Postcolonial Digital Humanities and Poetry of the Global South

Postcolonial Digital Humanities and Poetry of the Global South

The Lab
Level 2 of the Digital Studio
West Wing of Arts West
(access via the rear lift)


Part of the Digital Research in Action workshop series.

Limited places available, make sure you register early so you do not miss out.

Postcolonial Digital Humanities and Poetry of the Global South

Dr Rahul K. Gairola
Murdoch University

With reference to critical and analytical thinking for postcolonial Digital Humanities, we will engage with poetry by "Third World" poets such as Chinua Achebe, Derek Walcott, and Meena Alexander. This workshop will draw on the works of these poets to explore how data visualisation applications can enrich and deepen our analyses of literary texts. Through collectively meditating on how we can deterritorialise the hegemony of Euocentric and Northern Hemisphere-centric knowledge production and archives in the Digital Humanities, participants will be guided in designing minimal computing exercises to expand the horizons of learning and teaching in relation to postcolonial texts. The workshop will define and explore the nascent field of postcolonial Digital Humanities so that participants have a theoretical lens through which we can approach the texts and tools.

Participants will also be invited to bring to the session a digital poem that, for them, speaks to the meaning of "postcolonial." The workshop will engage with Voyant, word cloud generators, and mapping platforms (if time permits) that empower us to visualise how and where these postcolonial poems "take place" in the digital milieu, in order to consider how perceptions of Digital Humanities and the Global South have shifted. Our focus will be on strategies of minimal computing with respect to countries and communities that have limited resources, infrastructure, and those demographies that have been historically marginalised by what scholar Melissa Terras calls "Big Tent DH."

This introductory workshop requires no previous knowledge of sophisticated computer applications or coding languages, just a working knowledge of internet browsers.

Dr Rahul K. Gairola is The Krishna Somers Lecturer in English and Postcolonial Literature and a Fellow of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University, Western Australia. He is the author of Homelandings: Postcolonial Diasporas and Transatlantic Belonging (London and New York: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016), co-editor of Revisiting India’s Partition: New Essays in Memory, Culture, and Politics (Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan, 2016/ Lanham, USA: Lexington Books), and has widely published in peer-reviewed journals and books. He is also an Article Editor for Postcolonial Text, and serves on the Executive Committees of the Australasian Association of Digital Humanities (aaDH), Global Outlook Digital Humanities (GO::DH), the Digital Humanities Alliance of India (DHAI), and the international ADHO 2020-Ottawa convention. He is currently working on two books with Routledge on South Asian diasporas. Since May 2019, he has been the HASS DEVL Champion for Western Australia.

Image: Map of the world re-sized based on the home countries of people who have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Source: WorldMapper.