IDAH Speaker Series

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 23
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    Ethics in GIS & Community Mapping
    (2021-11-17) Sáncehz, Edis; Sloan, Heather; Quill, Theresa
    This workshop will begin with a discussion of ethics in working with spatial data, and features a special talk by researchers Edis Sanchez and Heather Sloan on ways to ethically conduct community research. Community Mapping and Participatory GIS are popular research methods that seek to engage research subjects as collaborators and empower communities. But these same tools can also unintentionally endanger vulnerable populations, or even outright exploit them. This workshop will begin with a discussion of ethics in working with spatial data, and features a special talk by researchers Edis Sanchez and Heather Sloan on ways to ethically conduct community research, using their project on traditional drum making in the Dominican Republic as an example.
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    Regenerative Archives: Power, Solidarity, and Affectivity in Community-University Partnerships
    (2022-03-21) Hicks-Alcaraz, Marisa
    Despite the proliferation of community-based archives that aim to shift control away from archivist and to ward records creators, existing models, including community-based and post-custodialism, however well intentioned, have been insufficient in disrupting systems of authority and power in archives. The turn toward digital collections and community-university partnerships ultimately perpetuates some of the same pitfalls of traditional models, and even creates new ones. Archives could and should go beyond the logics of possession, whether of physical or digital records, to prioritize human centered-values that position record creators not only as subjects, but as active agents in their own liberation. This presentation puts forth a “regenerative” praxis that aims to realize the emancipatory potential of archives by prioritizing community ownership, affectivity, and solidarity. Regenerative practices calls on archivists and archival scholars to foster long-term relationships rather than division and separation; to engage in acts of service and reciprocity rather than in power and authority. Such a framework necessarily moves away from traditional archival principles of records acquisition and control over community intellectual property and, instead, moves toward the sharing of wealth and resources through archives-focused mutual aid projects in solidarity with record creators and keepers who wish to control their narratives on their own terms. This presentation will highlight the regenerative tactics of ImaginX en Movimiento (IXeM), a digital archives collective based in Tongvaar (Los Angeles basin) that seeks to support archival projects being imagined and built outside of cultural heritage institutions by Black, Indigenous, women and LGBTQIA+ of color, and diasporic groups. IXeM uses minimal computing solutions (cloud storage, social media, photo scanning applications) to build new digital infrastructure for supporting personal archives projects and to co-develop multimedia public history projects with grassroots museums, libraries, and organizations that rebuilds connection, collective power, and deepens our sense of responsibility to one another.
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    Constellations: The Limits and Inspirations of Mapping Queer Cities of Survival & Desire
    (2021-11-12) Gieseking, Jen Jack
    The path to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) liberation has been narrated through a claim to long-term territory in the form of urban neighborhoods and bars. Lesbians and queers fail to attain or retain these spaces over generations—as is often the case due to lesser political and economic power—so what then is the lesbian-queer production of urban space in their own words and images? Building from, and extending, the arguments of my book, A Queer New York, I led the design, development, and construction of a digital, interactive maps in An Everyday Queer New York: Mapping LGBTQ NYC History (AEQNY, AEQNY maps over 3,000 NYC-based places in lesbian-queer organizational records and media publications from Brooklyn’s Lesbian Herstory Archives spanning 25 years. In this talk, I examine how the AEQNY mapping project and related LGBTQ interactive mapping projects such a Queering the Map and LGBTQ HistoryPinafford three insights. First, I speak to new ways of thinking about the contributions of geospatial “big” data: namely, how most big data is created and recorded in ways that reproduce systems of oppression, while the marginalized are often left with little or no data of their own to map their own stories. Second, while these maps enhance public understanding of LGBTQ history through mapping vast archival materials, less obvious is the skilled, collaborative labor required to produce and maintain such maps. Finally, in comparing my queer feminist theoretical contribution of the inherent relationality of lesbian-queer spaces as constellations, I examine how GIS mapping both expands and limits how we record, portray, and imagine lesbian-queer geographies. DR. GIESEKING’S BIO: Jen Jack Gieseking is a cultural and economic geographer engaged in research on co-productions of space and identity in digital and material environments. Their work pays special attention to how such productions support or inhibit social, spatial, and economic justice in regard to gender and sexuality. He is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches courses on digital, feminist, and queer geographies and critical cartography and mapping. Jack’s book, A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers, is the first lesbian historical geography of New York City, and forthcoming from NYU Press. Their mixed ethnographic / archival approach resulted in his rethinking the construction of “data” to produce a series of LGBTQ data visualizations about queer history, a project of visualizing the invisible. These data visualizations aim to produce a space for collaborative, public queer history, and include an interactive map of over 1,600 lesbian-queer places to date spanning 1983 to 2008 onAn Everyday Queer New York website, a complement to the book. Jack’s larger, long-term project of queering data ethics primarily draws from his research on trans people’s use of Tumblr as a site of cultural production, and a hub for co-produced health and well-being knowledge. They can be found at or @jgieseking. Jack uses he/him/his and they/them/theirs pronouns.
