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Data-Sitters Club

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 several 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 "books" (including "Multilingual Mysteries" that focus on 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 Data-Sitters Club is a feminist pedagogical project, taking computational text analysis methods and issues that commonly come up when doing this kind of work, and talking through them in a colloquial, accessible manner.

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 (Dartmouth College)