If we can’t see the ethical stakes (+ power relations) in digital archives we are going to do violence. Do better. Born of frustration and still very much a work … Continue reading Justice and Digital Archives: A Working Bibliography
The PLuS Alliance “GLAM+University Collaborative Ecologies” teams are delighted to announce our 2017 “Migration, Mobility, and Belonging” Seed Grant Awardees. These projects highlight the experiences and creative and entrepreneurial work … Continue reading Migration, Mobility, and Belonging Across the Globe
Let’s begin with a definition of terms: Barad’s ideas regarding entanglement and what they mean for how we approach history and memory has been really important to my work on … Continue reading Remediation, Activation, and Entanglement in Performative (Digital) Archives – MLA2017
The Vibrant Lives team had the great pleasure of debuting our Living Net experience Thursday evening at the University of Victoria’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute. This has been part of the … Continue reading Vibrant Lives presents: The Living Net
UC Santa Barbara Humanities Center series “Value of Care” (podcasts incl)
UNESCO Women Philosopher’s Journal Vol 1 (focus on issues of ‘care’ and ‘difference’) http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002131/213131e.pdf
Adams, C. and Donovan, J. The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
Bailey, Moya. #transform(ing)DH Writing and Research: An Autoethnography of Digital Humanities and Feminist Ethics (DHQ 2016)
Bourgault, Sophie. “Beyond the saint and the red virgin: Simone Weil as feminist theorist of care” Frontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies
— and Julie Perrault, Le Care : Éthique féministe actuelle
Clement, Grace. Care, Autonomy and Justice: Feminism and the Ethic of Care. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.
Gilligan, Carol, In a Different Voice
Hamington, Maurice. Embodied Care: Jane Addams, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Feminist Ethics. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2004.
Held, Virginia, The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global (Oxford University Press, 2006)
Kittay, Eva Feder. Love’s Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency. New York, NY: Routledge, 1999.
Koehn, Darryl, Rethinking Feminist Ethics: Care, Trust, and Empathy
Laugier, Sandra “The Ethics of Care as a Politics of the Ordinary,” New Literary History 46.2 2015, pp. 217-240 https://muse.jhu.edu/article/589904/pdf
Larrabee, Mary Jeane, ed. An Ethic of Care: Feminist and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge, 1993.
Mahadevan, Kanchana, Between Femininity and Feminism: Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives on Care
Mclaren, Margaret A. “Feminist Ethics: Care As A Virtue” in Feminist Doing Ethics, Eds. Joanne Waugh and Peggy DesAutels, Rowman and Littlefield, 2001.
Nowviskie, Bethany, “on capacity and care”
Perrault, Julie, “Le care et le féminisme autochtone. Éléments d’un dialogue à construire, et Le féminisme autochtone à la croisée des concepts du care et de l’intersectionnalité”
Richards, David A. J. Resisting Injustice and the Feminist Ethics of Care in the Age of Obama
Robinson, Fiona, The Ethics of Care: A Feminist Approach to Human Security (Temple University Press, 2011)
Sander-Staudt, Maureen. “The Unhappy Marriage of Care Ethics and Virtue Ethics.” Hypatia 21.4 (2006): 21-40.
Slote, M. The Ethics of Care and Empathy.” New York, NY: Routledge, 2007.
Taylor, Chloe, “Levinasian Ethics and Feminist Ethics of Care” Symposium Journal http://www.artsrn.ualberta.ca/symposium/files/original/46b79257165a7c21b50d4b004581bfcc.PDF
Tucker, Judith Stadtman. “Care as a Cause: Framing the Twenty-First Century Mother’s Movement.”. In Hamington, Maurice and Miller, Dorothy (ed.s) Socializing Care, New York: NY, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.
Tronto, Joan, Moral Boundaries
Walker, Vanessa Siddle and Snarey, John, ed. Race-Ing Moral Formation: African American Perspectives on Care and Justice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2004.
West, Robin. Caring for Justice. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2000.
I’m currently working on a number of different ways to present materials from the Eugenic Rubicon project. This is my first attempt at working with a TimelineJS – it’s imperfect … Continue reading Work in Progress: Eugenic Rubicon
FemTechNet’s signal/noise conference, held in Ann Arbor (MI) this weekend, hosted the debut of Vibrant Lives’ DataPLAY. Below is our playbill, which evokes early American playbills that were used to advertise … Continue reading DataPLAY Debuts
I’ve been working lately with the Vibrant Lives team on performative, haptic approaches to understanding data. This first took the form of our Vibrant Lives performance this fall at ASU’s Fall Forward showcase. Since then, we’ve been playing around with lots of different modalities for engaging with data and we’ve been talking a lot – mostly amongst ourselves, but also with folks who have been attending HSCollab’s “Critical Conversations” lunchtime series.
