Digital Ethnic Futures
2022-2023 Events

2022-2023 Events

During the 2022-2023 academic year, we’re organizing a speaker series, networking opportunities, and a virtual annual meeting.

Various Dates

DEFCon Reading Group

We are excited to launch the DEFCon Reading Group, an opportunity to connect with other DEFCon members. For each meeting, we suggest several entries to read as we work our way through Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, edited by Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris (also a DEFCon Mentor!), and Jentery Sayers. The book is available open access here. We’re varying the meeting times from month to month to make them as available to as many community members as we can.

We’d love to have community members lead each conversation! If you’re interested in leading, drop a note to Roopika Risam at


Wednesday, October 5, 2022, 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific – “Access,” “Affect,” and “Annotation” – Register

Monday, November 7, 2022, 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific – “Archive,” “Assessment,” and “Authorship” – Register

Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific – “Blogging,” “Classroom,” and “Code” – Register

Monday, January 9, 2023, 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific – “Collaboration,” “Community,” and “Community College” – Register

Friday, February 3, 2023, 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific – “Curation,” “Design,” and “Diaspora” – Register

Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific – “Digital Divides,” “Disability,” and “Eportfolios” – Register

Monday, April 3, 2023, 5pm Eastern/2pm Pacific – “Failure,” “Fiction,” and “Fieldwork” – Register

Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific – “Futures,” “Gaming,” and “Gender” – Register

February 21, 2023, 5PM Eastern/2PM Pacific – Register

DEFCon Speaker Series: Brandon Walsh, University of Virginia

The DEFCon Speaker Series continues on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 5:00pm Eastern/2:00pm Pacific with “Beyond Projecting: Planning DH Course Projects that Work for You,” a workshop with Brandon Walsh, Head of Student Programs at the Scholars’ Lab at UVA. 

Many instructors include digital projects as the logical final assignments in digital humanities courses. Doing so introduces a host of challenges, however, and it can become all too easy to feel committed to the idea of the digital project in a way that overwhelms our course goals, our students, and ourselves. From a practical standpoint, Walsh will explore ways to manage the logistics of planning for the incorporation of course-long digital projects into teaching. Learn more about the talk on our blog

Brandon Walsh is Head of Student Programs in the Scholars’ Lab in the University of Virginia Library. Prior to that, he was Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow in the Washington and Lee University Library. He received his PhD and MA from the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he also held fellowships in the Scholars’ Lab and acted as Project Manager of NINES. His primary research focuses on digital humanities pedagogy, looking at the ways it can reflect and enact infrastructural change in higher education. He serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. He is a regular instructor at HILT, and he has work published or forthcoming with Programming Historian, Insights, the #DLFteach Toolkit 1.0, Pedagogy, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, and Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, among others.

December 15, 2022, 1PM Eastern/10AM Pacific – Register

DEFCon Speaker Series: Tatiana Bryant, Barnard College

Please join us on Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific for the DEFCon Speaker Series: “A Q&A on Teaching Digital Humanities,” with Tatiana Bryant. Formerly of University of California Irvine, Bryant is the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Research Services at Barnard College.

A Q&A on Teaching Digital Humanities

Are you an instructor who wonders how to build a relationship with a librarian colleague? Are you a librarian who wants to ask for advice on collaborations with faculty and students? Want some advice on a platform or methodology for a project? Join us with your questions at the ready! 

Bio: Tatiana Bryant is Director of Teaching, Learning, and Research Services at Barnard College. leads the Personal Librarian (PL) team, who provide specialized research and instruction services for all Barnard students and serve as subject liaisons to all academic departments. Before joining Barnard she held a variety of academic library positions, most recently as the Research Librarian for Digital Humanities, History, and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She earned a MPA from New York University, a MSLIS from Pratt Institute, and a B.A. in History from Hampton University.

November 14, 2022, 1PM Eastern/10AM Pacific – Register

DEFCon Speaker Series: Dr. Anelise Shrout, Bates College

Please join us on Monday, November 14, 2022 at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific for the DEFCon Speaker Series: “Institutional Critique with Student Collaborators,” with Dr. Anelise Shrout. Formerly at Cal State Fullerton, Dr. Shrout is a leader in digital history pedagogy and was a DEFCon Mentor for 2021-2022.