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    Bringing the Field Recording Home: Sampling the Everyday
    (2021-03-12) Daniel, Andrew (Drew); Schmidt, M.C. (Martin)
    Where, exactly, is “the field” implied by field recording? Can you make a “field recording” inside your own home? What does the widespread dissemination of portable recording devices mean for the future of sonic practices? Is the sound of your everyday life already a work of music? In this hybrid lecture presentation and artist’s talk, Drew and M.C. Schmidt of Matmos will discuss the political and social questions of consent, control, access and “shareveillance” that surround their critical and creative practices of sampling and composition. The talk will discuss both their work as electronic musicians in Matmos and “Quarantine Supercut”, a globally crowdsourced audio collage documenting the public and private so
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    Gentrification as Interruption: Listening to the Everyday Disruption of Black Life
    (2021-03-02) Martin, Allie
    Like cities around the globe, Washington, DC has been gentrifying for decades. As a result, the city’s overall population has soared while the Black population has decreased from its peak Chocolate City status in the 1970s. These processes of gentrification are often studied longitudinally, where we see neighborhoods shift in racial demographics, socioeconomic status, and cultural formation over a given period of time. In this talk, I use a digital sound studies approach to recast gentrification as interruption, as jagged disruptions to everyday Black life in DC. These ruptures are a crucial part of the city’s gentrification story, and yet are often overlooked in favor of a more reductive narrative of displacement. Using music and soundscape analysis, I consider gentrification as the sonic disruption of Black life: through sirens, the displacement of music scenes, and the criminalization of sound. These stories, drawn from DC’s rapidly gentrifying Shaw neighborhood, are intended to broaden conversations about gentrification and help us to listen against everyday sonic harms.
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    Identity & Sound: Exploring Audio's Natural Storytelling Ability
    (2021-03-02) Fisher, Devon
    In my talk, I discuss Identity and Sound, which is an umbrella project that relies on a series of public-contributed, interactive audio installations. Inspired by the Nkisi sculptures and the spirits that inhabit these artifacts, I have been working on a series of projects that can be described as audio-based Nkisis. The first of these installations was in response to an African art history class that juxtaposed Nkisi artifacts with embodied audio. The second project conceived as a real-time, art performance installation sought audio input from the public. The goal is to create a layered, looping audio collage of those inhabiting that space, no matter how briefly, in order to create a unified sound, influenced and informed by social norms associated with that particular place. The current iteration of Identity and Sound is now manifesting in virtual, 3D environments, in which the sonic atmosphere is being created from audio messages recorded by friends and family. All three instantiations contain a data collection piece for art-making and related issues around anonymity and privacy that needed to be addressed without compromising the participants or the projects. Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, a common thread across all three of these audio-driven, performative art installations is this idea of creating a unified sound that represents a place, conveys emotions, and ultimately, tells the story of that place, all through the collaborative nature of the installation.
