Farewell to the Data & Society 2019-2020 Faculty Fellows

Michele Gilman, Anita Say Chan, Dan Bouk

As Data & Society says goodbye to our 2019-2020 Fellows, we’re celebrating their accomplishments over the past year, from co-authoring a Feminist Data Manifest-No and deep-reading census data, to advocating for an economic justice framework in digital privacy law. Learn about the incredible work of Michele Gilman, Anita Say Chan, and Dan Bouk and their future plans.

Michele Gilman

I benefited tremendously from Data & Society's interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to problem analysis and its wide network of experts.

During my fellowship, I researched the ways that low-income communities are adversely impacted by data-centric technologies and explored the legal strategies for combating those harms.

In the coming months, I will be publishing a report with Data & Society that serves as a guide for civil legal services lawyers and their clients to resist the adverse impacts of data-centric technologies and to engage as stakeholders in the adoption and implementation of algorithmic systems. In addition, I plan to examine the major barriers to economic justice created or magnified by data-centric technologies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, I will be returning to my law clinic, where my students and I will be providing pro bono legal representation to low-income Baltimoreans, particularly in helping them navigate the changing legal landscape as a result of the pandemic.

Anita Say Chan

From my first month at Data & was clear Data & Society was its own kind of research network.

Thank you to Data & Society for a truly unforgettable year. From my first month at Data & Society—when the Mariandale writing retreat introduced me to Ossining, NY…when I got to first learn about the amazing work of #unsettle…and when I got to see the brilliant design benefit of ice breakers at monthly meetings (they’d make standard academic faculty meetings SOOO much more fun)—it was clear Data & Society was its own kind of research network. I’m so grateful to have gotten to learn from and with you all during this year of confronting pandemics of all kinds. And I’m even more grateful to get to continue working with you all as part of the esteemed affiliates network!

I’ll continue to support the planning as well as participate in the upcoming (currently postponed) #unsettle workshop. I’ll also resume work at my home institution, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where I’m building a robust data science curricula based on participatory research in the neighboring communities and the principles of critical postcolonial feminist research.

Dan Bouk

Data & Society challenges disciplinary boundaries...My time here will change not just what I study going forward, but how I work.

I lugged my archive boxes filled with copies of old correspondence and state memoranda into Data & Society’s offices. There I found friends and colleagues who patiently introduced me to today’s census, to recent developments in data-centric technologies, to the implications of all that is new for working people and for the marginalized in our societies. Data & Society challenges disciplinary boundaries—bringing anthropology, communications, STS, computer science, law, and even history into conversation—while also breaking down many of the hierarchies that characterize academia by encouraging conversation and collaboration regardless of credentials. My time here will change not just what I study going forward, but how I work.

Going forward, I am honored to have another year working on the Contested Data project at Data & Society. I will also be working on a book, under contract with MCD-FSG about the census and how reading data is a liberal art.