Building from Bones DH-WoGeM and Care in DH

1. Abstract

Deb Verhoeven’s provocative question at DH 2015 in Australia — “Has anyone seen a woman?” — continues to resonate within digital humanities. In the following years, ADHO conference organizers have been more attentive to ensuring the visible presence of women, and have put measures in place (e.g. arranging childcare) to make it easier for women to attend. However, conference participation by women and gender minorities1 remains limited (Eichmann et al. 2016), and attention to the needs and concerns of this demographic at the conference level has little impact on their day-to-day experiences working in digital humanities.

The DH-WoGeM (Women and Gender Minorities* in DH) group was formed in fall 2018 to provide a forum for women and gender minorities to talk openly about the challenges they face at work, and possible ways to work towards addressing these issues. At DH 2019, the DHWoGeM “embodied DH” poster (as presented by a skeleton in a dress) won the most innovative poster award, and following the conference, the group submitted an application to be recognized as an ADHO Special Interest Group (SIG). The group’s goal is to take an intersectional, culturally appropriate approach to making explicit the challenges that women and gender minorities face when working in digital humanities, and advocating for concrete, actionable measures to better support women and gender minorities in their local context, as well as at their participation in international collaboration.

The work of DH-WoGeM has taken many forms, including synchronous virtual “conversations”, a workshop, and an edited volume. This poster will distill key takeaway points from the group’s work to date, along with pointers to resources that attendees can use to reflect on ways to foster a more inclusive work environment. We will also use the poster to solicit responses to the first international survey that the group has undertaken, on work/life balance and caring responsibilities (e.g. childcare, caring for ill relatives or friends, self-care). This survey, which will be open during summer 2020, will collect anonymous information about how these factors have impacted the work and career trajectories of people engaged in doing DH work at all levels, from students through retirees, and in as many countries as possible. The survey is unprecedented in its attempt to gather an on-the-ground view of the experience of doing DH across the globe, and the ways that different cultural contexts mitigate and/or exacerbate the difficulty of maintaining work/life balance when engaged in DH work.


Eichmann, Nickoal, Jeana Jorgensen, Scott B. Weingart. “Representation at Digital Humanities Conferences (2000-2015)”.

Verhoeven, Deb. “Has Anyone Seen a Woman?” July 2, 2015.

* We use the term “gender minorities” here to encompass a range of identities other than cis-men and -women, including non-binary and trans*-identifying people.

Fabiola Delfin (, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico, Quinn Dombrowski (, Stanford University, United States of America, Isabel Galina Russell (, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico, Tassie Gniady (, Indiana University, United States of America, Rachel Hendery (, Western Sydney University, Australia, Henriette Roued-Cunliffe (, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Zhenya Samoilova (, Film University Babelsberg “Konrad Wolf”, Germany, Valerie Shepard , University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America, Deb Verhoeven , University of Alberta, Canada, Claire Warwick , Durham University, United Kingdom and Amanda Wilson Bergado , Stanford University, United States of America

Theme: Lux by Bootswatch.