I research and write in two main areas:
- postcolonial digital humanities with specific interests in Internet infrastructures, postcolonial computing, feminist digital activisms in the Global South. I locate my work in the socio-political context of India.
- digital humanities in the Indian context, focusing on archives, decolonial digital pedagogy, and DH curriculum development
- post-9/11 literary, cultural, and digital texts about Muslims in America, including the racialization of Muslims, political and cultural practices of minority citizenship, hashtag activism, and race and trauma
I was invited to speak on the “Reframing History” podcast by Dr. Julian Chambliss (June 2020) to discuss my work in postcolonial digital humanities. My work has been featured in KU News and in the KU Libraries Annual Review.
- Monograph: “Liquid Data: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Internet Infrastructure ” (manuscript in preparation). Grounded in science & technology studies and digital humanities, my book uncovers the colonial genealogies undergirding the very infrastructure of the Internet in the Global South, and the development projects by corporations like Facebook and Google intended to remedy the global digital divide. Drawing on sources ranging from colonial maps to data policies in postcolonial nation-states, I trace how Internet infrastructures remain invested in notions of Western modernity, promising technological solutions to political, cultural, and economic problems. This rhetoric of technomodernity draws on colonial-racial views of postcolonial natives as premodern subjects in need of Western aid supplied by white technologists. Given the importance of Internet infrastructures in the world today, my work thus argues for decolonizing infrastructural development and in particular, highlights new modes of regional co-building, ownership, and management of Internet infrastructures in the Global South.
- Textbook (Editor) : “Introduction to Digital Humanities” (manuscript in preparation)
- (Commentary). Thorat, Dhanashree. “Modalities of Data Colonialism and South Asian Hashtag Publics” [Revise and Resubmit]
- Thorat, Dhanashree. “Colonial Topographies of Internet Infrastructure: The Sedimented and Linked Networks of the Telegraph and Submarine Fiber Optic Internet.” South Asian Review. Ed. Roopika Risam and Rahul Gairola. (2019). (This is an earlier version of the article that can be downloaded without a paywall.)
- Special Issue Editor & Contributor, “Digital Humanities in India,” Asian Quarterly: A Journal of Contemporary Issues, 15.4 (2017): 4-12.
Chapter in Edited Collection
- [Revise and Resubmit] Thorat, Dhanashree. “Decolonizing the Code: Teaching Digital Humanities in a Postcolonial Context.”
- Thorat, Dhanashree. “Digital Infrastructures and Technoutopian Fantasies: The Colonial Roots of Technology Aid in the Global South.” Digital Humanities in India. Ed. Maya Dodd and Nidhi Kalra, 2020
- Thorat, Dhanashree. “The Activist and the Terrorist: Reimagining the Nation-State in My Name is Khan and New York.” Reflecting 9/11: New Narratives in Literature, Television, Film and Theatre . Ed. Heather E. Pope, and Victoria M Bryan. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016
- Editor, Indian Indenture in Trinidad (2013)
This digital project uses WordPress and Timemapper to map, spatially and chronologically, the migration of Indian indentured workers to Trinidad between 1845 and 1917. By visualizing the pattern of migration flow, the project situates migration under the indenture system at the nexus of the policies and ideology of the British metropole, the sugar plantocracy in Trinidad, and Indian nationalism. Project Website: www.indianindenture.wordpress.com