In this essay, we examine the invisibility of pedagogical labor in digital humanities. We argue that the complexities of teaching DH require modes of instruction and effort that are unusual, uncounted, and undertheorized. Unlike publications or citation counts, it is difficult to quantify or to review. Why does DH teaching involve so much extra effort? What is it about either those who teach or the subject itself that leads people to go above and beyond in the classroom?
Drawing on an international survey of the DH pedagogues, we consider three particular forms of invisible labor that are common with DH: guest speakers in courses, multiple instructors in the classroom, and the practice of self-publishing materials related to one’s pedagogy. We then inquire as to the reason for so much additional labor and trace its cause to both the way that universities value labor and the values that the digital humanities community professes to hold. For this last point, we draw on Lisa Spiro’s “‘This is Why We Fight’” and show that enacting these values results in this labor’s simultaneous (in)visibility.