Session 8: Power and Privilege, Short Papers

Humanities Futures: Reflections on Digital Mapping for Democratizing the Production of Knowledge

Kelley Kreitz
Pace University

This paper draws on a mapping project,, that I have been conducting with students in introductory Latinx literature courses, which involves plotting addresses found in archival sources to recover the understudied community of writers, editors, printers, booksellers, who once led New York’s nineteenth-century Latinx press. I consider digital mapping as a research and pedagogical tool for confronting absences in the archive and for making history not just knowable, but also teachable in new ways that enable students to critique and confront structural inequality and systematic oppression. I argue that digital mapping provides a means of realizing the potential of our digitally dominated media system to put the past in conversation with current struggles for social justice. This paper speaks to those who research and teach courses in Latinx Studies. It is also meant to spark interdisciplinary conversation, especially among those working in fields that must confront absences and omissions in the archive, including hemispheric studies, black Atlantic studies, and indigenous studies.