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2013 November College English, v76.2

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Special Issue: The Digital Humanities and Historiography in Rhetoric and Composition
Guest Editors: Jessica Enoch and David Gold

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 0010-0994


College English
Volume 76, Number 2, November 2013

Special Issue: The Digital Humanities and Historiography in Rhetoric and Composition

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Editors' Introduction--Seizing the Methodological Moment: The Digital Humanities and Historiography in Rhetoric and Composition
Guest Editors: Jessica Enoch and David Gold
Abstract: Although rhetoric and composition has long engaged with emerging digital technologies, historians in our field have not yet in large part entered these conversations. In this special issue, we present four essays by scholars building digital historiographic projects, each of which directly addresses values and concerns that lie at the heart of critical practice in rhetoric and composition: engaging underrepresented and marginalized communities; taking up critically important questions regarding historiographic investigation; and emphasizing collaboration among both scholars and stakeholder groups. Together, these essays contribute significantly to the still nascent conversation regarding how the digital intersects with the historical.

Wampum, Sequoyan, and Story: Decolonizing the Digital Archive
Ellen Cushman
Abstract: Archives have a long and troubled history as imperialist endeavors. Scholars of digital archives can begin to decolonize the archive by asking, how is knowledge imparted, in what media, by whom, and for what ends? Drawing on a six-year-long ethnohistorical study of Cherokee language and writing, I explore these questions and analyze the epistemological work of wampum, Sequoyan, and digital storytelling. I argue that decolonial digital archives have built into them the instrumental, historical, and cultural meanings of whatever media they include. To be understood in and on their terms, these media need to be contextualized within the notions of time, social practices, stories, and languages that lend them meaning.

Delivering Textual Diaspora: Building Digital Cultural Repositories as Rhetoric Research
Jim Ridolfo
Abstract: This essay considers the dispersed Samaritan manuscripts as a challenge for digital and rhetorical scholars. Although the entire Samaritan population of 760 lives in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, most of their manuscripts are housed in libraries, collections, and museums across the world. Drawing on interviews and archival research, I introduce the term textual diaspora to describe how some Samaritan Elders are strategically thinking about the future digital delivery of manuscripts in diaspora, and I suggest the importance of engaging with stakeholders when building digital repositories in the humanities.

East Texas Activism (1966–68): Locating the Literacy Scene through the Digital Humanities
Shannon Carter and Kelly L. Dent
Abstract: This article suggests ways digital tools and platforms can help researchers capture the local and global forces that interanimate local literacy scenes. As a concrete example, we offer Remixing Rural Texas (RRT), describing the way this digital tool works to capture a targeted literacy scene: the civil rights efforts of two African American students on a recently desegregated campus in 1967–68. RRT features an eighteen-minute documentary about these efforts, remixed almost entirely from existing archival materials, and a data-source annotation tool that connects the local literacy scene to global events. We conclude with an extended treatment of local stakeholders and the way RRT enables more sustainable, reciprocal, and participatory partnerships with the local community.

From Location(s) to Locatability: Mapping Feminist Recovery and Archival Activity through Metadata
Tarez Samra Graban
Abstract: This article describes the author’s development of a digital historical tool that collects and visualizes metadata on women’s pedagogical activities from the Progressive Era through the present. The tool, Metadata Mapping Project, offers a new take on historical mapping by focusing on the locatability of documents, subjects, and events, and by making it possible for users to trace activities that would otherwise occur as references in archival ephemera. Using one pedagogue as an example of how the database can work, this article also considers the implications of this and other tools for feminist rhetorical historiography, especially for constructing rhetorical ecologies that are not artifact based.

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