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Presentation from the Data-Sitters Club

On February 18th, 2021, the members of the Data-Sitters Club shared their latest work from their multi-institutional collaboration.

What happens when you combine a team of scholars with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and careers, an iconic 80's and 90's girls book series, and computational text analysis methods? Meet the Data-Sitters Club, a public-oriented feminist collaboration that aims to demystify computational text analysis and get real about the opportunities, challenges, and frustrations of interdisciplinary DH collaboration. Since fall 2019, this project at the Lab has brought together scholars from more than six institutions around Ann M. Martin’s series “The Baby-Sitters Club” (1986-2000, and recently revitalized by a graphic novel series and Netflix show), using this corpus as the basis for exploring what computational methods can do, and where they fall short. Each of the group's 12 "books" (including three "Multilingual Mysteries" that focus on the French translations of the series) tackles a different aspect of this kind of work, ranging from corpus creation, to copyright, to text comparison, to telling your excited collaborators that a computational "discovery" is old news in your discipline. The group will cover highlights from these books, and reflect on what’s worked, what’s failed, what kinds of questions they’ve come closer to answering, and how other Lab members can get involved and help make computational text analysis more transparent and accessible to a broader group of scholars.

The DSC includes: Lee Skallerup Bessette (Georgetown University), Katherine Bowers (Univ. of British Columbia), Maria Cecire (Mellon Foundation), Quinn Dombrowski (Stanford University), Anouk Lang (University of Edinburgh) and Roopika Risam (Salem State University)