DH and Social Justice with Laura Sanders and Kathi Inman Berens

This week on the DH Podcast, I sat down with Laura Sanders and Kathi Inman Berens.


Laura Sanders currently teaches as an adjunct for community colleges in Oregon and California. She also currently serves as teaching learning center coordinator, online English faculty mentor, and community-based learning coordinator for Portland Community College. Laura has taught composition and rhetoric at private research institutions, small liberal arts colleges, state universities, and community colleges. In recent years, she has served as co-editor of an accreditation self-study, interim grants officer, and academic department assessment coach. Combining her passions for professional development and social justice, she continues to seek the sweet spot between digital humanities and online community-based learning.


Kathi Inman Berens is Assistant Professor of Book Publishing and Digital Humanities in Portland State University’s English department.  Kathi adjuncted for three years between full-time jobs, and aims to open avenues of access for adjuncts and other faculty at non-elite institutions to practice digital humanities.  As an adjunct, Kathi was appointed the Fulbright Scholar of Digital Culture to Norway 2014-15.  In addition to her work in DH, electronic literature and video games, Kathi specializes in digital pedagogy.  She authored the forthcoming: “Sharing Precarity: Adjuncts, Global DH and Care” for the Debates in Digital Humanities 2017 collection (U. Minnesota Press), and curated the keyword “Interface” for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, MLA’s first open access publication.  Kathi lectures, delivers workshops, and consults about digital pedagogy and online learning.


I asked Laura and Kathi to recount and elaborate upon some of the main themes from their recent presentation at MLA as part of “DH 101: Revisiting the Introduction to Digital Humanities Course.” We had the chance to dive more deeply into the importance of adjuncts in the digital humanities, how DH can serve as a tool for social justice, and the false neutrality of digital tools among a variety of other topics.


I encourage you to check out the excellent DH materials Kathi and Laura have uploaded to MLA Commons. Kathi also mentions her excellent article, “Want to ‘Save the Humanities’? Pay Adjuncts to Learn Digital Tools,” which can be found here.


If you’re interested in reading more on some of today’s topics, I encourage you to head over the the DH Blog, where our guests were gracious enough to provide a reading list. Happy listening!