As technology has continually advanced throughout the years, digital humanities tools, such as literary and text analysis, have likewise modernized through the development of various machine learning methods. While tools have evolved significantly in this field, it is necessary to confront the ways in which many of these digital tools stem from and maintain colonialism. Countless have taken note of this issue and collectively work towards decolonizing the humanities: an ongoing initiative that strives to create new tools that centralize minoritized voices and experiences while simultaneously countering traditional colonialist technologies that promote a humanities dominated by whiteness and androcentrism.
A method within the digital humanities that is exemplary of this kind of work is feminist text analysis: this paper not only insists upon the existence of feminist text analysis but also explores the crucial role that it plays in challenging androcentric narratives and hierarchies of knowledge that arise from legacies of colonialism. Through analyzing Sara Mill’s “Post-Feminist Text Analysis” article in which the English linguist implements a feminist text analysis that considers how overt sexism of the past has mutated into a more indirect, inconspicuous sexism shrouded by a false veneer of gender inclusivity, the capabilities of feminist text analysis are showcased.
I argue that based on this example along with myriad others ranging from analysis of book reviews in The New York Times to analysis of dialogue in Disney films, there is such a thing as a feminist text analysis and that it plays an important role in decolonizing the digital humanities.
Mills, Sara. “Post-Feminist Text Analysis.” Language and Literature, vol. 7, no. 3, Aug. 1998, pp. 235–252