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    Research in Solidarity: Documenting Dispossession and Resistance with The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
    (2020-11-19) Graziani, Terra
    What does it mean to do research in solidarity with movements? This presentation will share lessons from the work of The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a data-visualization, data analysis, and storytelling collective documenting dispossession and resistance upon gentrifying landscapes. With chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City, AEMP is a collective of scholars, storytellers, organizers, activists, and artists using data to fight for tenants’ rights and housing justice. Working with community partners and in solidarity with numerous housing movements, we study and visualize new entanglements of global capital, real estate, technocapitalism, and political economy. Our narrative oral history and video work centers the displacement of people and complex social worlds, but also modes of resistance. Maintaining antiracist and feminist analyses as well as decolonial methodology, the project creates tools and disseminates data contributing to collective resistance and movement building.
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    “Sensing” Place: Habit Change in the Mobile, Connected Present
    (2020-11-18) Cooley, Heidi Rae
    We live in an age when mobile touchscreen devices are customarily “on” and in-hand. As a consequence, we frequently engage in practices that involve documenting the self in motion, our geolocational beads (or arrows) locating us and guiding us to destinations of interest (e.g., ATMs, gas stations, restaurants, friend’s houses). These are the sorts of habits our technologies engender. And I contend that, in doing so, they help form and regulate conduct in a nonconscious, habitual—even neurophysiological—manner. In which case, it is at the nonconscious level of existence that habit change needs to work. In this talk, I will draw on American pragmatist Charles Sanders Pierce’s account of habit change to discuss how our geolocative devices might orient us differently in relation to the landscapes and urban terrains we traverse. To provide example of what habit change might look like in the mobile, connected present, I discuss three collaborative mapping projects in whose design and development I have participated. These projects—Augusta App, Ghosts of the Horseshoe, and Ward One App—have afforded me opportunities to explore how the very mechanisms through which technologies of connectivity and location awareness shape habit might also serve as vehicles for re-appropriating social, political histories and practices in the service of habit change.
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    GIS and Spatial Thinking for Public Health: Potential, Pitfalls, and Considerations
    (2020-11-17) Planey, Arrianna
    There is growing interest in geographic information science and spatial analysis in public health research and practice, with emphasis on place-based interventions. However, given the spatialization of social inequity, these tools and methods can be used to reproduce the status quo if we do not critically apply spatial thinking when we use spatial methods and tools for public health problems. In this talk, I impress the importance of place for public health and discuss potential remedies and directions.
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    Aspects of Mapping and GIS Service in Higher Education Library
    (2020-11-20) Misgna, Girmaye
    Based on experience at the Penn Libraries, my talk will explore the landscape of Mapping and GIS services at higher education institutions, and the role and core competency of the GIS librarian in promoting spatial literacy on campus through presentation of several examples: 1) The Penn MapRoom/MapTable as a collaborative mapping method that have been successfully integrated as a course curriculum into an Urban History class; 2) Penn COVID-19 Twitter sentiment mapping; 3) crowdsourced accessbility mapping application; 4) deep mapping in an ancient history project; and 5) miscellaneous research project consultations. The examples cover applications in various disciplines from the Social sciences, humanities, and health sciences, to physical sciences.
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    Placing Environmental Lead Exposure on Notice
    (2020-11-16) Nelson, Erik
    Lead is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that causes numerous adverse health effects in children, particularly neurological and neurobehavioral deficits, lower IQ, slowed growth, and anemia. Childhood lead exposure has also been linked to impulsive behaviors, which, in turn, are associated with a host of negative health outcomes and behaviors. Those at highest risk for elevated blood lead levels are persons living in substandard housing, which are often inhabited by racial minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged persons. This talk will discuss findings of the interplay of lead, concentrated disadvantage and public health outcomes such as sexually transmitted infections and instances of crime. In addition, we will address the power of geospatial modeling techniques to estimate lead exposure risk for communities.
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    Geographies of Disruption: Mapping to Make Sense of 2020's Sociopolitical Upheaval
    (2020-11-10) Hyman, Christy; Nelson, Erik; Planey, Arrianna; Cooley, Heidi Rae; Misgna, Girmaye
    Experts explore the disenfranchisement and disruptions of 2020, and examine how mapping can help us make sense of crucial issues both during this historic year and beyond. Five guests across a range of disciplines—including public health, media studies, digital humanities, and library science—came together for a moderated panel discussion to discuss issues related to political ecologies of health and disease, relationships between bodies and technology, data access and geospatial methodology as applied to humanities and social sciences.
