This space is the repository for the papers, presentations (slides, videos, etc) that will form the basis of the CSDH-SCHN 2021 online conference, to take place May 30-June 3rd.

Orienting Toward Social Justice: Trans, Anti-Racist, Anti-Colonial, Feminist, Queer, and Crip Approaches to Ethical Practices in the Digital Humanities

This paper surveys scholarship on ethics and the digital humanities from the perspectives of trans, queer, Black, Indigenous, people-of-color, feminist, and crip scholarship and activism, using our project, the Transgender Media Portal (, as a case study. Although they have their own specificities, these fields also weave together and share a common focus on thoughtful, self-reflective ethics. They invite us to think carefully and act ethically in terms of: power (e.g. What kinds of power do team and community members bring to the table? Who is not in the room? How is the project governed?); labor (e.g. Who does what kind of labor? How are they recognized? How fairly and quickly are they compensated? How sustainable are these ways of working?); value (e.g. Who benefits?); credit (e.g. Who get credit for their labor? Who do we cite?); privacy (e.g. What kind of things should not get put online? What are the appropriate protocols for sharing things with various people?); and harm (e.g. Does our work leave people vulnerable to harm? Does it gravely misrepresent them?).

We will explore two key challenges of the digital humanities:

1) Running a lab: How to run a lab that is fair, transparent, effective, fun, and in line with trans, anti-racist, anti-colonial, feminist, queer, and crip values?

2) Collaborating with marginalized communities: What does meaningful and ethical collaboration with marginalized communities look like in the context of a federally funded university-based digital humanities project led by a white cis researcher?

This paper will survey existing scholarship on these two questions and explore the steps the Transgender Media Lab and Transgender Media Portal has taken and the challenges we have faced. We will describe the anti-oppression commitments our project made in July 2019 in response to our first usability tests/community consultations and where we hope to go in the future.

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