Alternative Historiographies of the Digital Humanities (Punctum, 2021)

I am so happy to announce that my essay “Why are the Digital Humanities So Straight?”–which is inspired by and riffs on Tara McPherson’s great piece “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White?“–is finally in print and out in Alternative Historiographies of the Digital Humanities (Punctum 2021) edited by Dorothy Kim and Adeline Koh. It has been a journey for this piece, which was first submitted in 2015, and now nearly six years later, it is finally here!

I wanted to experiment and play a little with the academic essay format, and I wanted what I was writing about, analyzing, and theorizing to somehow be obvious in the form of the essay. So, I came up with the idea of writing the essay in the form of a BASIC program, one that was executable and playable as a text game. I am so glad that the editors were open to the idea.

I had originally written the piece for an 80-character line, and in the process of getting it ready for the collection, I had to convert everything to a 40-character line. It is a little denser to look at, but it still works, I think. Eventually, a text file of the program will be available so people can load it into a PC BASIC emulator and run it and play it.

Alas, because it was written so many years ago, it is already in many ways obsolete and should include many great references to the work of amazing queer digital humanities folks like Kara Keeling’s “Queer OS,” Fiona Barnett et al.’s “QueerOS: A User’s Manual,” and Bonnie Ruberg, Jason Boyd, and James Howe’s “Toward a Queer Digital Humanities.” Maybe I will do a version 2.0 of the essay sometime in the future!

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