Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities

(edited by Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont, University of Minnesota Press, 2018)

Reviewed by Elena Kalodner-Martin

Concluding Thoughts

This book is a helpful resource for those looking to explore the range of what practices and perspectives of digital humanities can look like, particularly those that may not be prioritized in other official academic and institutional spaces. The strength of this collection is in its steady pursuit of inclusivity and change, for if digital humanists are to keep using the old methodologies and tools, the field is bound to keep enacting the same ideologies that have historically kept women, people of color, queer and nonbinary folx, and those in the non-Western world out. This book offered tangible examples of the many ways to take up and practice an intersectional feminist lens in DH work, which I found most concretely helpful.

The book could benefit from a more precise organization schema. While the six boundary objects—materiality, values, embodiment, affect, labor, and situatedness—promise to provide structure, in practice, individual chapters within each section tend to speak to all of the major themes, rendering the overarching organization unnecessary. The bleed and messiness between these boundary objects was addressed in the introduction; however, I found the organization to be more distracting than helpful in thinking about which pieces were related and which focused their attention differently. The sections surrounding affect and embodiment most concretely developed the relationship of digital humanities' practices and projects to theory; other sections focused more on boundary objects as themes, such as the encompassing ideological beliefs of the field and concerns of labor practices.

Given this breadth, this collection is a helpful resource for those looking to orient themselves to the field of digital humanities. However, since boundary object sections can be read alone, this collection can be read in its entirety or in pieces, making this valuable for instructors who are strapped for time or are working with other materials. Given the collection's already interdisciplinary focus, this book can additionally support learning in intersectional feminism and the digital humanities in a range of academic and practical contexts or be supported with readings and theories from other disciplines, such as composition and rhetoric, gender and sexuality studies, Critical Race Studies, and professional writing and technical communication. For an overview of included texts or for more information about what each section offers for audiences, please visit the boundary objects' pages in this review.

Contrary to arguments that DH is failing to evolve, the projects and arguments within this book helped to demonstrate that the digital humanities are continually growing both inside and outside the academy. Bodies of Information offered an opportunity to look from wide-ranging topics like archival documents to artificial intelligence and from political economy to conference design, ultimately coming together to demonstrate how new voices, new people, and new ideas are shaping the field.