Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research
at Columbia University

Decolonizing Data Regimes

TALK at 4pm-5pm on 19 Apr 2019
⌖ Butler Studio 208b

In this age of datafication, the quantification of human bodies, behaviors, and interactions has raised myriad concerns about ethics and privacy. My talk takes a media archaeological approach to sift through those prehistories which have shaped our contemporary digital landscape. Specifically, I historicize trends toward datafication in the context of colonial communication networks in the Global South. The data regimes we see today are premised upon a colonial geography and a colonial rhetoric of technomodernity, and to decolonize digital platforms we must take a long historical view on data ethics grounded in the Global South. My talk articulates some of these possibilities for postcolonial data interventions for digital infrastructures.

Dr. Dhanashree Thorat is a postdoctoral researcher in Digital Humanities at the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Kansas. Her research is situated at the intersection of Asian American Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Digital Humanities. Broadly, she examines how colonial and racial ideologies shape the technological imagination, specifically in technical infrastructures, platforms, and policies. Her current work focuses on how Muslims use hashtag activism to intervene in public conversations about their racialized bodies. Dhanashree is a founding Executive Council member of the Center for Digital Humanities, Pune in India. She serves as the lead organizer for a biennial winter school on Digital Humanities, and advises the center on digital archival projects and DH curriculum development. She has also served as the co-convenor of the Digital Humanities Working Group at UF, and the Digital Project Manager for the funded project, “Holistic Supports for the UF Digital Collections (UFDC) and Digital Scholarship.” This fall, she will be joining the English department at Mississippi State as an Assistant Professor in Multi-Ethnic U.S. Literature in the fall.