Between Advocacy, Research, and Praxis: A Critical Reassessment of the Open Access Discourse | Setsuko Yokoyama | ACH 2019

Association for Computers and the Humanities conference, Pittsburgh, July 23-26, 2019

Poster Session 

Between Advocacy, Research, and Praxis: A Critical Reassessment of the Open Access Discourse

Setsuko Yokoyama, University of Maryland, United States of America

“Within the field of digital humanities, open access is often considered a virtue that upholds practitioners to strive for making primary resources, scholarly monographs, and other educational materials publicly available. A case for adopting open access is often justified by the fact that research may be publicly funded in the first place, or in an effort to keep the humanities enterprise relevant beyond academia. What is seldom discussed, however, is that open access is a historical concept, bearing particular ideological biases. Kimberly Christen, for instance, critiques the access discourse, regarding the culturally appropriate access protocol she adopted for the content management system Mukurtu. In her “Does Information Really Want to be Free?” (2012), Christen argues how even a seemingly benign concept such as “public domain” has been used to exploit indigenous communities, further perpetuating the legacy of global colonialism. Taken up on the call of Christen to critically investigate the open access discourse, my poster examines how such concepts as “piracy” and “gatekeeping,” too, are not as black-and-white as open access advocates might have one believe. Using the Digital Frost Project as a case study, the poster invites my fellow special collection librarians, editors of electronic editions, digital humanities project coordinators, grant officers, and others, to consider how the otherwise prolific open access discourse may be ill-equipped to foster collaboration necessary for the development of an online platform. In addition to the unattended exhibition, I will deliver multiple 10-minute long walkthroughs of my argument during the poster presentation session.”

Source: Between Advocacy, Research, and Praxis: A Critical Reassessment of the Open Access Discourse | Setsuko Yokoyama | ACH 2019