Women in Data: Webinar and Discussion

Cultural feminists and feminist philosophers have, since the 1990s, troubled the meaning of woman as a postmodern subject in order to make space for women as new(er) subjects of study (Alcoff 1988; Stacey 1988; Mohanty 1991; Barad 2003). With such troubling comes the useful question of where historians should look for women’s performances, what data-driven methodologies might illuminate them, and whether certain disciplinary frameworks can enhance (or hinder) digital discovery. Digital Scholars is pleased to co-host a webinar and host a follow-up discussion on the broad topic of “Women in Data,” extending the critical dilemma of how to more ethically position women as representative subjects toward a greater consideration of women as ethical data scientists and agents.

The webinar is the second in an inaugural series on “People in Data,” co-hosted with the Demos Project, and open to any members of the FSU, FAMU, and TCC communities, as well as greater Tallahassee, the state of Florida, and beyond. The Demos Project at FSU fosters and supports scholarship involving structured data around people (the demos) and their environment. It considers the representation of individuals, communities, and cultures in data, asks and answers questions about data in society, and applies humanistic thinking to data-driven problems.

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WEBINAR: Wednesday, March 27 – 3:30-4:45 p.m. EDT
“Women in Data”
featuring
Lauren Klein, Georgia Technological U
Sadie St. Lawrence, Women in Data (WIDusa.com)

Advanced Reading or Browsing
Webinar participants are invited to read and/or browse the following in advance of the webinar and the discussion:

Registration
Please register at https://app.livestorm.co/florida-state-university-2.

Attending and Connecting
Webinar participants in Tallahassee are welcome to join us in person in the R&D Commons, basement level of Strozier Library, or to connect remotely via LiveStorm with other attendees. Through the interactive features of our LiveStorm platform, remote attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and participate in group chat.

Connection Requirements
Remote attendees should ensure or secure the following:

  • Web browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari version 10 or greater)
  • Adobe Flash Player version 10.1 or greater
  • Internal or external speaker
  • (recommended: headsets or earbuds for optimum sound)

This webinar is made possible through the generous support of FSU’s Office of Research.

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FOLLOW-UP DISCUSSION: Friday, March 29 – 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT
PIH Digital Humanities Lab (Diffenbaugh 421)

Advanced Reading or Browsing
Participants are invited to read and browse the sources listed above, along with one of the following:

  • Clement, Tanya (2013). “Text Analysis, Data Mining, and Visualizations in Literary Scholarship,” in Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology (eds. Kenneth M. Price and Ray Siemens). MLA Commons.
  • Graban, Tarez Samra (2018). “Ripple Effects: Toward a Topos of Deployment for Feminist Historiography,” in Networked Humanities (eds. Jeff Rice and Brian McNely). Parlor Press. [stable copy in Canvas]

We hope you can join us for one or both of these events,
— Tarez Graban
— Allen Romano
— Sarah Stanley
— Judith Pascoe

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Webinar on Data Colonialism: An Invitation

We invite you to the first webinar in an inaugural series on “People in Data,” co-hosted during Spring 2019 by Digital Scholars and the Demos Project, and open to any members of the FSU and FAMU communities, as well as greater Tallahassee, the state of Florida, and beyond. The Demos Project at FSU fosters and supports scholarship involving structured data around people (the demos) and their environment. It considers the representation of individuals, communities, and cultures in data, asks and answers questions about data in society, and applies humanistic thinking to data-driven problems. Headlining these inaugural webinars are experts in various fields and industries that help shape our thinking—ethically, critically, and practically—about people in data, some from within and some from beyond the United States.

The webinars are broadly imagined and may be of interest to those who want to learn more about the data humanities and its overlaps with their own areas, projects, or communities. Webinar participants will be eligible to work with members of the Demos team after Summer or Fall 2019 to discuss or identify potential shared interests in the data or digital humanities, collaborate on research and grant opportunities, gain access to digital research toolkits, and attend follow-up webinars that focus on specific capacities or skills introduced during the inaugural series.

Wednesday, March 6 – 12:00-1:15 p.m. EST
“Data Colonialism”
featuring
Kimberly Christen, Washington State U
Alex Gil, Columbia University
Larry Madowo, BBC Africa

Advanced Reading or Browsing
Webinar participants are invited to read and/or browse the following in advance:

Registration
Please register at https://app.livestorm.co/florida-state-university-2.

Attending and Connecting
Members of the FSU and FAMU communities who are in Tallahassee are welcome to join us in person in the R&D Commons, basement level of Strozier Library, or to connect remotely via LiveStorm with other attendees. Through the interactive features of our LiveStorm platform, remote attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and participate in group chat.

