Several people have contacted me in the last twenty four hours about a relatively new site called FamilyTreeNow.com. The site is one of a couple of large 3rd party data … Continue reading Secure your information online
I’m one of five women on a panel about Feminist Infrastructure at the Digital Humanities annual conference taking place now in Krakow, Poland. Due to other obligations, I’m here in … Continue reading Feminist Infrastructure as Metamorphic Infrastructure
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
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
Participants in the DataPLAY will engage with a set of interactive sculptures that we are currently developing that will offer a range of haptic engagements with data. Included in this will be the Vibrant app, which uses participant’s mobile phone data to produce touch-based (haptic) feedback. Infrasonic subwoofers placed within the sculptures produce vibration feedback based on individual and aggregate data packets being sent and received through mobile phones. The data is de-identified and not permanently captured in order to protect privacy and security. Intended to be a highly interactive session that takes “play” as both recreation and performance, the Vibrant Lives DataPLAY encourages participants to touch, hold, and play with both personal and collective data. Among the play-scenes will be a braiding station, a sandbox, several haptic sculptures, and a data-based dress-up station.
Building off of a larger collaborative project titled “Vibrant Lives,” our session serves as both education and provocation. We want participants to better understand the massive amounts of data we shed on a daily basis and the ways we might engage with that shedding activity as feminist scholars and activists. Our session will be both physical exploration and collective discussion and is informed by our work in improvisational and collaborative performance, feminist STS, and digital/media studies. Among our goals are to continue explore the interdisciplinary perspectives that consider data and its relationships to body and human activity, to foster discussion of what haptics and sonification might offer us in terms of both research and performance of critical perspectives on digital culture, and the possible development of additional research agendas around haptics, personal and public data, and performative approaches to scholarly work.
Globally, people produce 2.5 quintillion (10^18) bytes of data per day. That’s roughly 3.5 million bytes of data per person, per day. Despite the torrential production, many people are only dimly aware of the volume and content of their own data production. Further, few understand how and why corporations and governments are sweeping up this information, even as they argue that such activity logging is benign, or even beneficial, surveillance. Nevertheless, it is clear that this is a highly valued (monetized) part of our lived experience. Critically commenting on this use of personal data, our work gives audiences a real-time sense of their own voluminous data shed. By highlighting the different ways that we engage with technologies of communication, we ask our participant-audiences to consider interplays of value, valuation, and embodied information.
According to a recent Pew Study, 1 in 4 women have experienced online stalking or sexual harassment. Labeled as “social justice warriors,” prominent journalists, media makers, and bloggers have been harassed and threatened for writing about economic inequality, education, and racism in popular culture. The culture of fear that is being created impacts not just professionals, but more perniciously, young women and men who are developing their habits and protocols for online life. From advanced professionals to adolescents, feminists and women are at risk.
Much of this violence has been perpetrated online, but threats like these can move into offline, “real” life. In October, Sarkeesian canceled a talk at Utah State University after receiving a massacre threat inspired by the 1989 Marc Lepine murder of fourteen women. Many people, including women of color and trans people, have experienced threats, harassment, and the distribution of their location and contact information by people hoping to silence their voices. These violations of privacy and personal safety can morph into physical violence.
Harassment and threats of physical violence drive women offline. Declining numbers of women in computer science professions and degree programs is just one example of a trend that threatens to undermine efforts to reduce barriers for connected learning and digital engagement. In addressing online harassment, this project will safeguard gains made by other organizations and ensure that future efforts to overcome legal, technological, economic, and physical barriers can be sustained. We seek to ensure that women who participate in our connected culture do not have to trade physical and psychological security for access to digital resources and communities. We will be addressing not only issues of gender, but also of race, sexuality, and ability. Consequently, our resources will help with some facets of harassment that LGBT community members face as well.
Our project will develop critical resources to establish and support resilient communities that can limit harm preemptively and respond to harassment effectually when necessary. If we are to stop the flight of women from connected work, education, and entertainment then we must put into place the means to combat out of control harassment. The central focus of this proposal is the development of educational and informational resources that will enable educators and advocates to ensure that connected learning and engagement can proceed even in the face of hostility and harassment. Connected learning breaks down if feminists and women of all ages feel unsafe in digital spaces; we can’t end online harassment, but we can ensure that everyone has the tools necessary to maximize the safety of learners and their data.
