Klein Awarded Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies
Posted March 14, 2018
Lauren Klein, assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was recently awarded a Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The fellowship allows her and collaborator Catherine D’Ignazio, researcher, artist, and software developer at Emerson College, to work on Data Feminism, which will become a book to be published by the MIT Press.
The ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship Program gives aid to small research teams to collaborate on a project. The team of scholars are to produce a tangible research product. The fellowship hopes to emphasize the values of collaborative research and how to model this research framework successfully.
“This is the sort of project that could not exist except as a collaboration. My background in digital humanities and American studies perfectly complements Catherine’s in data journalism and civic media,” said Klein. “Together, we’re able to bring expertise in the history, theory, and practice of data visualization to bear on the book.”
Klein and D’Ignazio’s project highlights questions surrounding data feminism, a way to think about data and its visualization that is illuminated by previous decades of feminist critical thought. The two connected during a design hack-a-thon hosted by Georgia Tech and decided to delve into how feminist thought can be joined with data visualization to tell stories and acknowledge human elements surrounding data collection.
The project reveals how a feminist approach to thinking about data not only exposes how power and privilege operate in data science and visualization work, but also suggests how new design principles can help to mitigate inequality and work toward justice. Klein says that data feminism challenges the way society thinks about data as cold, hard, empirical facts. The notion recognizes human factors that go into how to collect and prioritize data. Data feminism ultimately questions how more ethical and inclusive practices be incorporated into data science, analysis, and communication.
Klein and D’Ignazio will take sabbaticals from teaching in 2019 to focus on their research, which has its seeds in a couple of blog posts the women wrote in 2015. In addition to being published by the MIT Press, Data Feminism will render a companion website and an art exhibition of feminist visualization work, scheduled for installation in Boston in fall 2019 and Atlanta in fall 2020.
The School of Literature, Media, and Communication is part of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.
For more information on the ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowships, visit the ACLS website.
To read an additional news story that features Data Feminism, visit the Emerson College webpage.
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