The collaborative emphasis of this week’s readings (and our discussion of digital history/humanities this semester) has been one of the most attractive features of work in this field. It serves two of the major concerns I frequently face as a scholar – one, it broadens the field of study – making use of more hands and minds to cast a wider field of study – and two, it centralizes critique and conversation in a way that encourages participation of multiple voices.
Working on a small subject field, with resources scattered in various repositories that are frequently overlooked for categorization or consideration- digital tools and curated digital archives have unlocked a great deal of the hidden histories of people with disabilities. Placing these conversations in public, accessible spaces increases the participation of minority voices. Beyond that, it locates me in a conversation with scholars that challenge my thinking and encourage me to consider my role in the process.
Unfortunately, as I read this week, I was struck by the lack of collaborative digital deaf studies resources. Deaf studies as a field makes use of digital tools – they encourage collaboration, as a rule, but other than a wiki project proposal a few years ago, I haven’t seen any major efforts to cultivate scholarly discussions outside of walled institutions.
We have a digital journal, I’ve mentioned before: the DSDJ, but looking at the resources this week, I thought about the process of peer review that could occur. If videos were uploaded in smaller pieces, commentary were available on the page- enabling participation and dialogue with community members using technology like vialogues – this could make the peer review process more engaging and result in stronger works. I’m thinking of more efforts that could be made to enhance the use of the DSDJ as a tool and a resource – it might be worthwhile to send them an email and see if they could do something similar for at least one article per issue.