We will begin with a private summit in July 2015 to develop our production agenda, assign projects, and further develop collaborative ties amongst our networks. This in-person meeting will ensure even and rapid production of materials and events across the distributed network. We include a private retreat for feminists of color in order to develop resources that acknowledge the ways in which race and gender come together to shape responses that are needed for women to have more safety and autonomy online. Structures of power and privilege organize and inform digital engagement in ways that can obliterate trust; our in person meeting is designed to ensure that we have a cohesive, coherent, intersectional, and ethical approach to addressing anti-feminist violence.
While the content will be collaboratively determined in the summit and will be team designed and produced, we do know that we want content in the following areas/of the following kinds:
- Understanding how algorithms, social sharing, and information retrieval works
- Proactive personal data management as a necessary part of digital life
- Systems for documenting & responding to threats w/minimal impact on the person experiencing the threat
- Action and safety plans in the event of a threat
- Best practices for addressing various kinds of threat
- Key terms glossary for violence online
- Existing local and national resource links
- Four video dialogues (Each dialogue will feature two discussants and a moderator and will focus on a keyword. Possible keyword topics for the videos include anti-feminist violence, racist violence, harm reduction, transformative justice, community or collective defense, digital security/privacy, and trolling)
Our content structure is inspired by the nodal structure of FemTechNet, individual and institutional users can deploy our materials to address local needs with robust support structures throughout the year. This allows us to develop a coherent national network to address harassment, while also empowering local groups to tailor their use of our educational materials. In addition, the project team represents participants from diverse geographic locations and professions, thus allowing for broad dissemination of the resources.
We plan to ensure that our digital “product” is in fact a living, constantly developing, responsive resource that will be accessible well beyond the scope of our DML Trust Challenge grant. Additionally, we will host two public online teach-ins in the second half of the year and monthly “open online office hours” to be staffed with experienced scholars and support professionals.
FemTechNet has been a leader in online and distributed education with the highly successful Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC). In addition to extensive presence within accredited institutions, the DOCC includes community courses and self-directed learners who access the resources, materials, tools, and communities online. With these experiences in virtual, blended, and face-to-face classrooms, FemTechNet is uniquely situated to be able to educate and serve online feminist learning communities. We have a well-developed content structure, including high-quality video dialogues, as well as a system for holding teach-ins and open online office hours. Our distributed model of online education also facilitates peer-to-peer connections, thereby strengthening and expanding the level of communal engagement possible with this project.
I’m delighted to announce here that the Digital Media and Learning Competition 5: The Trust Challenge has selected FemTechNet’s “Addressing Anti-Feminist Violence Online” for funding.
This was a wonderfully collaborative effort that arose out conversations sparked by both GamerGate and the violences experienced in the summer of 2014 by female public intellectuals like Dr. Sarah Kendzior (which Eric Garland’s Urgent Dispatch from the Seat of White Privilege does a good job of contextualizing as gender based) and Slate.com author Dr. Rebecca Schuman.
Feeling unsure about life as a feminist scholar with a reasonably strong public profile I wrote the following to the FemTechNet community:
“I’ll be honest and say that I find myself feeling pretty uneasy these days. …with this summer’s threats against female scholars, the shooting on the west coast, and the latest wave of anti-feminist threats it strikes me that it might be a good time to talk about the above and what we can all do to help support one another. I’m also concerned about situations where institutions are themselves part of the threat and deeply aware that many feel threatened for a multitude of reasons these days.”
I was both heartened and saddened by the flood of responses from this relatively small community. It was good for me not to be alone in struggle – but it sucked to hear that so many shared my worry. The responses confirmed that the threats I was concerned about are real and also that women of color and transgender and queer folks face even greater risks.
Out of that discussion came our collective commitment to do something to address the harassment and violence that women and feminists are facing online. There are many who have participated in this effort and we are actively working to join in the chorus of voices that support the rights of feminists to work, write, speak, and live. I’ll be writing more in the coming days about our project and the connections that we hope to make with other efforts to address violence online.
For now, we are delighted to be in such good company with the other DML grantees and honored to be able to do this work.
The awards were announced March 10th at SXSWedu.
Prompted by a discussion on twitter (ht to Whitney Trettien and Daniel Powell) today (2/18/2015) about the inexcusable absence of women’s work from DH syllabi, I’m creating a space for collecting resources (the initial set up is derived from the DHSI course on Feminist DH that I teach each year with Liz Losh – if you’re not on here, it’s not because I don’t know and love your work – I just had precisely 6 minutes to get this rolling). Feel free to add yours in the comments and we’ll make this a running bibl of bad-ass DH and critical digital culture scholars. I’ll also note that there are already some great resources via dhpoco and GO:DH.
