JCB Fellow's Talk: Allison Bigelow

March 21, 2018 - 4:00pm

Allison Bigelow (University of Virginia), John Carter Brown Library Associates Fellow

“Technical Literacies and Data Sovereignty: Documenting and Remediating Indigenous Knowledges in Mesoamerica and the Andes”

Archival records from the Andean silver industry relay detailed census data of communities drafted into the mines and refineries of Potosí, but they are entirely silent on Indigenous knowledge production. In this talk, Bigelow will share the literary and linguistic strategies that she uses to show when Quechua- and Aymara-speaking miners contributed key forms of technical knowledge, and how their knowledge was silenced from scientific histories. In the second half of the talk, she will reflect on the ethical challenges of sharing elements of Indigenous knowledge, artistic expression, and spiritual convictions today. In particular what are the technical and ethical challenges that Digital Humanities practitioners face in re-mediating Indigenous artistic, cultural, and textual traditions to a global audience? How might we reconcile the concerns of Indigenous data sovereignty with best practices in the Digital Humanities? Bigelow will use an ongoing project on the Popol Wuj, based at University of Virginia, to reflect on these challenges and brainstorm solutions.

The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 pm.