Institutional Critiques with Student Collaborators

Colleges and universities in the United States have complicated histories, often implicated in white supremacy and settler colonialism. Learning to see and critically react to those histories can be a fraught task, for staff, faculty and students alike. For the past four years, Dr. Shrout has taught a class that introduces students to quantitative digital methods as a way to better understand Bates College. Bates was founded in 1837 by radical free-will Baptists who were also abolitionists. It is built on unneeded Wabanaki land. It was funded by the largesse of Benjamin Bates, the owner of a local cotton mill. Throughout the early nineteenth century the Bates Mills purchased cotton produced by enslaved people. That cotton was converted into cloth by vulnerable workers, including children. This talk details the ways that this course introduces students to tools that help them to better understand and to publicly share these histories. It focuses on the practices of student collaboration on difficult or challenging topics.

Bio: Anelise Shrout holds a PhD in history from New York University. She is currently an assistant professor, teaching digital and computational studies at Bates College. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of History at California State University Fullerton. Her research focuses on the nineteenth-century origins of international humanitarianism, and particularly the ways in which philanthropic donations were used as proxies for arguments about governance in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. She is also interested in how the “internet age” changes the way we interact with sources and with students – and in how the digital humanities shape what we do both as scholars and as teachers.

October 26, 2022, 12PM Eastern/9AM Pacific – Register

DEFCon Speaker Series: Gisely Colon Lopez, CUNY Graduate Center

Please join us on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific for the DEFCon Speaker Series: “Digital Mapping as a Strategy for Course-Community Building,” with Gisely Colon Lopez. She has done remarkable work with students and digital archives and was a DEFCon Teaching Fellow for 2021-2022.

Digital Mapping as a Strategy for Course-Community Building

This interactive talk will demonstrate strategies and tools that can be used in educational settings to enhance the teaching and learning process. Appropriate for many disciplines, this talk will integrate and demonstrate the use of ZeeMaps as a method of community-building amongst students to create a visual product connected to course goals and objectives. Participants will have an opportunity to develop a collaborative map as a takeaway and model of instruction from the talk. Talk attendees will have access to a ZeeMap provided by the presenter and are not required to create an account with the program to participate.

Bio: With more than 10 years of experience working as an educator in public schools for both K-12 and higher education in the U.S. Northeast, Gisely Colon Lopez fuses her lived experience as a multilingual learner and mixed media artist to develop a praxis of engagement in these settings. An advocate and student of the field of ethnic studies, Gisely is interested in exploring the pedagogical and epistemological processes that contribute to the effectiveness of ethnic studies beyond statistical metrics such as graduation rates and test scores. A doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center, she engages decolonial theories, digital archives, digital mapping, and critical visual methodologies as the basis of her research.

September 26, 2022, 3PM Eastern/12PM Pacific – Register

DEFCon Speaker Series: Dr. Danica Savonick, SUNY Cortland

The DEFCon Speaker Series returns on Monday, September 26th at 3pm Eastern with a talk by Dr. Danica Savonick, a leader in digital pedagogy and one of last year’s DEFCon Mentors.

“Teaching DH on a Shoestring” 

This talk explores minimalist digital humanities pedagogy: strategies for teaching DH at schools that don’t have many resources for doing so. Today, the vast majority (roughly 87%) of the schools that offer DH programs are research-focused universities and private universities. Yet if digital humanities is taught primarily in elite and exclusive institutions, it can actually reproduce, or even exacerbate, existing inequities by equipping more affluent students with extensive digital skills, while students at under-resourced institutions fall farther behind. This talk highlights approaches to digital ethnic studies that maximize learning while minimizing barriers of access, cost, and time (for both instructors and students). I explore how we can use free, low-cost, and open-source tools to help students increase their digital literacy, including their awareness of the ways technologies reproduce and challenge inequality, and to create public projects that can impact audiences beyond the classroom. It is my hope that this talk will inform a broader discussion about how we can help students develop digital skills that will enable them both to navigate the world and to change it.

Bio: Dr. Danica Savonick is an ACLS Fellow and an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Cortland. Her research and teaching focus on twentieth-century and contemporary U.S. literature, feminist pedagogy, and social justice. She is currently completing a book manuscript, “Insurgent Knowledge: the Poetics and Pedagogy of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich in the Era of Open Admissions” (under contract with Duke University Press). Her work has appeared in American Literature, MELUS, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Modern Fiction Studies, as well as Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle. She is an editor of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy and a member of the Steering Committee. You can find her on Twitter @danicasav.