Organizations like HASTAC, Imagining America, the Obermann Graduate Institute for Public Engagement at the University of Iowa, the Center for Teaching at the University of Iowa, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington aim to democratize knowledge to reach out to "publics," share academic discoveries, and invite an array of audiences to participate in knowledge production. Of course, emerging technologies and media offer the potential to widen even further the reach of public scholarship and the breadth of community partnerships.
More specifically, in the context of the digital humanities, democratizing knowledge often refers to making scholarship public, to opening access to university resources and research through, for example, the creation and preservation of digital archives and journals.
For scholars, these projects afford rich possibilities for deep collaborative work that is ongoing and historically absent from the humanities' scholarly paradigm.
Yet practitioners of the digital humanities can also democratize knowledge by collaborating with their community partners to produce public scholarship, often through action research, experiential learning, and civically engaged pedagogy, all of which ultimately re-situate and reformulate expertise. According to Teresa Mangum (faculty at University of Iowa and co-director of the Obermann Institute on Public Engagement), as with new information technologies, public scholarship can radically redefine who finds, owns, and gives knowledge. Put this way, the goal is for practitioners to forward research and pedagogy while serving the community in a way that is a truly reciprocal partnership.
22 September 2009
HASTAC Forum: "Democratizing Knowledge in the Digital Humanities"
The first HASTAC scholars discussion of the 2009-2010 season is up and running. Check it out, or come join the chatter.