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Digital Humanities

Losh and Fotopoulou: Feminist Digital Humanities and Feminist Data Studies

Two back-to-back lectures by Elizabeth Losh and Aristea Fotopoulou will be followed by a discussion about feminist and intersectional approaches to digital methods in the humanities and the social sciences.

Photo of Elizabeth Losh
Elizabeth Losh


Elizabeth Losh: "Defining Feminist Digital Humanities"

As an area of scholarly inquiry, "feminist digital humanities" means much more than merely building digital archives that celebrate the unacknowledged contributions of women. As authors in  the newest volume in the Debates in the Digital Humanities series assert, this field involves applying feminist theories about digital media (and it's materiality, affective engagements, embodied and situated characteristics, and labor-intensive economics) to many areas of the digital cultural record, often with a focus on intersectionality in mind. Come hear how prototyping wearables, designing games, and organizing activist collectives to prevent online violence can all be part of the digital humanities.    

Elizabeth Losh is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at William and Mary with a specialization in New Media Ecologies. She is the is co-editor of Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities, the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press, 2009) and The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University (MIT Press, 2014). She is the co-author of the comic book textbook Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2013; second edition, 2017) with Jonathan Alexander and editor of the collection MOOCs and Their Afterlives: Experiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education (University of Chicago, 2017). Hashtag will be out in 2019 from Bloomsbury.

Aristea Fotopoulou“Theorising Feminist Data Studies: legacies and commitments”. 

As the social issues that data infrastructures and technologies (such as big data, wearable technologies and artificial intelligence) pose are increasingly relevant to social justice, there is great need for more focused and explicit critique that encompasses the so far relatively invisible matters of gender, race, sexuality and postcoloniality. In this talk, Dr Aristea Fotopoulou maps the terrain of feminist data studies - an emerging theoretical and practice field in the study of datafication, which is committed to unsettling the power relation of race, class, gender and ability in datafied worlds. Taking an intersectional perspective and drawing from themes such as dataveillance, algorithmic profiling and informatisation of the body,she will outline how datafication may reproduce inequalities of gender as these intersect with other structural categories of inequality; and will suggest how key concepts and approaches in feminist and postcolonial STS and queer studies can be invaluable for understanding current social, political and cultural challenges.

Dr Aristea Fotopoulou is Visiting Scholar at the University of Bergen, Department of Information Studies and Media (Feb-June 2019), writing the monograph “Feminist Data Studies: big data, critique and social justice” (forthcoming in SAGE Publications). Positioned at the intersections of media and cultural studies with science and technologies studies,her research focuses on digital transformations and data-driven technologies.As UKRI-AHRC Innovation Leadership Fellow at the University of Brighton she currently leads the project “ART/DATA/HEALTH: Data as creative material for health and wellbeing”, focusing on issues of health datafication and social inequalities. Her first book“Feminist activism and digital Networks: between empowerment and vulnerability” (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2017) was welcomed as “required reading for social justice classrooms”. (@aristeaf)


Registration is required due to lunch service - please register here