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Humanities Center

Digital Humanities Series

Roopika Risam: "Beyond the Migrant 'Problem': The Ethics of Migration Data Visualization"

Wednesday, March 24, 5:00-6:00 PM 

ZOOM ( ID: 865 8198  3725  Password: 690873 )

Roopika Risam

Given the stunning amount of data about contemporary migration currently available through sources like the United Nations, migration has been the subject of numerous data visualizations. Rhetorical and technical choices made in data visualizations have positioned refugees and forced migrants as instigators of a “crisis.” These forms of data storytelling displace the geo-political, colonial, and neo-colonial causes of migration onto refugees themselves, positioning them as “problems.” In this talk, Risam explores the narrative dimensions of migrant data. What does it mean to tell migrant narratives through data? What kinds of migrant narratives do data-driven approaches facilitate and what narratives are obscured through data-driven approaches? And what kinds of data storytelling ethics foster the agency of migrants?

Roopika Risam is Associate Professor and Faculty Fellow of Digital Library Initiatives at Salem State University and author of New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy (Northwestern University Press, 2018). Her research interests lie at the intersections of postcolonial and African diaspora studies, humanities knowledge infrastructures, and digital humanities. She co-directs Reanimate, an intersectional feminist publishing collective that recovers archival writing by women in media industries, and co-hosts Rocking the Academy, a podcast about new visions of higher education.

This talk is co-sponsored by  meriam library

Art and Social Change

With the 2020-21 theme, Art and Social Change, the Humanities Center seeks to inspire discussion about the ways that art can help us understand the past, engage with current social concerns, and envision the future. Events will highlight interdisciplinary humanities research and creative activity on the impact of the arts on society, locally and internationally. Focusing on intersectional issues of social justice, including systemic racism, sexism, and economic disparity, we will engage scholars, students, and the community in conversation on how art reflects and provokes social change.