Access and Control in Digital Humanities

Shane Hawkins's picture
Call for Publications
March 1, 2020
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Indigenous Studies, Research and Methodology, Public Policy

Access and Control in Digital Humanities (edited volume for Routledge)


The editor is looking for contributions in the following 3 areas in order to complete a volume contracted with Routledge (description follows):

1. Access, Control and Indigenous Studies (possible topics include: indigenous perspectives, knowledge management and ethics of sharing indigenous knowledge, differential access, data sovereignty, decolonial analysis and DH, digital storytelling in indigenous communities).

2. Access, Control and Disability Studies (possible topics include: DH and embodied relationships to data, designing for disability, universal design, disability and interface, access vs. inclusion, accessibility and standards/compliance, case studies)

3. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), privacy legislation and its impact on the DH community.


While DH is seen by some as especially interdisciplinary or more conducive to group work, linked data, and open research, including both access to results and participation in research itself, the very nature of its connectedness creates challenges for researchers who wish to assert control of data, have some role in how data is used or how work is acknowledged, and how it is attributed and recorded. Researchers involved in any substantial DH project must confront similar questions: who should be allowed to make reproductions of artifacts, which ones, how many, how often, of what quality and at what cost, what are the rights of possession and reproduction, including access, copyright, intellectual property rights or digital rights management. Given the potential of open and accessible data, it is sometimes suggested that DH might be a much-needed bridge between ivory tower institutions and the general public. The promise of DH in this regard, however, still remains in many ways unfulfilled, raising the question of who DH is for, if not solely for bodies of like-minded academics.

Contributors to this volume have varied experiences with applications for digital technology in the classroom, in museums and archives, and with the general public, and they present answers to these problems from a variety of perspectives. Digital Humanities is not a homogeneous enterprise, and we find that DH functions differently in different fields across the humanities and is put to different ends with varying results. As a result, one may already (fore)see DH moving in distinct directions in individual academic fields, but whether this splintering will have a positive effect or is an indication that disciplines are retreating to their respective silos, remains to be seen. We need to understand better how such differences are communicated among various fields, and how those results are adopted, not to mention evaluated, and by whom. This volume addresses these issues with concrete examples from researchers in the field.

Contact Info: 

Shane Hawkins

300 Paterson Hall

1125 Colonel By Drive

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario  K1S 5B6