Penn Humanities Forum Regional Fellow
2015—2016 Forum on Sex
Associate Professor of Literature
Emotions, Erotics and Constructing the Digital Humanities
This book chapter argues that major digital humanities scholars have deployed a discourse of disembodied rationality to deny the power of affect and emotion in determining what counts as digital humanities research. The work of sexuality studies scholars such as Gayle Rubin, Judith Butler, Eve Sedgewick, Audre Lorde, Sara Ahmed, Jack Halberstam and Sharon Holland has shown that this rationalized, disembodied discourse has been systematically used to deny the politics of bodily identification that place racialized, gendered and disabled bodies at the center of study. I use emotion and erotic theory by Ahmed and Lorde to argue for a strategic deployment of the erotic as a humanizing, community-building force within the digital humanities and to rethink the boundaries of the field.