Burdick et al, Digital_Humanities, 93.
¶ 171 Leave a comment on paragraph 171 0  The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project [http://www.antievictionmap.com/]; The Colored Conventions Project [https://coloredconventions.org/]; and Refusing to Forget [http://refusingtoforget.org/]. See also Million Dollar Hoods: Mapping the Fiscal and Human Cost of Mass Incarceration in Los Angeles, a project “working to de-carcerate California” [https://milliondollarhoods.pre.ss.ucla.edu/] and Million Dollar Blocks, the project that inspired Million Dollar Hoods [https://c4sr.columbia.edu/projects/million-dollar-blocks]. Other examples of activist digital history include Torn Apart / Separados, an exploration of the detention of immigrant children and its financial infrastructure [http://xpmethod.columbia.edu/torn-apart/volume/2/index]; Project Toxic Docs, a curated archive of previously classified documents related to industrial poisons [https://www.toxicdocs.org/]; Mapping Islamophobia, created byfaculty, staff, and students at Grinnell College—and released early—to combat “the incredible rise in Islamophobic events” [https://mappingislamophobia.org/]; and the suite of projects from the University of Michigan’s Carceral State Project, especially their activism around the murder of Cynthia Scott and collaboration with the Michigan Youth Justice Center [https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/dcc-project/].
¶ 172 Leave a comment on paragraph 172 0  See, for instance. Jessie Daniels, “Race and Racism in Internet Studies: A Review and Critique,” New Media and Society 15, no. 5 (2012): 695–719.
¶ 173 Leave a comment on paragraph 173 0  Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” in Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (New York: Kitchen Table Press, 1983), 94-101.
¶ 174 Leave a comment on paragraph 174 0  Lisa Nakamura, Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (New York: Routledge, 2002). Legal scholar Jerry Kang was among the earliest to consider how race and representation function on the web. Jerry Kang, “Cyber-Race,” Harvard Law Review 113, no. 5 (2002): 1130–1208. See also Jessica Marie Johnson and Mark Anthony Neal, “Introduction: Wild Seed in the Machine,” The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research Vol 47, No 3 (2017).
¶ 175 Leave a comment on paragraph 175 0  See, for instance, Moya Z. Bailey, “All the Digital Humanists Are White, All the Nerds Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave,” Journal Of Digital Humanities (Winter 2011); and Tara McPherson, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White? or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation,” in Matthew K. Gold, editor, Debates in the Digital Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012).
¶ 176 Leave a comment on paragraph 176 0  Janet Abbate chronicled how the representation of coding evolved from a feminine activity in the mid-twentieth century to a masculine one at the dawn of the twenty-first. Janet Abbate, Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012). For gender and DH, see also Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991); Deb Verhoeven, “Has Anyone Seen a Woman?” Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations Speech, (2015), debverhoeven.com/anyone-seen-a-woman. On intersectionality, see especially Roopika Risam, “Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and the Digital Humanities,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 9 (2015); and Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes, editors, The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online (New York: Peter Lang, 2016).
¶ 177 Leave a comment on paragraph 177 0  Safiya Umoja Noble, “A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist Technology Studies,” Scholar & Feminist Online 13, (2016), 1–8; Noble, “Toward a Critical Black Digital Humanities,” in in Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein, editor, Debates in the Digital Humanities 2019 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019).
¶ 178 Leave a comment on paragraph 178 0  Miriam Posner, “Some things to think about before you exhort everyone to code,” Miriam Posner’s Blog: Digital Humanities, Data, Labor, and Information (February 29, 2012), https://miriamposner.com/blog/some-things-to-think-about-before-you-exhort-everyone-to-code/. Safiya Noble likewise has identified the push to get black girls to code as “an individualized, privatized approach to thinking about Black women’s empowerment, in neoliberal fashion.” Safiya Umoja Noble, “A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist Technology Studies.” Scholar & Feminist Online 13, no. 3–14, no. 1 (2016): 1–8.
¶ 179 Leave a comment on paragraph 179 0  Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont, eds., Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018), xvii. For the relationship of DH’s digital tools and its broader values, see Natalia Cecire, “Introduction: Theory and the Virtues of Digital Humanities.” Journal of Digital Humanities (2011), http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-1/introduction-theory-and-the-virtues-of-digital-humanities-by-natalia-cecire/; Stephen Ramsay, “On Building.” Stephen Ramsay Blog, January 11, 2011. http://stephenramsay.us/text/2011/01/11/on-building/; and Tom Scheinfeldt, “‘Where’s the Beef?’ Does Digital Humanities Have to Answer Questions?” in Matthew K. Gold, editor, Debates in the Digital Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012) [http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/18]; and Roopika Risam, “Navigating the Global Digital Humanities: Insights from Black Feminism,” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016]; Siva Vaidhyanathan, “Afterword: Critical Information Studies,” Cultural Studies 20 (2006), 292-315.