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    Visualizing Comic Book City Data
    (2020-03-12) Chambliss, Julian
    In this workshop, participants will examine a set of visualizations created by a team of faculty, librarians and academic specialists at Michigan State University. Using Michigan State University Library (MSUL) library data, this group can be utilized to explore questions of community and identity in comics culture. Utilizing the MSUL dataset, we will use Flourish to create visualizations that shed light on the patterns linked to comic publishing in the United States. Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how to prepare data, model it in Flourish, and how to access pre-existing datasets here and elsewhere that work with Flourish.
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    Mapping Comic Book Imaginaries: Exploring the Landscape of Comic Practice
    (2020-03-11) Chambliss, Julian
    What is the narrative of comic book history in the United States? For some comic scholars, a canon defined by themes such as trauma, memory, and autobiography defines the use way that comics provide particular insight on popular culture. Whatever these debates about comic canon, the form offers an important opportunity. Comic history is also urban history. Comics have played a central role in shaping our collective understanding of urban life. As visual narrative informed by questions of community, consumption, and identity, the comic medium offers an opportunity to think deeply about how the perception and the reality of urban life evolve through comic pages. In this presentation, Julian Chambliss will discuss the potential benefits offered by Collection as Data project developed by a Michigan State University workgroup using Michigan State University Library (MSUL) library metadata. What narratives of comics and community does such a dataset offer to scholars? How can these narratives engage students and scholars to create a greater understanding of comics and culture in the United States? This talk will highlight some potential pathways offered by comic book cities as windows on a wider urban imaginary in the United States.
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    Dismantling Borders' Toxic Discourses and Colonial Cultural Records
    (2019-11-13) Fernandez, Sylvia
    While cartography is a colonialist product when unrepresented individuals or communities utilize and recreate these tools they serve to contest a colonial cultural record. With respect to U.S.-Mexico borderlands, toxic discourses have continuously altered its history, social dynamics, culture, local and binational relationships. This presentation brings to the forefront initiatives that create alternative cartographies that challenge colonialist impositions such as: Borderlands Archives Cartography (BAC), a transborderlands project dedicated to locate, map and facilitate access to nineteenth and mid-twentieth century U.S.-Mexico borderlands newspapers; and Torn Apart / Separados, a mobilized humanities project that intervenes in the United States’ immigration debates with data narratives illuminating the effects of the government’s policy of separating families and the infrastructure subtending immigration enforcement. These initiatives use GIS tools to interpret data and archival material in new ways, enabling to see patterns otherwise invisible in static maps. BAC and Torn Apart digital maps and visualizations pose new questions contest established narratives, creates alternative forms of mapping and activate a knowledge production shaped from the ground-up. With this in mind, these alternative cartographies function as a historical and cultural record of the present and become resources to resist impositions in the future.
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    Approaches to public data and archives: Mapping as a form of activism
    (2019-11-14) Fernandez, Sylvia
    Toxic discourses towards the Mexico-United States borderland and its communities have continuously altered history, social dynamics, culture, among other things that are part of this region. Meanwhile, by utilizing digital companions such as digital maps, it is possible to contest to these kind of narratives that invisibilized borderlands’ dynamics. According to Annita Lucchesi, “The power of mapping is that there is so much power in it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be oppressive…It can be liberating. It can be healing. It can be empowering, especially when it’s being used by people who have been historically oppressed” (“Mapping MMIWG” 2019). By taking into consideration Lucchesi’s argument, this workshop will work in a hands-on experience with archival material and public data to create maps that challenge toxic discourses and colonial cultural records. Taking into consideration projects such as Borderlands Archives Cartography and Torn Apart / Separados, this workshop will go over the creation process of activism projects through the use of mapping technology. Participants will work with archival material and public data, will gain ethical and critical skills to the incorporation of humanities studies with digital companions, as well as collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to create activism mapping resources.
