Masterclass and Public Lecture with Radhika Gajjala (24 May, Utrecht University)

On 24 May Prof. Radhika Gajjala will give a masterclass at Utrecht University on ‘E-diasporas in big and small “data” space: A postcolonial and feminist perspective’. After the masterclass she will give a public lecture on ‘Archives of Subalternity: Questions and Provocations for Digital Humanities’.

Radhika Gajjala is currently a Fulbright Professor in Digital Culture at the University of Bergen (Norway) and a Professor of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University (Ohio).


With the growth of international (im)migration, refugee crises, labour recruitment, leisure activity and social diasporic community connectivity through digital space across time zones the last two decades, the Internet and related wireless and mobile technologies have become crucial for members of various diasporic communities seeking to connect with both their countries of origin and their host nations. Connections are established not only through social media and email, but also through money transfers, philanthropy and business, gaming and related virtual environments. In addition, we also have new forms of digital diaspora that occur through offshore labour forces that have their bodies in their “home” nations but work in time zones and relational socio-financial and organizational spaces that exist “in diaspora.” This masterclass will explore issues of theory and method around formations of e-diasporas in big and small digital “data” space.

Participation is free and open to both beginning and experienced scholars, PhD students and research master students who want to present short papers or questions & reflections on work in progress (any format) connected to this theme.

Public lecture

Digital archives of subalternity are being built in corporate media and popular culture and through philanthropy 2.0 – without proper investigation into subaltern histories and contexts or any form of subaltern participation. If digital humanities is a scramble to digitize and organize information, the popular, commercial and NGO based renderings of the digital subaltern should matter very much for projects ranging from digital history collections, cultural archives and big data. Popular culture and media are indeed considered part of such informational archive but don’t always include commercial/marketing platforms that become used as representations of authentic subalternity even as in actuality they are selectively staged. Add to this mix the interactivity of web 2.0 and gamification and we have social justice projects that emerge in digital contexts in the hopes of connecting the haves and have-nots in digital giving and sharing. A central issue for Gajjala’s presentation is to ask –“What does it mean to build a humanities database of subaltern contemporary lives?” In an emerging formation of digital humanities that is strongly practice based and in which everything is about “data” which in turn is a capital asset, how do we raise the question of “the subaltern citizen”? Should we?

Date: Tuesday 24 May 2016
Time: 09.30-13.30 hrs

Public lecture:
Date: Tuesday May 24, 2016
Time: 16.00-18.00 hrs
Location: Drift 21, room 0.05