Purdue University Libraries Purdue Logo Purdue Libraries
 Hours  |   My Account  |   Ask a Librarian Get Help Give to the Libraries

‘Critical Data Studies’ category

Matt Hannah, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Matt Hannah

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities Matt Hannah has been busily laying the foundation for an ongoing and robust discussion about digital humanities (DH) and to advance digital scholarship overall at Purdue. Since he started at Purdue in March 2018, he has put together and delivered many DH workshops and contributed to many digital scholarship projects and efforts on campus, and is developing a DH Studio in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (HSSE) Library.

Recently, he also launched the Digital Interest Group at Purdue, which will meet monthly. Group members will discuss key scholarship ideas, projects, and concepts in DH, computational social sciences, Critical Data Studies, science and technology studies, digital history, data science, and more. The first meeting is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11; visit http://bit.ly/dhigpurdue to sign up for the group (location to TBD). According to Hannah (who goes by @TinkeringHuman on Twitter), the group will also tinker with various methodologies and tools, write and share code, and discuss digital projects.

“We imagine this interest group will become a hub for anyone at Purdue interested in digital scholarship broadly conceived,” he noted.

In addition to advancing DH at Purdue, Hannah will advance DH internationally, as he has recently accepted a fellowship as a Fulbright Specialist with a few institutions in Morocco to set up a DH boot camp for digital scholars there.

Below, Hannah shares more about his upcoming fellowship and the DH work he will be doing in Morocco over the next three years.

Q. How did you come to know about this opportunity?

Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Matt Hannah works in the programming language R in his office in the DH Studio located in the HSSE Library. In the spring of 2019, offered a text analysis workshop series using R.

Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Matt Hannah works in the programming language R in his office in the DH Studio located in the HSSE Library. In the spring of 2019, he offered a text analysis workshop series using R.

Hannah: Because of the work we’ve been doing in Digital Humanities at Purdue, I was contacted by Dr. Stacy Holden, an associate professor of history at Purdue, who specializes in the Middle East. She has been working in Morocco for many years, and she’s currently there on a Fulbright fellowship. She articulated an interest in Digital Humanities among faculty and staff she’s collaborated with in Morocco and suggested I apply for a Fulbright Specialist fellowship to organize intensive Digital Humanities workshops to be conducted over several days. I then worked with Dr. Christopher Lukasic to prepare an application, and, for a time, we weren’t sure whether our idea would be successful.

Q. You mentioned you will work with individuals in institutions in Morocco to set up a Digital Humanities boot camp. Tell me more about this project and/or projects. What will they entail?

Hannah: Fulbright Specialists serve shorter terms, generally around a particular project in which an expert in the field may be paired with an overseas institution to collaborate. Through Dr. Holden’s contacts in Morocco, I’ve been in communication with colleagues at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tétouan and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane to arrange week-long intensive Digital Humanities workshops. These workshops will cover the range of possible tools and methods so participants will gain a wide ranging set of skills in DH by the end of the week. In addition, I will coordinate with faculty and staff to consult on existing projects and initiatives.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with your boot camps?

Hannah: I am hoping to develop great relationships with Moroccan digital humanists and develop a strong network of international collaboration around the topic of digital scholarship. In addition, I plan to consult with faculty working on DH projects and lend assistance where I can. Finally, I hope to develop an intensive curriculum that I can teach at other universities around the world. I’m grateful to Fulbright for making such international relationships possible.

Q. What is the timeline for your boot camps over the next three years? Any collaborators you want to recognize, share information about?

Hannah: I’d love to visit other universities in Morocco to conduct similar workshops. Often, Digital Humanities gets discussed as though it were only an Anglo-American phenomenon, when we know scholars around the world are doing dynamic and exciting work. I also hope to develop this boot camp series into an offering I can teach at other international universities and colleges, as well as offer to interested parties at Purdue.

Q. Any other information that will be important to include that isn’t touched on the questions above?

Hannah: One key aspect of the Fulbright role is to gain knowledge from my hosts. I’m very much looking forward to discovering what Digital Humanities looks like in the Moroccan context and, through a process of collaboration, to expand my own scholarly horizons through the sustained conversations made possible by the Fulbright program.


For more information about DH at Purdue, contact Hannah at hannah8@purdue.edu.

“Critical Data Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field that addresses the ethical, legal, sociocultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, and digital infrastructure.”

