Blog Post

Digital Alchemy: The Transformative Magic of Women of Color Online


I’m unfortunately unable to attend MLA this year but I wanted to give a bit of what I would have presented on the panel, Representing Race: Silence in the Digital Humanities. It’s at 10:15 am, Friday!


Transformative Digital Humanities: Doing Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and Class in DH

Alchemy is the “science” of turning regular metals into gold. When I talk aboutdigital alchemy I am thinking of the ways that women of color in particular transform everyday digital media into valuable social justice media magic. We turn scraps into something precious. Like chitterlings, the discarded pig intestines of the internet can be reworked into a delicacy. As Dr. Tricia Rose notes however, there can be unintended and long term health effects from making a way out of no way. People can assume that leftovers are enough and abandon efforts to make sure everyone gets their fair share. It is the delicate balance of making do and pushing for more that informs my thinking on women of color’s transformative digital media magic.

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