ABOUT THE PROJECT
Full Stack Feminism in Digital Humanities is jointly funded by the Arts and Research Council (UK) and the Irish Research Council (2021-24). It is a trans and inter disciplinary research project tasked with developing an intersectional feminist framework for digital arts and humanities (DH) practice and research. It responds to calls within DH and broader fields to take action against bias and implicit, as well as explicit, forms discrimination that manifest in our digital worlds and technologies.
'Full Stack' is a metaphor that reminds us of the need to critique all layers of our social, cultural and technological infrastructures and within the context of this project, calls for a commitment to review and critique the various stages the development and data life cycle - from design to implementation, from the processes of datafication to dissimination, and from machine code right to the infrastructure layers above.
Drawing from ‘The Feminist Principles of the Internet’ it prompts us to understand the machine (our digital technologies) and to reclaim it ‘down to the code’ (see feministinternet.org). Applying and rethinking, a feminist praxis throughout the ‘Full Stack’ will help to create more inclusive digital cultural heritage in DH and beyond.
“Full Stack Feminism” is comprised of three stacks: (1) data and archives; (2) infrastructure, tools and code; and (3) dissemination, integration and access. Each stack provides a framework and focus to analyse, critique and intervene. Our stacks are not linear and do not progress necessarily in a sequence. They, instead, represent the critical pressure points which we, as a research team, have identified through our experience both as researchers (with collective expertise as computer scientists, digital media scholars, creative practitioners, coders, programmers, archivists, historians, and theorists) and individuals (with individual identity politics) in the “world”. In this regard, the motivations and inspiration for Full Stack Feminism are multiple and varied, and are as much motivated by personal experiences - the personal is always politically - as they are by high-level warnings and alarms about bias and discrimination in data, code, and digital systems. This articulation represents our ‘feminist version of objectivity’. That is to say, we accept our subjectivities in these areas, and work with them rather than against them.
Full Stack Feminism takes inspiration from intersectional feminist praxis which, stemming from black feminist thought in the 1970s and 80s, highlights the way in which systems of oppression overlap, particularly in relation to race and gender, resulting in privileges for some and marginalisation and oppression for others (see Combahee Rivers Collective, Kimberly Crenshaw, bell hooks, Audre Lorde and Patricia Hill Collins). Intersectional feminism helps us to think beyond our own individual experience, and is a key methodological framework for this project.
A major deliverable of this project is the ‘Full Stack Feminism Toolkit’. It includes resources, best practice guides, among other objects, which, in the main, are published on this site. In 2023 we launched the toolkit and continue to populate this site with writings, reflections, and explorations of our work. Please feel free to comment on any of these - we want these writings to become a dialogue as we recognise the plurality, or polyvocality, of voices in intersectional feminist practices.