A provocation: Are DT the cure-all in order to bring forward sub-altern identities in education and politics?

I found Bailey’s “All the Digital Humanists Are White, All the Nerds Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave”, Tufekci’s Twitter and Tear Gas, and Jackson’s Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice very intimately related since the three bring forward the power of Digital Technologies to unsettle the until now centered hegemonies of education’s male white identity politics according to Bailey, abusive governments as described by Tufekci, and mainstream media following the work of Jackson, Bailey and Welles.
Q1: Are DT the cure-all in order to bring forward sub-altern identities to the cultural debate? (Ricardo) how does it work with the rise connectivism in the teaching experience? (Lidia)
I strongly agree with Tufekci and Bailey and the fact that one must be cautious since DT is just a tool and us as educators or actvists are ultimately “the square pegs that expose the unacknowledged round holes”, namely, us as political agents within the realm of education or activism are ultimately in charge of using the methods and making the room for this until now obscured identities to come forward and develop their own center of the conversation.
Likewise, I found interesting Tufekci’s argument regarding the threats of DT when used by perpetrators. Ultimately, proponents of those hegemonic white centers of power are not going to keep using camels as in the case of Tahir square but will engage in more savvy ways of using DT to fight back any decentering of this hegemonic identities such as demonizing online mediums, and mobilizing armies of supporters or paid employees who muddy the online waters with misinformation, information glut, doubt, confusion, harrasment, and distraction and making it hard for ordinary people to navigate the networked public sphere.
Q2: What specific new methods should we follow as educators in our own fields under this new set of rules to generate equity in education?
Moreover, Tofekci also mentions the fact that these DT’s are always mediated by Ad-supported searching engines that will re-center once again power to anyone who is still in possesion of capital. In this sense I beliebe this is not the end of mono-centric or nation-state sanctioned identities but an opportunity to distabilize these that one must handle with caution under a different set of rules applied to a relatively similar context.
Q3: Are there other paths beyond the use of free software that we as educator should be embracing in order to keep hegemonic subjects from acquiring full control in this Digital Technology based era?
Regarding this matter I found Bailey’s mention of reaching girls of color in elementary and middle school with opportunities to engage STEM before they are tracked away from it, or the work of #transformDH or the promise of THATCamp Theory very inspiring. Follwing the work of these scholars I strongly believe the use of free software that is not mediated by corporations (Adobe, Google, TurnItIn, Microsoft) is one of the keys in order to “make room at the table” and provide the necessary frameworks and skills for our students to develop their own spaces. In sum, and following Tofekci’s work, Digital Technologies or open participation afforded by social media does not always mean equal participation, and it certainly does not mean a smooth process.
Q4: Is the digital realm the only perspective that should be interrogated within Digital Humanities regarding the rise of Digital Technologies?
I wanted to quickly mention Bailey’s statement on the fact that the study of DT as a field does not neccesarily mean exclusively interrogating digital realities. Since DT’s are producing a myriad of inequities in real life such as  the exploitation of indigenous women’s labor in the construction of digital devices, the alienated labor of people of color in the production of technology or structures that impede women from connecting to digital humanities. I wonder if as scholars this perspective can teach us a useful lesson ir order to look at some until now blindspots regarding problems in real life that our students must be suffering following the rise of DT.
Q5: Are there other inequities in real life generated by the rise of Digital Technologies that we as educators should be paying attention?

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message