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Course Calendar

Readings are due – meaning they should be completed – on the dates indicated. If readings are not linked on this page, they can be found in our class Google drive folder.

The most accurate and up-to-date version of this calendar can be found on our course site. Use the online calendar to check on reading assignments, rather than this print version, since the print version of this syllabus will not be updated throughout the semester.

I reserve the right to change the course calendar as needed; adequate advance notice will always be given of any changes.

Unit 1: What is data?

Week 1

Monday, Jan 25

  • Introductions

Wednesday, Jan 27

Week 2

Monday, Feb 1

  • Daniel Rosenberg, “Data Before the Fact,” from “Raw Data” is an Oxymoron (2013)

Wednesday, Feb 3

Friday, Feb 5

  • Response paper 1 due

Week 3

Monday, Feb 8

  • Jacqueline Wernimont, Ch 2 “Counting the Dead,” Numbered Lives: Life and Death in Quantum Media (2018)

Wednesday, Feb 10

  • Jessica Marie Johnson, “Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads,” Social Text 36.4 137 (2018): 57-79

Friday, Feb 12

  • Response paper 2 due

Unit 2: How do you create data and how can you use it to study culture?

Week 4

Monday, Feb 15

Wednesday, Feb 17

Friday, Feb 19

  • Response paper 3 due

Week 5

Monday, Feb 22

Wednesday, Feb 24

  • In class: Dataset biography workshop
    • “Rough draft” of dataset biography due

Friday, Feb 26

  • Dataset analysis due

Week 6

Monday, March 1

  • Kate Theimer, “Archives in Context and As Context,” Journal of Digital Humanities 1.2 (2012),
  • Women Writer’s Project:
    • Read about their Current Texts:
    • Read Methodology for Transcription and Editing:
      • This page will give you a sense of what is in the archive and the decisions the creators have made about how and what to preserve. It may be most helpful to read this after exploring the archive on your own (see next bullet point) so that you have a sense of what it means to “encode” a text (in XML).
    • Explore some of the texts themselves. However, you need to sign in to this website via our library to access the transcriptions. To do this:
      • Go to
      • Scroll down to the “Databases A-Z” section and select “W”.
      • Scroll down until you see “Women Writers Online,” and click on that.
      • At this point, if you aren’t on campus or signed in already, you will need to sign in with your CaneID and password.
      • Then you will be taken to the WWO website, and you will have access to the texts.
      • Click on the “Women Writers Online” menu, and select “Women Writers Online.”
      • Explore their holdings. Get a feel for the kinds of things in the archive, how the interface is organized, what you are looking at when you look at a text, etc

Wednesday, March 3 – “Wellness Wednesday,” NO CLASS

Week 7

Monday, March 8

Wednesday, March 10

Friday, March 12

  • Response paper 4 due

Unit 3: How does data matter?

Week 8

Monday, March 15

  • Tarleton Gillespie “Algorithm,” from Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture (2016)
  • Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, “Anatomy of an AI System” (2018),

Wednesday, March 17

  • Dataset creation workshop

Friday, March 19

  • Dataset creation due

Week 9

Monday, March 22

  • Safiya Noble, “Introduction: The Power of Algorithms,” and Ch. 1 “A Society, Searching,” from Algorithms of Oppression (2018)

Wednesday, March 24

  • Safiya Noble, Ch. 2, “Searching for Black Girls,” Algorithms of Oppression (2018)

Week 10

Monday, March 29

  • Alex Rosenblat, Tamara Kneese, and danah boy, “Algorithmic Accountability,” Workshop for The Social, Cultural, and Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data,” (2014)
  • Nicholas Diakopoulos, “Algorithmic Accountability: Journalistic Investigation of Computational Power Structures,” Digital Journalism (2014)

Wednesday, March 31

  • Christian Sandvig, Kevin Hamilton, Karrie Karahalios, and Cedric Langbort, “Auditing Algorithms: Research Methods for Detecting Discrimination on Internet Platforms” (2014)

Week 11

Monday, April 5

Wednesday, April 7: CLASS CANCELLED

Week 12

Monday, April 12

  • Joy Buolamwini “Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification,” The Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, March 2018, (please watch the Q & A, as well)
  • Georgetown Law, Center on Privacy and Technology, “The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,”, read “Executive Summary”

Tuesday, April 13

  • Algorithm audit plan part 1 due

Wednesday, April 14 – “Wellness Wednesday,” NO CLASS

Week 13

Monday, April 19

  • Workshop

Wednesday, April 21

  • Workshop

Week 14

Monday, April 26

  • Algorithm audit plan part 2 due by class
  • Workshop

Wednesday, April 28

  • Wrap-up

Algorithm audit due Wednesday, May 5