Research

NB: Click here to view my CV (current as of Fall 2021).

In my research, I bring together computational and critical methods in order to explore issues of gender, race, and justice, both as they emerge in the early United States and as they endure in the present. I also theorize about the impact of these methods, bringing ideas from feminist theory, Black studies, and archival theory to interdisciplinary conversations about how to design more just and equitable data systems.

I am the author of two recent books. The first, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020), co-authored with Catherine D’Ignazio, introduces a general audience to a new way of thinking about data and data science that is informed by the past several decades of feminist activism and critical thought. The secondAn Archive of Taste: Race and Eating in the Early United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) explores how eating offers a new way of thinking about aesthetics in the early republic—and, therefore, about the philosophical work of food and its significance for the people who prepare, present, and consume it.

I’m currently at work on two new projects. The first is an interactive book on the history of data visualization, tentatively titled Data by Design. Awarded an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication, Data by Design shows how visualizations of data, like data themselves, are never neutral informational forms. Rather, they always carry a set of implicit assumptions—and, at times, explicit arguments—about how knowledge is produced, and who is authorized to produce it.

My other current project, Vectors of Freedom, involves the application of quantitative methods to the “data” of early American culture. In particular, I’m interested in how quantitative methods can be used to surface the otherwise invisible forms of labor, agency, and action, that characterized the abolitionist movement of the nineteenth-century United States. A recent essay related to this project, “Dimensions of Scale: Invisible Labor, Editorial Work, and the Future of Quantitative Literary Studies,” was recently published in PMLA.

I serve as series editor (with Matthew K. Gold) for Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press), a hybrid print/digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge. The most recent book in the series is Debates in the Digital Humanities 2019.

Other recent publications include:

Some favorite publications include:

If you’d like me to send you a copy of one of these publications, or any others, please just drop me a line.

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