The Digital Humanities, American Studies, and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

McElroy, Erin. “The Digital Humanities, American Studies, and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project.” American Quarterly, 70(3): 701-707.

In an era in which digital web mapping and data visualization projects have taken over the media and the twenty-four-hour news cycle, in which "gentrification" has become a buzzword used to describe urban mutations across the planet without nuance, what does it mean to be an anticapitalist, antiracist, and feminist digital cartography collective working outside the formal boundaries of academe, the nonprofit industrial complex, and the media? Further, in times in which technocapitalism rampantly incites new forms of racialized dispossession on a growing array of technoscapes, what does it mean to use technology to provide data, tools, narratives, and analytics to counter gentrifying tides? These are but some of the many questions that we at the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP)—a data visualization, data analysis, and digital storytelling collective that documents dispossession and resistance on gentrifying landscapes—are tasked with daily, some of which I begin to unpack in this forum on the intersections of American studies and digital humanities (DH). Specifically, I explore not only how American studies and DH frame the AEMP's methodologies, but also how these fields differentiate us within an ever-growing constellation of digital mapping practices.