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Digital Storytelling Colloquium Presentation

Digital Care Work: Telling Stories That Change Our Lives

Digital humanities methods have offered scholars, teachers, students, and community members new opportunities to collaborate on projects that surface previously unexplored histories, experiences, and social geographies. While such projects have enormous potential for democratizing knowledge and connecting universities with communities, they also demand radically different approaches to scholarship and a reckoning with our responsibilities to the communities that our work engages. In this talk, Dr. Maria Cotera will reflect on her 15  years with the Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective, an oral history and archive  project that documents the emergence of Chicana feminist praxis in the 1960s and 1970s. Her talk will explore the challenges and rewards of this digital care work, and its implications for scholarly projects that engage communities impacted by settler colonialism, enslavement, and genocide.


Dr. Maria Eugenia Cotera is an associate professor in the Mexican American and Latino Studies Department at the University of Texas—Austin. She holds a PhD from Stanford University’s Program in Modern Thought, and an MA in English from the University of Texas. Her first book, Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita González, and the Poetics of Culture, (University of Texas Press, 2008) received the Gloria Anzaldúa book prize for 2009 from the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA). Her edited volume (with Dionne Espinoza and Maylei Blackwell), Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Feminism and Activism in the Movement Era (University of Texas Press, 2018) has been adopted in courses across the country. Professor Cotera is the co-founder and project director of the Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective, an online interactive archive of oral histories and material culture documenting Chicana Feminist praxis from the 1960s to the 1990s. She has curated several public history exhibits, including Las Rebeldes: Stories of Strength and Struggle in southeast Michigan (2013) and Chicana Fotos: Nancy De Los Santos (2017) and currently serves as an advisor/consultant numerous large-scale digital public humanities projects focusing on the Latinx experience. Professor Cotera has served on the National Council for the American Studies Association (2007-2010), the governing board of the Latina/o Studies Association (2014-2015), the program committee for the National Women’s Studies Association (2017-2018), the Arte Público Recovery Project Governing Board (2018-present), and the ACLS Commission on Fostering and Sustaining Diverse Digital Scholarship (2021-2023).


The IDRH Digital Storytelling Colloquium is a series of virtual events focused on the ethics, politics, and techniques of digital storytelling. Stretched over the length of the academic year, the events feature exemplary projects from across the world and across the KU campus, model digital storytelling practices, and introduce participants to a range of digital storytelling tools. The vision of the colloquium is to build a community of inquiry and an incubator for ideas. 

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