We are lucky that the gracious folks at DHSI have agreed to host a Vibrant Lives installation during the first week of this summer’s events. We’ve significantly modified our first performance, which took up three rooms and involved an entire flock of dancers and a lot of dust.
Our new installation will have a large crochet piece – a kind of “Net”- made by one of our principles, Jessica Rajko. Here’s Jessica’s most recent installation of the work to give you a sense of how the network has grown during an installation
You can see the full gallery of images and a video of the installation on her website.
The piece will be hanging and there will be haptic devices that will be “playing” the collective data shed in the room. There will also be an evening installation event that will incorporate realtime work and discussion. We will be weaving together bodies, technologies, spaces, and objects into an enactment of vibrant data.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Carolyn Steedman’s work in Dust and the invocation of the rag rug her in work, as well as about ends, endings, traces, and trailing – all of which really seem to harmonize with Jane Bennett’s work on Vibrant Matter and work in the vein of Karen Barad. I find myself wondering about everyday objects and their effects, their “quasi-agential” qualities.
While I do argue that data can have a similarly vibrant life of its own, around here we say that there is no data without people, without bodies. I really enjoy the ways that our work is pushing me to think hard about this. One thing I’ve found is that I’m thinking a lot about what isn’t captured about life in cellular or digital data, about the archival “data” of drawers, dust, etc. There’s a lot that is sent out in swirling waves of digital dust when we connect, but it seems to me that even does not make it into that particular kind of dust, which sends me back to Steedman’s notion of the rug, the drawer, the quotidian.
I’ve also been thinking about the ways that Diana Taylor (The Archive and The Repertoire) and Rebecca Schneider (Performing Remains) talk about the value of performance as a way of understanding memory and memorial outside of the archive or the monument. Here’s Taylor: “there is an advantage to thinking about a repertoire performed through dance, theater, song, ritual, witnessing, healing practices, memory paths, and the many other forms of repeatable behaviors as something that cannot be housed or contained in the archive.”
I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about dead people and their remains, whether in archive, performance, or elsewhere. But the Vibrant Lives performances have been largely about living people and the data that we shed as we move through connected cultures. I’ve also been thinking about my role in our performance.
In our first version, I was in the “scholars room” with Jentery Sayers and Nina Belojevic and part of what we did was talk about how the Vibrant Lives app worked.
It was good, but I want something a bit different, a bit less didactic for our DHSI performance. I also want to do something that reaches out and makes apparent the remarkable networks that sustain me in my work. I would not be able to do what I do were it not for the work already done by feminist scholars, artists, and activists, nor would I be able to sustain my work and myself without groups like FemTechNet.
So, in the spirit of Steedman’s rag rug and other related models, I’d like to ask my “nets” – all of you who make up the networks that sustain this work – to help me weave a bit of an analog network into our vibrating, vibrant web for Vibrant Lives @ DHSI. Send me a bit, a trace, an item, a piece of your everyday and I’ll sit with it and weave it into our net at DHSI. It can be fabric, or not. I don’t have much in the way of restrictions except that you be willing to have it appear and be incorporated into the net and that it fit in an envelope. If you’d like, feel free to send along a few words of context or a thought you’d like to share and I’ll find a way to incorporate that as well. If you’d like us to acknowledge your contributions (which I will happily do), please include a note to that effect. I’m also happy to take silent contributions if that is your preference. You don’t need to know anyone of us well in order to contribute – if you’re seeing these words, that is enough.
Please send your threads, your rags, your bits (before the end of May) to:
Vibrant Lives @ DHSI c/o Jacqueline Wernimont,
Department of English
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 870302
Tempe, AZ 85287
One of the great pleasures of my summer was working with Jessica Rajko and Eileen Standley on our Vibrant Lives project.
The above are two stills from one of our very early movement sessions, in which Jessica, Eileen, and some of our dance collaborators were exploring connected/connecting movement. We moved, we talked about the gravity working to pull my body into the floor, we talked about what it means to embody corporate or painful data, we laughed. It was really a day unlike any other that I’ve had.
Part of what we’ve spent the summer doing is understanding how to manifest three of our initial goals:
- An entanglement with bodies, technologies, and information through movement, design, and digital critique.
- A remaking, an act of “critical attention,” a gesture of generosity.
- A sweeping up of the torrential data shed that has become central to western culture in order to “give back” that data in a non-monetized, non-commercial form.
In a more colloquial language we are working to help people understand the amount of data we “shed” every day as we engage in western, capitalist cultures. We want people to feel their data. Our work is an intervention in how we know. Saying that people produce 2.5 quintillion (10^18) bytes of data per day globally induces lots of “wows” but it’s really hard to wrap one’s head around. Instead of trying to explicate, we want people to experience. We want people to use their bodies to feel that torrent of data production.
