This talk will examine the emerging areas of research in Digital Humanities in India by an examination of the term “Digital Humanities” and its uneven and uncertain trajectory in the Indian research ecosystem. As with other systems around the world, DH in India is complex and contextual and each of us involved in the disciplinary practice encounter resistance and skepticism.  Resistance to what is perceived as a deliberate distancing from the larger Humanities queries, skepticism about appropriating the rhetoric of STEM disciplines merely as a tool for greater legitimacy and validation. But of course DH is far more than a sum of its criticisms and skepticisms I will address why it is imperative that the digital be harnessed, critiqued, deconstructed and dissected precisely so that the issues that Humanities scholars have been invested in continue to be at the centre of the development, deployment and dissemination of technology. Using the example of Decolonizing Knowledge Systems through Scholarly Publishing I underscore the need to make knowledge productions multilingual and accessible to students and researchers in different parts of the country and the role of Open Access India in making education access a little less unequal than it is now. I will discuss IIT Indore’s Project KSHIP and some of the continuing challenges in launching the project.

Digital Humanities pedagogy in India is a journey–a data point that is part of a cosmic, but networked chaos. As scholars who work in the intersectional identities of the digital and humanities, those data points are marked with a lot of support, mentoring, learning and unlearning. A survey of university courses across various small and big universities (forthcoming by Shanmugapriya and Menon) suggest that many small universities are also recognizing the need to introduce Digital Humanities courses as a primer for their undergraduate students. The ubiquity of computational resources and techniques as an essential part of Humanities inquiry is increasingly recognized across liberal arts departments but the willingness, resources and institutional support to translate these into pedagogical tools and curriculum is still nascent and emerging. I consider some of the reasons for the resistance to institutionalizing digital humanities within the larger university systems in India and conclude that the causes are historical but also perhaps the embedded rigidity and regimentation of university-curricula across disciplines. Digital Humanities, as defined by its purported inter- or transdisciplinary character, becomes a tough sell within Indian university ecosystems, often constrained by their colonial origins and the limitations of a postcolonial social imaginary. By highlighting key issues regarding digital affordances in postcolonial contexts and exemplifying digital humanities projects that were presented at the DHAI 2018 conference, along with representative digital interventions beyond the conference's ambit, we conduct what we may term a ‘distant reading’ of the digital humanities in India. In conclusion, I underline the need for a postcolonial digital humanity that is deeply invested in cross-disciplinary exchanges and pedagogical innovation: one that interrogates hegemonic assumptions about both “Postcolonialism” and “Digital Humanities.”