Dec 3rd 2020


As data are increasingly mobilized in the service of governments and corporations, their unequal conditions of production, their asymmetrical methods of application, and their unequal effects on both individuals and groups have become increasingly difficult for data scientists – and others who rely on data in their work – to ignore. But it is precisely this power that makes it worth asking: Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? These are some of the questions that emerge from what we call “data feminism,” a way of thinking about data science and its communication that is informed by the past several decades of intersectional feminist activism and critical thought. Illustrating data feminism in action, this talk will show how challenges to the male/female binary can help to challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems. It will explain how an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization; how the concept of invisible labor can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems; and why the data never, ever “speak for themselves.” The goal of this talk, as with the project of data feminism, is to model how scholarship can be transformed into action: how feminist thinking can be operationalized in order to imagine more ethical and equitable data practices.


2:00 – 2:05 pm
John Goldsmith, Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science

2:05 – 2:50 pm
VUE Project Presentations

Capitalizing on Crisis: Chicago Police Responses to Homicide Waves 1920–2020
Presented by Christina Cano
PI: Robert Vargas, Associate Professor of Sociology
Business of Debt
Presented by Destin Jenkins, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of History
Visualizing Text Reuses
Presented by Clovis Gladstone
PI: Robert Morrissey, Benjamin Franklin Professor of French Literature
Political Reality and Textual Reality of Nationality in the Empire of Sciences
Presented by Agatha Kim
PI: Robert J. Richards, Morris Fishbein Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Science and Medicine

2:50 – 3:00 pm

3:00 – 3:45pm
Keynote Address: Data Feminism
Catherine D’Ignazio (Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT) and Lauren Klein (Associate Professor of English and Quantitative Theory and Methods, Emory University)

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