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Data-Sitters Club

About the project

Status: active

Project team: Mark Algee-Hewitt, Quinn Dombrowski;

Collaborators: Lee Skallerup Bessette, Katia Bowers, Maria Sachiko Cecire, Anouk Lang, Roopika Risam;

Start date: Nov 7, 2019

Last updated: Jan 7, 2022

Presentation from the Data-Sitters Club
Feb 18, 2021

  • Quinn's Great Idea
  • Katia and the Phantom Corpus
  • The Truth About Digital Humanities Collaborations (and Textual Variants!)
  • AntConc Saves the Day
  • The DSC and the Impossible TEI Quandaries
  • Voyant's Big Day
  • The DSC and Mean Copyright Law
  • Text-Comparison-Algorithm-Crazy Quinn
  • The Ghost in Anouk's Laptop
  • Heather Likes Principal Component Analysis
  • Katia and the Sentiment Snobs
  • The DSC and the New Programming Language
  • Goodbye, Friends, Goodbye
  • Hello, DMCA Exemption
  • Little Miss California Stereotype… and the BY Times
  • Anastasia’s Secret Language
  • Cadence’s Archives Mystery
  • The Data-Sitters’ HathiTrust Mistake
  • Lee and the Missing Metadata
  • Beware, Lee and Quinn!
  • Quinn and Lee Clean Up Ghost Cat Data-Hairballs
  • Isabelle and the Missing Spaghetti-O’s
  • Lee & Quinn and the Mystery in the French NLP Model

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)