Catherine D’Ignazio: Feminist Data Visualization and the View from Nowhere

Abstract What would a feminist approach to data science and visualization look like? Drawing on feminist approaches in Science & Technology Studies, Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Humanities and Critical Cartography, I will outline six preliminary principles, along with many examples, for what a feminist approach to data analysis and visualization can look like that were co-designed with my colleague Lauren Klein. While the dominant paradigm of data visualization is the “view from nowhere”, a feminist approach opens up possibilities for the “view from a specific place, by a situated body, for a particular community”. We can think of feminist data visualization as a way to address data literacy and inclusion issues as well as to expand our notion of what counts (and who counts) in a data visualization.

Bio Catherine D’Ignazio is a scholar, artist/designer and software developer who investigates how data visualization, data literacy and new forms of storytelling can be used for civic engagement and community empowerment. Her research at the intersection of technology, design & the humanities has been published in the Journal of Peer Production, the Journal of Community Informatics, and the proceedings of Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM SIGCHI). Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation, and the Knight Foundation and exhibited at the Venice Biennial and the ICA Boston. D’Ignazio is an Assistant Professor of Civic Media and Data Visualization at Emerson College, a Faculty Director at the Engagement Lab and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab.

lecture Details

February 2, 2018
Robinson 109, Northeastern University
336 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA, 02115