“Digital Humanities, the Undergraduate Classroom, Feminist Scholarship: The Theoretical Possibilities of Upsetting Centers and Margins”

Table ronde led with Bénédicte Monicat
8th International Women in French Conference
June 9th-11th, 2016
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

What can digital humanities mean, in both concrete and conceptual terms, for our teaching and research endeavors? As we present an instance of its experimental inclusion in the undergraduate classroom, we hope to facilitate a more general exchange on a topic that speaks to the questions of centers and margins addressed throughout this conference. We start with the digitized volumes of a nineteenth-century journal for girls, Le Magasin des demoiselles, and chronicle the work and interrogations they generated (for both students and instructors) in two 400-level literature and culture classes. These case studies cast light upon the potential for marginal research practices in the humanities—collaborative endeavors, open-ended projects, quantitative objects and objectives—to inform not just undergraduates’ projects but also feminist scholarship and theory more broadly. Furthermore, we will touch upon the obstacles, failures, and impasses that we encountered in the course of this project and open a dialogue on strategies for implementing digital tools and methodologies in research and teaching ventures.