Connection Requirements
Remote attendees should ensure or secure the following:

  • Web browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari version 10 or greater)
  • Adobe Flash Player version 10.1 or greater
  • Internal or external speaker
  • (recommended: headsets or earbuds for optimum sound)

Future Webinars

  • Wednesday, March 27 – 3:30-4:45 p.m. EDT “Women in Data” – featuring Sadie St. Lawrence, Women in Data org and Lauren Klein, Georgia Technological U
  • Friday, April 12 – 12:00-1:15 p.m. EDT — “Humans and (Global) Networks” – featuring Alexander Galloway, NYU and William Thomas, U Nebraska

These webinars are made possible through the generous support of FSU’s Office of Research.

We hope you can join us at one or all of these events,
— Tarez Graban
— Allen Romano
— Sarah Stanley
— Judith Pascoe

Data Colonialism

Friday, February 22, 12:00-1:30 pm
PIH Digital Humanities Lab (Diffenbaugh 421)

“Data Colonialism”

The timbre of this topic rings deterministically but the idea of colonizing (or de-colonizing) data may echo more familiar quandaries shared by humanities and social science researchers who strive to be ethical in their practice and in their criticism. For scholars in many fields, colonization and decolonization processes are mediated more obviously through language, yet for our second meeting of the semester, Digital Scholars will consider the various ways that colonialism may well be conveyed through data sets and points, whether those occur in structured or unstructured ways, whether they are sought or shared. While decolonizing methodologies often call for ethics of postcolonial hybridity and accountability, we will consider whether these ethics can be reasonably attained when the subjects in question are circulatory and dynamic. Finally, we will ask whether and how a renewed attention to our culture of transparency and algorithmic obsession can help archivists, analysts, and activists avoid both the broader entrapments of “neo-colonialism” writ-large (Nkrumah, Neo-Colonialism, 1965) and the specific entrapments of more localized cultural erasure.

Participants are invited to read the following in advance:

and to browse the following projects:

There is no barrier to entry and all are welcome to participate from their preferred disciplinary viewpoints, but participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets.

This conversation acts as prelude to two upcoming webinars, both held in the R&D Commons (Strozier Library basement level) or by remote attendance:

  • Data Colonialism with Alex Gil (Columbia U) – Wed. February 27, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
  • Data Colonialism with Larry Madowo (BBC Africa) and Kimberly Christen (Washington State U) – Wed. March 6, 12:00-1:15 p.m.

We hope you can join us at any of these meetings.

-TSG

An Introduction to “People in Data”

Friday, January 25, 12:00-1:30 pm
PIH Digital Humanities Lab (Diffenbaugh 421)

An Introduction to “People in Data”

During Spring 2019, our meetings and programming will be centered on the activities of the Demos Center Project at FSU, allowing us to review and explore various instantiations of “People in Data” from rhetoric to textuality to networks to prosopography, and many critical spaces between. The Project fosters and supports scholarship involving structured data around people (the demos) and their environment, with the aim of asking and answering questions about data in society and applying humanistic thinking to data-driven problems.

Thinking more intelligently, more creatively, more critically, and more compassionately about data—its constructions, deconstructions, representations, and misrepresentations—is Demos’s core mission, particularly when those mis/representations involve people and raise timely questions about who has agency or influence over individuals or groups through data points. Thus, for our first meeting of the semester we will consider what constitutes a “data humanities” approach and begin to identify its problems and possibilities across scholarship, in classroom teaching, and in community-oriented presentations. We’ll survey some DH projects and consider one or two cases in data  harvesting (esp. last year’s controversy on Cambridge Analytica’s alleged 2017 election hijacking). As a simultaneously academic and extra-academic field, the data humanities embrace a vital network of methods and materials that bring together data curation, computing, and data science under the aegis of humanistic study.

While the January 25 meeting is primarily for graduate students enrolled in or regularly attending the group, all Digital Scholars participants are welcome to read and join us for conversation on the following:

  • Christen, Kimberly. “Does  Information Really Want to Be Free? Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Question of Openness.” International Journal of Communication, vol. 6, 2012, 2870-2893. [download PDF here]
  • Graban, Tarez Samra. “From Location(s) to Locatability: Mapping Feminist Recovery and Archival Activity through Metadata.” College English, vol. 76, no. 2, 2013, 171-193. [download PDF here with FSU login]
  • Lemercier, Claire. “Formal Network Methods in History: Why and How?” in George Fertig, ed., Social Networks, Political Institutions, and Rural Societies (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011). [download PDF here]
  • Risam, Roopika. “Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and the Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 9, no. 2, 2015. [available here]

Participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets. We hope you can join us.
-TSG

Race, Computation, and the Analysis of Culture

Friday, April 13, 12:00-1:15 pm
Innovation Hub Program Room (Shores, first floor – map)

Race, Computation, and the Analysis of Culture

For many humanists working in or across data-driven spaces, the understanding that “race” is a simultaneous implication in the history of computation and impetus for the further development of “big data” projects and mechanisms raises daunting questions about the ethics of their research. Indeed, humanists’ commitment to patterned (distant) reading methods stems from their critical and historiographic desires to diversify “condition[s] of knowledge” (Moretti, Distant Reading, 2013). At the same time, such methods may texturize certain historical facts at the expense of other cultural canons, or in ways that further encode racial bias (McPherson, 2013; Gallon, 2016).

