The ASA Digital Humanities Caucus is pleased to announce that this year's Garfinkel Prize in Digital Humanities was awarded to Feminist in a Software Lab: Difference + Design, by Tara McPherson, Chair and Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California. From the Harvard University Press page:
For over a dozen years, the Vectors Lab has experimented with digital scholarship through its online publication, Vectors, and through Scalar, a multimedia authoring platform. The history of this software lab intersects a much longer tale about computation in the humanities, as well as tensions about the role of theory in related projects.
Tara McPherson considers debates around the role of cultural theory within the digital humanities and addresses Gary Hall’s claim that the goals of critical theory and of quantitative or computational analysis may be irreconcilable (or at the very least require “far more time and care”). She then asks what it might mean to design—from conception—digital tools and applications that emerge from contextual concerns of cultural theory and, in particular, from a feminist concern for difference. This path leads back to the Vectors Lab and its ongoing efforts at the intersection of theory and praxis.
This year's Honorable Mention went to Trials, Triumphs, and Transformations: Tennesseans' Search for Citizenship, Community, and Opportunity.
The Garfinkel Prize was established in 2016 to honor excellent work situated at the intersection of American Studies and the Digital Humanities. Previous honorees include the Colored Conventions Project (2017) and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (2016).