That has involved not only Jessica, Eileen, and I engaging with other dancers, but also working closely with folks in data security, computing and information sciences, and mobile app development. We’ve been a vibrant community of people in industry and academia and the arts – at all levels. Using Woojers and a custom built app, we are getting closer – we can feel our own data, we can feel archival data (that breaks our hearts), and we can share some of this. Our first performance is a at the ASU faculty showcase in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. While Jessica, Eileen, and I have been working together a fair amount this summer, it’s also been distributed work in our larger group of collaborators (12 to date). I, for example, have only met the dancers once. Jentery Sayers and Nina Belojevic (of and formerly of the UVic Maker’s Lab) are coming to join us for the performances – brave souls, they are coming in mostly cold. But we’ll spend time playing with data sonification, haptics, and movement while they are here.
Over the course of the fall we will work with the app, integrate additional features and data sets, and think more about our performance environment. We’ll be rolling out new or improved elements at the 2016 HASTAC meeting, at the spark! Festival, and at DHSI 2016. We hope to be able to see some of you there!
It’s been a great summer of work and we are grateful to the Institute of Humanities Research and Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts for seed grant suport.
The EMDA folks spent yesterday afternoon enthralled by Mark Davies’ corpora and his interface for them. Rather than casually noodling around, as I like to say, many of us were in a mad dash to engage with one corpus in particular. Dashing because while Davies had built the thing, most of us had a very short window to access one particular corpus. I’m being deliberately vague here because I value the access that Davies gave us and because my point isn’t about the particularities of any one resource. Instead, I’m concerned with differential access to legacy data and how we think about this problem.
The data that Davies was working from belongs to a major organization, one that many early modernists depend upon. But, as we learned in earlier in the week, our access to that data is not equal. Rather, there are multiple levels of subscription for this resource and with that comes differential access to the underlying data. If one is at an institution that has the highest level subscription – then using Davies’ bewitching tools in the future is not a problem. If, however, one’s institution has one of those other levels of subscription….well, access was limited to a window measured in days. Hence the dashing.
What was paradoxic about my own dashing yesterday is that I’m not generally interested in corpus analysis and I am pretty suspicious of the quality of this particular data resource. What’s more, while this isn’t ‘big data’ in the sense of the sciences, it is bigger, and my current research agenda is focused on relatively small scales. There are a number of reasons for this, which deserve a different post, but none of this kept me from feeling desperate about the short time I had with the data and Davies’ interface yesterday. Nor did it stop me from being openly frustrated about hierarchies of access.
We all know that there are different resources and expectations (although this latter bit is shifting in disturbing ways) at R1s. As a colleague helpfully pointed out via twitter, it’s not just small liberal arts colleges (SLAC) where these differences become apparent – comprehensive universities and community colleges have similarly differential access. While there are a handful of SLACs, CUs, and CCs, that have access, it’s far less likely to see smaller or less affluent institutions subscribe to a $60,000 humanities resource (don’t get me started on the comparison with science data subscriptions).
A handful of people spent some time yesterday talking about the ways that we might address this kind of issue. We might leverage local consortial arrangements to make the case for subscription, we might engage with national consortia (like the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges), we might turn to our professional organizations (MLA, RSA, etc) for help with subscriptions and data access – or we might undertake more “guerrilla” approaches. Each, I suspect, has its affordances and constraints. But I’m aware that I spent a bunch of time thinking about getting access to something that I’m not even sure I want.
Jonathan Sawday asked us earlier in the week if our current technological situation might have been otherwise. This morning I think that this might be a more fruitful vein of inquiry than the “how can I hack access?”. It’s easy to become entrenched in the have/have nots conversation – while the structures of higher education hierarchy and closed data deserve calling out, they might also be a distraction. Why bother fighting for a very dirty data set when we could create it anew and in better form? We were shocked to hear how little it would actually cost to create a new set of high quality images and transcriptions of early modern texts, particularly given how much we value that kind of resource. Given that we’re talking about a relatively small set of texts, such work might not actually take that long.
Now, having hand encoded texts myself as a graduate student and now as a researcher, I know that the devil is in the details and that one needs money to make the work flow happen on a scale of months rather than years. But I’d rather put my energy into that set of intellectual and practical questions. Focusing on making a better, open data set wouldn’t constitute an avoidance of the real issues of access inequity but, rather, a refusal to engage in a battle created by corporate control of humanities resources. I woke up with Audre Lorde in my head (at a spaghetti dinner, but I digress) and I think its worth considering alternative approaches when tools are old and broken. And we don’t have to start from scratch, there are a number of existing projects early modern text projects (Women Writers Online is just one) that have already begun the work, in some sense. That’s where I’ll be hanging out.