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    Working in Public: A Workshop on Generous Thinking
    (2019-11-15) Fitzpatrick, Kathleen
    Working in public, and with the public, can enable scholars to build vital, sustainable research communities, both within their fields, with other scholars in different fields, and with folks off-campus who care about the kinds of work that we do. By finding ways to connect with a broad range of publics, in a range of different registers, and in ways that allow for meaningful response, we can create the possibilities for far more substantial public participation in and engagement with the humanities, and with the academy more broadly. This workshop will focus on ways of envisioning the publics with whom we work and the questions that public engagement surfaces.
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    Making Data with Markup: From the Classroom to Digital Scholarly Edition of Accounts
    (2018-11-14) Tomasek, Kathryn
    When students transcribe and mark up primary sources, they learn the kind of close reading that is necessary for historical interpretation. When their professors teach transcription and markup, they can discover new research projects and make an impact on their fields. In 2004, Tomasek began to work with colleagues in the Wheaton College Archives and in Library and Information Services to build transcription and markup into an undergraduate course in nineteenth-century U.S. Women’s History. They used a scaffolded assignment that allowed students to build on skills developed throughout the semester, and students reported real investment in the life of the daughter of a Baptist minister whose journal they transcribed and marked up. Summer interns who did similar work with the pocket diaries and travel journal of Eliza Baylies Wheaton, a member of the institution’s founding family, did extra unassigned work tracking down the graves of people mentioned in the documents in town cemeteries. By 2009, the Wheaton team had developed a successful model for teaching students close reading, but they had run out of “easy” documents like journals and pocket diaries. So Tomasek and her colleagues turned to the daybook kept by a member of the institution’s founding family. A student research assistant who attended DHSI and took the Introduction to TEI course with Tomasek became the local expert and assisted in teaching a module focused on transcription and markup of the daybook. As is always the case, some students took to the assignment more readily than others. Pairing students to work on a page spread worked better than asking individual students to take on the work themselves. Successful students found stories in their page spreads and wrote real historical depictions of the facts and their significance. Tomasek, her library partners, and the student assistant taught the module for two years before receiving a Start-Up award for further investigation of markup for account books from the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2011. This award marked a transition in Tomasek’s research agenda to a focus on account books as humanities sources and the value of digital scholarly editions for reuse by other researchers. The small community of practice that began in summer 2011 expanded with the help of a Bilateral Digital Humanities award from the German Research Foundation and the NEH in 2015. Tomasek found the use of the classroom module to be slower than ideal for producing a full edition of the day book, and she transitioned to more intensive work with summer interns in 2015. A group of those interns completed a first-run transcription and markup of the daybook in 2016, and an alpha version is part of a data set that includes excerpts from the Financial Papers of George Washington, accounts from the Stagville plantation in North Carolina, Matthew Carey’s Printers File, and accounts of the Uihlein family, founders of the Schlitz brewing company.
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    Research Driven Art
    (2019-02-25) Sinders, Caroline
    Caroline Sinders is an artist and researcher exploring how new kinds of data sets, be it emotional data, traumatic data, or political data can then affect algorithms. How can these outputs be actualized as an art piece? Can the creation of a data set help create equity in digital spaces? Her work explores the intersections of critical design, data, and AI as art. This talk will explore the methodology she's created to guide both her art and research practice, called 'research driven art.' Inspired by photojournalism, critical design, and open source software, research driven art is a process driven artistic methodology, focusing on question answering and question exploring, and how a research process can be an artistic practice as well as an artistic output.
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    A Tale of Two Projects: Successes and Failures in Community Engagement
    (2019-02-13) Wingo, Rebecca
    Community engagement in the digital realm is always a careful balance between giving community members control of their own history and bringing academic expertise into the community. That balance isn't always the same from project to project. Dr. Wingo will draw on her experiences with two similar projects that had very different outcomes: an amazing community-led project to build the history of Rondo with the African American community in St. Paul Minnesota, and a community history project with the Crow tribe in Montana that has so far failed to get off the ground. She'll then walk the audience through best practices for thoughtful, considerate digital community engagement that acknowledge and privilege local community goals.