Brock Memorial Lecture 2023-2024: "Doing Feminist 'Small Data' Research in a 'Big Data' Context"

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March 7, 2024
6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Manoogian Hall #226
906 W. Warren
Detroit, MI 48201
Event category: Lecture

Please join the Department of Communication for the annual Bernard L. Brock Memorial Lecture 2023-2024 at Manoogian Hall, Room 226, at 6 pm ET on Thursday, March 7, 2024. The event is free and open to the public.

This year's Brock Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Radhika Gajjala, Professor of Media and Communication and of American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, USA. The title of her talk is, "Tooling Around, Stumbling Upon and Building Accidental Archives: Doing Feminist 'Small Data' Research in a 'Big Data' Context."


This talk will discuss the challenges in attempting to retool computational tools for feminist research examining social media publics. How might an implicit and explicit awareness of a “global” audience shape our approach? What shifts are we seeing in how terms like “activist”, “citizen”, “influencer” and “user” are deployed and defined? As Annika Richterich notes, “researchers need to move away from big data-driven approaches, focused merely on techno-methodological innovation, towards data-discursive research foregrounding ethical controversies and risks as well as moral change.” Explicitly taking on a feminist approach - drawing from Haraway’s assertion that all knowledge is situated and that the researcher’s role in producing knowledge must be acknowledged and examined, along with the data collected – this presentation will draw on some examples based on my continuing research with my team.

Speaker Biography:

Radhika Gajjala (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1998) is Professor of Media and Communication and of American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, where she currently serves as Graduate Coordinator at the School of Media and Communication. She heads the research lab for “Tooling Around: Situated Data Analytics, Digital Humanities, Digital Archiving and Data Feminism” which is a team of collaborators examining feminist approaches to the implementation of computational tools in digital humanities and social science. Dr. Gajjala has written several books (most recently: “Digital diasporas: Labor and Affect in Gendered Indian Digital Publics” in 2019), coedited scholarly volumes, such as “The Sage Handbook of Media and Migra-tion” (2019), and been coeditor of the journal Ada: A Journal of Gender and New Media and Managing Editor of the Fembot Collective. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including (most recently) the 2023 Francine Merritt Award from the Women’s Caucus of the National Communication Association. She is currently working on a book with Rutgers University Press.

March 2024