NB: I’m squeezing in additions as I’m able. This is currently thematically organized and that’s about it.
You might also want to check out Carly Kocurek’s Teaching Theory and Technology
and Adeline Koh’s crowdsourced Race and DH
Code, Feminist Critiques of Code Culture
Wendy Chun, “Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future Is a Memory”
– selections from Programmed Visions “Invisibly Visible, Visibly, Invisible” and “On Sourcery and Source Code”
Annette Vee, “Text, Speech, Machine…” in Computational Culture
Tara McPherson, “U.S. Operating Systems at Mid-Century” in Race After the Internet
Lisa Gitelman, Always Already New
Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 28, No. 3. (1 March 2003), pp. 801-831
— Posthumanist performativity : Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. In Deborah Orr (ed.), Belief, Bodies, and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2006).
Work and ideas that came up in the ensuing discussion: about work in conversation with Barad:
Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska, Life After New Media, MIT Press, 2012.
Anne Balsamo, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, Duke UP, 2011.
Tara McPherson’s work on Scalar, discussed in a forthcoming article in Difference. (A talk version is here:
–Micha Cardenas and Zach Blas, “Imaginary Computational Systems, Queer Technologies, and Transreal Aesthetics”
Micha Cardenas et all, in http://transreal.org/media-n-journal-2013-caa-conference-edition/ and http://www.e-fagia.org/digievent/2011/tx/michaElle.html
Maria Fernandez, Faith Wilding, and Michelle M. Wright, Domain Errors, (Autonomedia, 2003)
Caludia Reiche and Verena Kuni, eds. Cyberfeminism: Next Steps (Autonomedia, 2004)
Kim Christen-Withey’s work on Mukurtu as anti-imperialist approach to database design
“Fuzzy logic:” looking at measures of information as the continuum between 0 and 1 rather than the binary,
–connected to French Feminism: Kristeva, Cixous, Irigiray, Wittig.
–see work of Margaret Homans, introduction and opening chapter in Bearing the Word (Chicago UP, 1989).
- Play, Feminist Game Studies
Mary Flanagan, Critical Play: Radical Game Design (Introduction, Ch. 2. “Playing House” (17-62) and and Ch. 7 “Critical Computer Games” (222-249).
Janine Fron, Tracy Fullerton, Jacquelyn Ford Morie, and Celia Pearce, “The Hegemony of Play”
Bonsignore, E.,* Hansen, D., Kraus, K., & Ruppel, M.* (2013). Alternate Reality Games as platforms for practicing 21st -century literacies. International Journal of Learning and Media
Kraus, K. (2011). “A counter-friction to the machine”: What game scholars, librarians, and archivists can learn from machinima makers about user activism. Special commissioned issue on machinima. Journal of Visual Culture 10(1), 100-112
Liz Losh, “#Gamergate 101” date: 10/17
Nina Huntemann (co-ed), Gaming Globally: Production, Play and Place and Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games.
— (associate producer of the film) Joystick Warriors: Video Game Violence and the Culture of Militarism
— (produced and directed) Game Over: Gender, Race and Violence in Video Games
- Discipline/Access, Feminist Critiques of Technoculture
Radhika Gajjala, Cyberselves: Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women and of Cyberculture
—the Subaltern: Weavings of the Virtual and Real.
Anne Balsamo, “Feminism for the Incurably Informed,” Ch. 6 in Technologies of the Gendered Body
N. Katherine Hayles, “Prologue: Computing Kin,” in My Mother Was a Computer “Prologue” and “Toward Embodied Virtuality,” in How We Became Posthuman
Lisa Nakamura “Indigenous Circuits” in American Studies Quarterly
Morgan Currie, “The Feminist Critique: Mapping Controversy in Wikipedia” in Understanding Digital Humanities, ed. David Berry (2012)
Heather Froehlich and Michele Moravec, Postcolonial Digital Humanities | Gender and the DHPoco Open Thread: A Corpus Analysis
Jasbir Puar, Homonationalism gone Viral (youtube video)
- Program, Feminism and Theories of the Media Apparatus
Lisa Parks on drone vision: “Zeroing In: Overhead Imagery, Infrastructure Ruins, and Datalands in Afghanistan and Iraq” Ch. 14 in The Visual Culture reader, 3rd Ed., ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff, Routledge 2012
Lucy Suchman, “Preface,” “Introduction,” “Interactive Artifacts,” “Plans,” and “Situated Actions” Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication
–“Human/Machine Reconsidered,” published by the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University at
Genevieve Bell and Paul Dourish “Contextualizing Ubiquitous Computing,” in Divining a Digital Future
Murray, Janet Horowitz. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: Free Press, 1997
Blair, Ann. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. New Haven Conn.: Yale University Press, 2011. Print.
