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Speaker Series: Quantitative Digital Humanities

2022-2023 Quantitative and Digital Humanities Speaker Series

AI Ethics Expanded: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Data, Computation, and Justice

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wendy Chun, Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, Simon Fraser University

Beyond Ethical Tech: Why Understanding the Sociocultural History of Our Technical Defaults Matter

4:00-5:30 p.m., Jones Room (311 Woodruff Library)


The dangers of predatory predictive algorithms are well known: from amplifying discrimination to cementing polarization. If this is so, what can we do? This talk outlines how the humanities, social sciences, and STEM might come together to address the problems we face not by ignoring the past but examining how past injustices, such as segregation, have been embedded within our technical defaults. 

Co-sponsored by the Department of Film and Media and the Hightower Fund

Contact: Dr. Lauren Klein (
Professor Chun


Dr. Chun will host an informal meeting with faculty and students on Wednesday, Sept 28, 1:00-2:00pm in PAIS 561.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Deen Freelon, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Operation Dumpster Fire; or, toward balance in the detection and profiling of low-quality content online

1:00-2:30 p.m., PAIS 561


Mis- and disinformation, conspiracy theories, hyperpartisan distortions, and similar phenomena (collectively low-quality content) have grown into a major focus area for social science. Many of the quantitative studies in this area rely on blacklists of low-quality web domains—, and the like—to measure how much low-quality content exists and is viewed or shared on social media. While such studies have contributed much to our understanding of low-quality content, few of them empirically incorporate substantial amounts of high-quality content. Doing so may open new avenues for understanding low-quality content: for example, we could develop a taxonomy of misinformation attractors—individuals, places, institutions, and ideas that are frequent subjects of misinformation. We could also generate linguistic profiles of low-quality content, identifying specific words, phrases, and types of language that are statistically associated with it. Our research team is currently developing software, under the temporary designation Operation Dumpster Fire, to accomplish these and more research tasks related to low-quality content. This presentation will explore the project’s theoretical underpinnings, technical architecture, and possibly a feature demonstration (if development proceeds on schedule).


Co-sponsored by the Hightower Fund

Contact: Dr. Lauren Klein (
Professor Freelon

Monday, November 14, 2022

Aaron Roth, Henry Salvatori Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania

Research seminar, 1:00-2:30 p.m., Zoom (link TBA)
Open Lecture, 4:00-5:00 p.m., via Zoom (link TBA)

Title and abstract TBA


Co-sponsored by the Hightower Fund

Contact: Dr. Lauren Klein (

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Jessica Marie Johnson, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park
Kim Gallon, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Brown University
Alexandre White, Assistant Professor of Sociology and the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

1:00-2:00pm, via Zoom (link TBA)

Lecture — Black Beyond Data 
Abstract TBA

Co-sponsored by the James Weldon Johnson Institute 

Contact: Dr. Lauren Klein (
Professor Johnson:
Professor Gallon:
Professor White:


Drs. Johnson, Gallon, and White will host an informal meeting with faculty and students, 3:00-4:00 p.m, via Zoom (link TBA)