Excited to be included on a panel on digital scholarship and Latin@ archives for the IV Jalisco Texas Conference in education and culture coming up on March 22 at UNT.
New Frontiers for Research, Teaching and Learning: Digital Scholarship and Latin@ Archives
Nuevas Fuentes para Investigación, Enseñanza and Aprendizaje: Estudios Digitales y Archivos Latin@s
Spencer Keralis, Director for Digital Scholarship, Research Associate Professor, UNT Digital Scholarship Co-Operative
Miguel Juárez, MLS, MA, Archivist, Librarian, UNT University Libraries
Digital humanities scholarship relies heavily on the mass digitization of large amounts of textual materials. In the past decade this discipline has become increasingly pervasive within literature and history departments, and its focus has been dictated by the kinds of archival materials that are available to digitize. Unsurprisingly, these have largely been the works of canonical, Western authors (Shakespeare, Whitman, and Rossetti all have major digital archives), or from eras and regions that have been the objects of grant-making by Federal funding agencies and endowed foundations like Mellon (which have, for example, funded newspaper digitization in specific periods of U.S. history). Because the archives of underrepresented groups are by and large not included in archival collections or because the collection of this material has just begun, digitization of the archives of these groups is far behind mainstream materials.
As such, groups that are typically under-represented in traditional, canonical archives are finding themselves on the margins of the digital humanities. Digitization holds the promise of access to materials, including Latin@ and Latin American archival collections but first institutions need to collect them. So a Latin-American scholar working on, say, Willa Cather, could have access to her oeuvre from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, but she would have difficulty locating Spanish-language archival materials, even in U.S. archives. Focused initiatives for archiving and digitizing Latin@ materials would significantly enrich both scholarship and teaching in the cultural history of North American Latin@s, and would provide global access to those materials for future research, teaching, and learning across borders.