Nina Lykke, Randi Markussen, and Finn Olesen, “There are Always More Things Going On Than You Thought!”: Methodologies as Thinking Technologies: Interview with Donna Haraway” Bits of Life: Feminism at the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology.
Kraus, K. and Levi, A.* (Eds.). (2012). Rough Cuts: Media and Design in Process. [Online collection of essays and artifacts]. MediaCommons: The New Everyday. [Collection includes 23 contributors; edited, curated, and published by Kraus and Levi with introduction written by Kraus]
Lisa Snyder on 3D Modeling
Miriam Posner’s Blog, especially “Commit to DH People, Not DH Projects”
- Archive, Feminist DH Projects
Alex Juhasz, The Views of the Feminist Archive
Kate Eichhorn, The Archival turn in Feminism
Katherine D. Harris, Forget Me Not! The Rise of British Literary Annuals, 1823-1835, a literary and cultural history of early British literary annuals. Ohio University Press, forthcoming June 2015.
— “TechnoRomanticism: Creating Digital Editions in an Undergraduate Classroom.” Journal of Victorian Culture 16:1 (2011 April): 107-112. Invited by journal editor, James Mussell.
Julia Flanders & Jacqueline Wernimont, “Feminism in the Age of Digital Archives” Tulsa Studies of Women’s Literature
Watch: Amy Earhart on obsolescence in feminist DH projects,
“Recovering the Recovered Text” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ui9PIjDreo
Bethany Nowviskie “What Girls Dig”
Trettien, Whitney Anne. ‘A Deep History of Electronic Textuality: The Case of English Reprints Jhon Milton Areopagitica’. Digital Humanities Quarterly. 7.1 (2013)
Kraus, K. (2013). Picture Criticism: Textual Studies and the Image. In Julia Flanders and Neil Fraistat (Eds.) Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 3.
Kraus, K. (2011). Prim Drift, Copybots, and Folk Preservation. In Megan Winget and William Aspray (Eds.) Digital Media: Tech
Michelle Moravec, Unghosting Apparitional (Lesbian) Histories
Fischer-Starcke, B. ‘Keywords and Frequent Phrases of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice A Corpus-Stylistic Analysis’. International journal of corpus linguistics 14.4 (2009): 492–523.
Lutzky, Ursula. ‘Why and What in Early Modern English Drama’. Middle and Modern English Corpus Linguistics: a Multi-dimensional Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins (2012): 177–190.
— and Jane Demmen. ‘Pray in Early Modern English Drama’. Journal of Historical Pragmatics 14.2 (2013): 263–284.
Marchi, Anna, and Charlotte Taylor. ‘If on a Winter’s Night Two Researchers… A Challenge to Assumptions of Soundness of Interpretation’. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines 3.1 (2009): 1–20. Print.
Mahlberg, Michaela. ‘Corpus Linguistics and the Study of Nineteenth-Century Fiction’. Journal of Victorian Culture 15.2 (2010): 292–298.
— Catherine Smith, and Simon Preston. ‘Phrases in Literary Contexts: Patterns and Distributions of Suspensions in Dickens’s Novels’. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 18.1 (2013): 35–56.
Pahta, Päivi, and Andreas H. Jucker. Communicating Early English Manuscripts. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Meurman-Solin, Anneli and Jukka Tyrkkö. Principles and Practices for the Digital Editing and Annotation of Diachronic Data. Studies in Variation, Contact and Change in English. Volume 14. Helsinki, Finland: 2013 http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/14/
Nevalaienen, Terttu and Susan Fitzmaurice. How to Deal with Data: Problems and Approaches to the Investigation of the English Language over Time and Space. Volume 7. Helsinki, Finland: 2011 http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/07/
Gonzalez-Diaz, V. and Hodson, J. and Auer, A.. Language and Literary Style. Linguistics and Literature. John Benjamins, Amsterdam: 2012