Birds of a Feather session Digital Humanities Australasia 2018


MAYA DODD 1 , Anjali Chandawarkar 1 , Kunjika Pathak 1
  1. Humanities and Languages, FLAME University, Pune, India



As PP Sneha notes, "The efforts to map different histories of DH in the last couple of years, seen in the emergence of fields such as postcolonial DH and feminist DH, point to diverse locations."

Practices of collaborative work privilege co-operation and challenge discrete models of creation. To be culturally specific to an Indian model is to also be sensitive to varied models of creation and reception.

As digital pedagogies are explored, this panel seeks to find a model that suits contextual needs, defies hierarchies of access, and engages with the transitions to digitality. My paper will examine DH coursework and sustained student-driven collaborative projects in the undergraduate classroom in a liberal arts college in India. It will use key examples to indicate the challenge posed by affording digital access to public humanities work. To speak across these gaps entails a maker-culture bridging institutions, curating through crowdsourcing, and understanding design as central to accessing robust academic synthesis.

Noting the theme of this conference as “Making Connections”, our panel aims to highlight several mediums that congregate to enable the collaborative digital documentation of an integral Indian cultural practice – Garba.

Anjali Chandawarkar and Kunjika Pathak: THE GARBA ARCHIVES

Garba has a collaborative spirit that has evolved over the years, and seeing this as an opportunity to create a digital archive that spans several discourses, we created a digital platform for the creation of connections. Our project - an archive that showcases the ritualistic Gujarati practice of Garba - aims to grow into an interactive space where culture, gender, and devotion connect and lead the conversation.

Our work aspires to fill the lacuna between the rich long-standing history of Garba and the creation of its digial archive. The process itself has involved bilingual transliteration and translation of text and audio recordings, crowdsourcing from the community itself, and finally the curation of material procured. It entails drawing several connections amongst singers, dancers, communities, artisans, and academicians. We will demonstrate how we collaborated with several communities in the creation of this site and the challenges we encountered along the way. The site is an ongoing venture and we hope to learn even more from participants at this event.

To this end, a discussion on what digital pedagogies seek to achieve and how they propose to get there is the focus of this panel.

  1. PP Sneha, Mapping Digital Humanities in India