¶ 180 Leave a comment on paragraph 180 0  Fiona Barnett, Zach Blas, Micha Cárdenas, Jacob Gaboury, Jessica Marie Johnson, and Margaret Rhee, “QueerOS: A User’s Manual,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 181 Leave a comment on paragraph 181 0  Kim Gallon, “Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 182 Leave a comment on paragraph 182 0  “William G. Thomas III, and Elizabeth Lorang. “The Other End of the Scale: Rethinking the Digital Experience in Higher Education,” Educause Review (September 15, 2014).
¶ 183 Leave a comment on paragraph 183 0  Amy E. Earhart and Toniesha L. Taylor, “Pedagogies of Race: Digital Humanities in the Age of Ferguson,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press, 2016) [https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/debates-in-the-digital-humanities-2016].
¶ 184 Leave a comment on paragraph 184 0  Anthony Grafton,“Loneliness and Freedom,” Perspectives: The Newsletter of the American Historical Association, 49 (March 2011) [https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2011/loneliness-and-freedom].
¶ 185 Leave a comment on paragraph 185 0  Scott Nesbit et al, “A Conversation with Digital Historians,” Southern Spaces(January 31, 2012) [https://southernspaces.org/2012/conversation-digital-historians].
I only made a few suggestions on the original, and I find that the authors did not do much with them. My biggest concern was the need for them to make a clear statement about their focus on the American story and developments to the exclusion of much reference to or appreciation of non-American thinking and work. As I mentioned in my original comment, I understand their interest in telling the American story, but I thought that some brief attention to a comparative context would help make sense of what distinguished the American experience. This might be handled in a footnote so that readers will appreciate there is more than the American side, especially because the authors do point to several instances of Canadian and European work in making their case. Perhaps a few lines on the matter, in the footnote where they mention it, would do the trick for now. At some point a comparative essay would be instructive, but that’s for another day. In my original comments I also suggested the authors might reference community-generated and community-based digital humanities and history projects, which are often very “democratic” in purpose, personnel, and audience and have encouraged academic engagement. Again, this subject is worth its own essay, but some nod to the phenomenon here would help provide a fuller sense of what “democratic digital history” means, or might mean. My other concern was getting a working definition of “democracy,” from the authors, which they have provided.
So, for what it’s worth, I still think the authors have provided a telling and timely article worth publishing. It will generate much interest, comment, and subsequent work. My particular concerns should not stand in the way of its publication, however much I would like those few extra sentences to enhance the authors’ arguments and to remind us there is more than an American and an academic-generated world out there.
For a reader who works outside the world of digital history, the authors have located (what seemed to me) an opaque and vague concept–digital history–within a clear and concrete material history. By offering a political, institutional, and economic narrative of the rise, challenges, limits, and possibilities of digital history, the authors have proven the democratic uses of historical work. I now feel equipped to engage in debates and projects that engage digital history–debates and projects I had previously avoided.
In this way, the authors have proven their point about the insufficiency of tech tools to expand democratic potential. Digitized data dumps are not enough (and the article provides valuable context for better appreciating the dangers and possibilities of the fully digital Obama archives). Historians, like the authors, continue to provide a major service to academics and broader audiences by synthesizing massive amounts of research and applying a coherent analytical framework. This type of work makes research and scholarship truly accessible. Will this article itself be open-access when it is published?
The authors are right to focus on the political economic context from which digital history emerges and the political economic context necessary to sustain meaningfully democratic and democratizing digital history. This work must be sustained by stable, functioning, and funded institutions of higher education that are committed to academic scholarship. Adjunctification within the corporate neoliberal institution is a tremendous threat to the democratization of digital history (and democracy more broadly) both within and beyond institutions of higher education.
Finally, this manuscript itself illuminates the promise and limits of the open review process. The enormous amount of feedback challenged even the editor, raising the question of when openness and transparency can actually be a barrier to entry, especially for readers working outside of the field.
The open review process also highlighted digital history’s (and the wider profession’s) reliance on unpaid academic work to produce new scholarship and the acute inequities that constitute the labor force in higher education: participation in this process might be considered a professional service and a unique opportunity to intervene in new scholarship for those who have won the academic lottery. However, the reliance on many more unpaid readers than the smaller number of readers contributing to the traditional review process might also underscore and exacerbate the labor hierarchy of those who have the time, institutional support, and financial stability to engage in this work and those who do not.
Many thanks to the authors for this generative and illuminating history of digital history, political economy, and democracy, and to the AHR for sparking this urgent public discussion.