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, at Purdue Feb. 13. Eubanks' talk was part of the Critical Data Studies (CDS) lecture series and the University's Ideas Festival for Purdue University Sesquicentennial Celebration. Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” She also co-edited with Alethia Jones “Ain’t Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired.

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, speaking at Purdue Feb. 13. Eubanks’ talk was part of the Critical Data Studies (CDS) Distinguished Lecture Series, as well as the University’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of the Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign. Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired. In October 2018, the CDS Distinguished Lectures Series and Ideas Festival featured Dr. Safiya Noble, critically acclaimed author of “Algorithms of Oppression.”

There is a great deal of talk about data-driven research and “Big Data” at Purdue and, in general, in the business and education sectors across the U.S. For example, through the University’s Integrated Data Science Initiative (IDSI) launched this year, Purdue researchers aim to be at the “forefront of advancing data science-enabled research and education by tightly coupling theory, discovery, and applications while providing students with an integrated, data science-fluent campus ecosystem.”

There is growing acknowledgement across sectors that reliance on automated and data-driven decision-making, ubiquitous data collection, and the networked nature of daily life has profoundly impacted human relationships, trust in public institutions, and power imbalances across societies.

Critical Data Studies at Purdue

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty members Kendall Roark (left), Bethany McGowan (center), Danielle Walker (right).

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty members who are part of the Critical Data Studies Collaborative at Purdue: Kendall Roark (left), Bethany McGowan (center), Danielle Walker (right).

The Critical Data Studies Collaborative at Purdue is a multidisciplinary community that seeks to create opportunities for dialogue about the ethical, legal, sociocultural, epistemological, and political aspects of data science, big data, and digital infrastructure by providing a space to share work and expertise; promote student, trainee, and faculty learning; and collaborate on new research and learning initiatives.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the CDS Collective launched the inaugural Critical Data Studies Distinguished Lecture Series, Fall (Safiya Noble, Oct. 3) & Spring (Virginia Eubanks, Feb. 13); and the monthly Open Seminar Series. Beginning 2019-2020, the collaborative will launch a Critical Data Studies Cohort of the Data Mine Learning Community in collaboration with faculty and postdocs affiliated with the Purdue Honors College, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, African American Studies, and the Department of Anthropology.

To learn more, visit http://tinyurl.com/critdatastudies.


Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Bethany McGowan, part of the Critical Data Studies Collective, helped introduce Virginia Eubanks when she spoke at Purdue Feb. 13.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Bethany McGowan, part of the Critical Data Studies Collective, helped introduce Virginia Eubanks when she spoke at Purdue Feb. 13.

Critical Data Studies Spring 2019 Events Calendar

  • Spring Kickoff Meet and Greet
    12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27: CDS Seminar Series and Digital Humanities Studio
    Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE) Library, first floor (Periodical Reading Room)
  • CDS Seminar Series—Power: Technology, Ethics, and Social Justice in the Classroom Roundtable
    2-3 p.m. Friday, March 29, Swaim Conference Room, fourth floor, HSSE Library
  • CDS Seminar Series—Power: Critical Political Ecologies Roundtable
    2-3 p.m. Friday, April 26, Swaim Conference Room, fourth floor, HSSE Library
Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science, University of Albany, the State University of New York (SUNY)

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science, University of Albany, the State University of New York (SUNY)

Courtesy of Purdue News Service

In an increasingly automated world, what if artificial intelligence (AI) tools are harmful to poor people? They just might be.

Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY, will address this question in her lecture “What IF AI tools Punish the Poor?” She argues that government data and its abuses have worsened inequality and created a digital poorhouse by imposing a new regime of surveillance, profiling, punishment, containment and exclusion in our society.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is 4:30 p.m. Feb. 13 in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. It will be followed by a Q&A session.

For 20 years, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of Our Data Bodies Project and was a fellow at New America.

The event is a part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign, which is a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. One of the Ideas Festival’s themes is artificial intelligence, algorithms and automation.

Eubanks is the author of “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” and “Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age.” She also co-edited with Alethia Jones “Ain’t Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.” Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired.

This Spring Critical Data Studies Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Honors College. Eubanks’ visit also is co-sponsored by the AI Committee/Ideas Festival, American Studies Program, Black Cultural Center, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Center for Science of Information – NSF Science & Technology Center, Civic Engagement and Leadership Development, Critical Data Studies, The Data Mine, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology, Diversity Resource Office, Honors College, Purdue University Libraries – Seminar Committee, Purdue Graduate Student Government, and Purdue University Fort Wayne.