This need not be the case. For our final session of the academic year, Digital Scholars hopes to work through this dilemma in videoconference with Dr. Richard  Jean So, Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Analytics at McGill University, and current Faculty Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center.  Author of Transpacific Community: America, China, and the Rise and Fall of a Cultural Network, and incoming Director of the McGill .TxTLab, Dr. So pursues scholarship that fulfills dual aims: seeking positive versions of DH methods that can be applied to questions of race/racial difference, while also furthering critiques of algorithmic reliances in the humanities that perpetuate colonizing orientations toward culture.

All are welcome at this culminating discussion, where there is no barrier to entry — ethnically, disciplinarily, methodologically, or otherwise. Participants are invited to read the following in advance:

We hope you can join us.
-TSG

Museum Informatics

Wednesday, April 4, 12:30-1:45 pm
Innovation Hub Program Room (Shores, first floor – map)

Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Knowledge in Museums

Beginning in 2015, the Lightbox Gallery at Harvard Art Museums served as an exhibition space for two installation projects combining data visualization with collections management. The first, Lightbox, “use[s] digital tools to reveal connections between objects and play with traditions of display” (HILT). The second, S.M.S. NOs 1-6s, offers a digital re-rendering of William Copley’s 1968 multimedia portfolio. Themselves digital complements to existing exhibitions at Harvard and Wellesley College, both projects reflected overlapping interests in manipulating metadata to study (and document the study of) visual culture. Both projects acted as highly participatory interfaces in which information networks could portray “cybernetic systems of aesthetic immanence.” In fact, both projects featured museum curation as their installation object and invited participants to perform meta-curation.

In “Collections and/of Data,” Matthew Battles and Michael Maizels liken these meta-installations to the “distant reading” practices of text-focused digital humanists, arguing that the process of visual curation allows researchers to observe (in data patterns derived through technical systems) how museum identities gradually shift. Digital Scholars is pleased to welcome Dr. Paul Marty, Professor in the School of Information at Florida State University, to help us consider the critical import of these shifts in museum identity.

Situated in the middle space between museum studies professionals and cultural heritage librarians, Dr. Marty focuses his own scholarship and teaching on recontextualizing the territories in which museum resources operate, a question that he sees as central to digital museology. In a hybrid session, part discussion and part application, Dr. Marty will introduce us to a collection of different crowdsourcing projects developed by museums and cultural heritage organizations — supporting transcription, translation, annotation, and curation — so as to better explore the various ways that museums are engaging their visitors as active participants in the knowledge creation process.

All are welcome. Participants are invited to bring tablets or laptops, and to read the following in advance:

We hope you can join us.
-TSG

Prototyping as Pedagogy

Friday, March 23, 2:30-3:45 pm
Williams 013 (English Common Room, basement level)

From the Lab to the Classroom: Live Methods and Prototyping in the Arts and Humanities

Fabrication objects and physical computing objects — digital matter — have been the historian’s medium since communication scholars first cast digital inquiry as a “matter of intercepting and decoding transmissions from some remote place and time … [a way] to ground conversations about the past and our relationship to it” (Elliott, et al, 2017). Yet, beyond fabricating objects related to historians’ own interests, the making and remaking of digital matter can offer a medium for teaching and learning even among novice groups. Digital Scholars is pleased to welcome Dr. Jentery Sayers (via videoconference) to discuss some of the critical and practical implications of involving arts and humanities undergraduate students in prototyping and fabrication.

As a pedagogy that emerges from assertive approaches to speculative computing, prototyping offers students “live methods” (Back and Puwar, 2012), or methods that privilege multiple registers of knowledge-making (including, but not limited to, talk and text). With an emphasis on Material, Dr. Sayers will survey the benefits and risks of establishing “a practice of making things think, sense, and talk” (Sayers, et al, 2016, p. 4) in two particular courses — “Technology and Society,” and “What’s In A Game?” — drawing primarily from experiences teaching speculative design, indie games, and, more generally, techniques for prototyping pasts and futures.

All are welcome, and participants are invited to read and browse the following in advance:

And for additional reading or optional interest:

We hope you can join us.
-tsg

Postscript to Our Meeting: Dr. Sayers has generously offered the dedicated github page for distribution [https://jentery.github.io/fsu/]