Critical Paths into DH : Asen on Citizenship

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[submitted by Nikki Weickum]

Asen, Robert. “A Discourse Theory of Citizenship.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 90.2 (2004): 189-211.

I am interested in national identities and civic practice in online spaces (and outside of them). More recently, I’ve been working on online petition sites that are often dismissed as “clicktivism.” In short, one of the arguments that Asen makes in the essay is that the anxiety over declining citizenship comes from a too narrow view of what civic practice is and should be, and subsequently of who counts as a citizen. There is not a significant amount of digital humanities work in my field, but this essay provides a useful entrance for me into work in the digital humanities and broader questions of access, race, gender, sexuality that come with hegemonic understandings of citizenship and its sanctioned practices.