In recent years, greater awareness around issues of power, archival biases, silences in the archives, and lack of language diversity within the context of digitisation has developed not just in archival studies, but also in digital humanities (DH), digital history, and digital heritage (see for instance McPherson 2019; Earhart 2019; Risam 2015; Noble 2019; Mandell 2019). Nevertheless, computational resources available for languages other than English continue to remain on the whole scarce. Such Anglophone-centricity acts as a barrier to researchers, teachers and curators who work on, or teach with, materials in languages other than English. Indeed, the comparative lack of computational resources in other languages often dictates which tasks can be performed, with which tools and through which platforms (Viola and Fiscarelli 2021). Moreover, even when adaptations for other languages may be possible, identifying which changes should be implemented and perhaps more importantly, understanding the impacts that these may have, is often unclear (Fiormonte 2012, Mahoney 2018, Mullaney 2017). This typically means that one must inevitably make methodological compromises which are less than ideal.
But digital monolingualism does not have just methodological repercussions for the field. Because most of the large-scale digitisation programs have been carried out in the United States and in Europe, digital ecosystems equally suffer from a lack of geo-cultural diversity and DH practices outside the Global North continue to be heavily under-represented. The direct consequence of this linguistic and cultural polarisation is that geo-culturally peripheral work and minority voices are largely excluded from the wider scholarly conversation, thus inevitably perpetuating selection biases.
This edited volume will explore the contemporary and future relevance of multilingualism (and its cultural impact) in DH practices. The volume aims to bring together, advance, and reflect on recent work on the social and cultural relevance of multilingualism for scholarship, pedagogy, and public engagement around digital resources, methods, platforms, infrastructures, and computational tools in the context of DH. It answers the urgent need for approaching the digital not as something which is ‘transparent’ or ‘inanimate’ but as a culturally situated and organic entity embedding past, present, and future worlds which reacts to and impacts on institutional and methodological frameworks for knowledge creation.
We therefore welcome contributions that address the following and related themes:
- Theoretical reflections on digital transdisciplinary approaches to multilingual and digital research (and its intercultural implications);
- The development and application of multilingual and multicultural digital methods and infrastructures;
- Research into the nature and implications of studying diverse forms and processes of multilingual and multicultural research in the digital space for instance in the context of translation studies, transborder and transcultural studies, language pedagogy and education;
- Multilingual challenges in the application of NLP in humanities and social sciences research;
- Low resourced, minoritized or endangered languages in a digital space;
- More critical reflections about the contours and geolinguistically-framed definitions of ‘digital’ especially with reference to multilingualism in DH practices.
The guest editors are Dr Lorella Viola (C²DH - University of Luxembourg) and Paul Spence (King’s College London). Proposals should include paper title, the presenter’s name, contact information, and institutional affiliation and should be no more than 500 words in length (including references). Collaboratively authored submissions are welcome. Please send your contribution for consideration to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 September 2021 at the latest. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to send full contributions by 15 March 2022.
We have agreement with Routledge to develop a proposal for this edited volume, which would be featured in their series Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities. This series, one of the first and most highly regarded in the field, covers a wide range of disciplines and provides an authoritative reflection of the 'state of the art' in the application of computing and technology. The titles in this peer-reviewed series are critical reading not just for experts in digital humanities and technology issues, but for all scholars working in arts and humanities who need to understand the issues around digital research.
We look forward to receiving your contributions.
Lorella and Paul
Danet, Brenda, and Susan C. Herring, eds. (2007). The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.
‘Disrupting Digital Monolingualism Workshop’(2020). Language Acts & Worldmaking. June 2020. https://languageacts.org/digital-mediations/event/disrupting-digital-monolingualism/aims-and-themes/
Earhart, Amy E. (2019). ‘Chapter 18: Can Information Be Unfettered? Race and the New Digital Humanities Canon’. In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press. https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/read/untitled-88c11800-9446-469b-a3be-3fdb36bfbd1e/section/cf0af04d-73e3-4738-98d9-74c1ae3534e5#ch18
Fiormonte, Domenico (2012). Towards a Cultural Critique of the Digital Humanities. Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung 37:3 (141), pp. 59-76.
Galina Russell, Isabel (2014). ‘Geographical and Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Humanities’. Literary and Linguistic Computing 29 (3): 307–16. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqu005
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Lee, Carmen (2016). Multilingualism Online. 1 edition. London ; New York: Routledge.
Mandell, Laura. (2019). ‘Gender and Cultural Analytics: Finding or Making Stereotypes?’ In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren Klein. Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press. https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/read/untitled-f2acf72c-a469-49d8-be35-67f9ac1e3a60/section/5d9c1b63-7b60-42dd-8cda-bde837f638f4#ch01.
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McPherson, Tara. (2019). ‘“Chapter 9: Why Are the Digital Humanities So White? Or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation’. In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/read/untitled-88c11800-9446-469b-a3be-3fdb36bfbd1e/section/20df8acd-9ab9-4f35-8a5d-e91aa5f4a0ea#ch09.
Mullaney, Tom (2017): Call for proposals : Digital humanities Asia : Harnessing Digital Technologies to Advance the Study of the Non-Western World, 26-29 April 2018, Stanford University. https://carnetcase.hypotheses.org/3165 (accessed 24 April 2019).
Noble, Safiya Umoja. (2019). ‘Gender and Cultural Analytics: Finding or Making Stereotypes?’ In Debates in the Digital Humanities, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren Klein. Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press. https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/read/untitled-f2acf72c-a469-49d8-be35-67f9ac1e3a60/section/5aafe7fe-db7e-4ec1-935f-09d8028a2687#ch02.
Risam, Roopika. (2015). ‘Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and the Digital Humanities’. Digital Humanities Quarterly 9 (2).
Spence, Paul and Renata Brandao (forthcoming). ‘Towards Language Sensitivity and Diversity in the Digital Humanities’. Digital Studies/Le champ numérique.
Steyn, Juan, Tunde Ope-Davies, Felix Ameka, and Sara Petrollino (2020). ‘Building New Global DH Communities: Africa and Beyond’. In https://dh2020.adho.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/509_BuildingnewglobalDHcommunitiesAfricaandbeyond.html.
Swaan, Abram De (2002). Words of the World: The Global Language System. 1 edition. Cambridge, UK ; Malden, MA: Polity.
‘The European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity’(2015). The Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD).
Thieberger, Nick (2017). ‘What Remains to Be Done—Exposing Invisible Collections in the Other 7,000 Languages and Why It Is a DH Enterprise’. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 32 (2): 423–34. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqw006.
‘Towards Multilingualism in Digital Humanities 2019 Workshop (Zenodo)’ (2019). https://zenodo.org/communities/multilingual-dh/?page=1&size=20.
Tsui, Lik Hang (2016). The Digital Humanities as an Emerging Field in China. Asia Dialogue, University of Nottingham, https://theasiadialogue.com/2016/06/13/the-digital-humanities-as-an-emerging-field-in-china/
Viola, Lorella and Fiscarelli, Antonio Maria. (2021). "From digitised sources to digital data: Behind the scenes of (critically) enriching a digital heritage collection". In Proceedings of the International Conference Collect and Connect: Archives and Collections in a Digital Age, edited by Weber, A. Heerlien, M., Miracle, E. G. and Wolstencroft, K. CEUR – Workshops Proceedings.