Extending Metadata of Interactive Media for Better Precision and Accessibility
Dene Grigar, Matthew Hannah, Jarah Moesch
“Extending Metadata of Interactive Media for Better Precision and Accessibility” discusses the initiative led by a cross-disciplinary team of digital humanities scholars from born-digital literature, net art, video games, disability justice, and digital archivingto write an extension to the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), used by libraries and other sites, that includes technological descriptions central to born-digital media, as well as descriptions needed for visitors with disabilities in an effort to develop a new framework called the Extended eLectronic Metadata Schema (ELMS).
The central questions our panel addresses are: 1) How do visitors to a repository of multimedia, interactive born-digital media know that the work they are downloading is actually one they can access with their available computer technology? 2) How do they know what their access needs are if they have disabilities that cause them to interact with the work differently than the artist intended? Such crucial descriptions of archival materials should be included in the metadata. However, the two predominant metadata schema, MODS and Dublin Core, do not provide specificity of this kind.
The scholars involved in this presentation represent a growing number of those in the digital humanities trained in literature, history, art, and library and information science who do not see themselves as crossing borders but rather uniting under a common interest to bring unique training and expertise to develop a coherent vision of a metadata schema needed for the 21st century where inclusion is recognized as just and a social good, as streaming media has become what Philip Auslander connotes as the “cultural dominant” (qtd. in De Kosnik 5-6) in terms of the way the public now accesses information, and when austerity measures due to economic and health factors constrain travel by scholars and visitors alike to repositories. The future of repositories rests on accessibility for all.
Presenter #1 will provide the vision underlying the extended metadata schema and lay out the problems faced when working with born-digital literature, net art, and video games that led to the development of ELMS.
Presenter #2 will focus on the application of the technical metadata adapted from the Electronic Literature Organization’s CELL taxonomies to ELMS, addressing such issues as software dependencies, procedural modalit(ies), and formal aspects.
Presenter #3 will discuss the efforts to design and create a metadata schema that describes and incorporates the embodied experiences of disabled people and commits to making them accessible from a disability justice perspective, recognizing that disabled people have intersecting embodiments that include race, class, gender expression, sexuality, and mental health, as well as one’s relationship to colonization, and that these identities are part of a disability justice framework.
Creation of Huellas Incómodas during COVID-19: Pedagogía, investigación y activismo digital
Rosario Rogel-Salazar, Abraham García-Monroy, Alan Colín-Arce, Verónica Benítez-Pérez, Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla, Brian Rosenblum
Digital Humanities projects such as Documenting the Now and Chicana por mi Raza have demonstrated the importance of preserving and documenting social movements in the United States. Due to recent feminist protests in Mexico and Latin America, it is important to think about models to intervene in power structures that construct and document history through racist and misogynic attitudes reflected in archives, monuments and policies. Huellas Incómodas (Uncomfortable Footprints) seeks to document, contextualize, and digitally preserve the traces of local social protest movements, and to explore related issues such as privacy, ephemerality, and transnational and local community partnerships. In its first phase, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, it worked toward pedagogies and research to create digital resources, preservation methods and a non-hierarchical learn-by-doing participatory model to preserve physical and digital activism of the 2019-20 student-feminist movement at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México.
As Roopika Risam writes, there is a “confluence of digital humanities and postcolonial studies […] great potential for engaging students in interpreting the politics that shape knowledge production and teaching them how to become critical producers who are prepared to engage in the task of intervening in the digital cultural record” (89). This panel of 90 minutes (10 minutes each panelist and 30 minutes of discussion), in English and Spanish, features presentations from several team members (students, librarians and professors) discussing the process of creating this project. The panel will open by explaining the origins of the project, and discussing the opportunities, challenges and practical arrangements in making this grassroots transnational collective happen. Secondly, it will go over the various processes of collecting data to document the movement, including (1) creating a collective repository to invite students and members of the movement to submit images, videos or stories; and, (2) identifying and extracting shared information that students and organizations shared through social media. The third panelist will discuss how the digital resources (timelines, maps and juxtapositions) created during these months allowed the team to keep a record of the media coverage and ephemeral material in public spaces that the movement produced from 2020 to 2021. The fourth presenter will touch on two processes of how systematic searches were carried out, first showing there is no prior work that covers the particular subject that the project is analyzing; and, second, delimiting the thematic field within studies on social movements, feminism and graffiti as an act of political resistance. The last two panelists will highlight the role librarians and digital humanists in the US have played when working with colleagues in Mexico and Ecuador in a project that shows the potential that digital humanities and postcolonial praxis have. The presentation will discuss the inclusive pedagogy and research methods implemented under COVID-19 to ethically create a transnational project, centered in student participation to prevent the risk of a student-feminist movement in Mexico in the 21st century of disappearing from the collective memory.
Risam, Roopika. New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy. Northwestern University Press, 2019.