Introduction to Data Storytelling

Cross-listed between Media and Cultural Studies and Math, Statistics, and Computer Science
Instructor, Spring 2020
Macalester College
Reflection Post

What does it mean to represent “culture” by “data”? – Lev Manovich

What are the truths and falsehoods that data and databases tell us about contemporary culture? Increasingly, computational methods are being used to ask questions and look for patterns in cultural data (from museums, libraries, archives, and elsewhere). This class provides an introduction to some of the methods and tools used to investigate data and datasets, while encouraging critical engagement with a number of humanities-based research questions surrounding them. Students will consider ethical and design questions encompassing the collection, analysis, and presentation of data through class conversations and the process of creating their own digital projects.


You’ll emerge from this class with the ability to:

  • Collect, curate, analyze, and present data
  • Critically engage with data collections, considering their content, context, and structure
  • Confidently experiment with digital tools
  • Balance the discoverability component of playing with digital tools with the very real possibility/probability of failure (“productive” failure)
  • Manage and design a digital project that tells a story about data

Programming Module

i3 iSchool Inclusion Institute
Teaching Fellow, Summer 2019
with Joslenne Peña

This iteration of the programming module focused on programming as a tool for use in applied research. The instructors used active learning methods that highlighted hands-on approaches to learning. As part of this, students learned about project management techniques, tools, and charters that are useful within the framework of small-group projects as well as larger teams. These skills helped to facilitate the collaborative research that the students engaged in throughout the two-weeks at i3 and beyond. 

Broadly, we hope that this module positions students to more expertly pursue programming skills and technologies. We hope it prompts students students to think more critically about technology and the processes involved in research. For example, we discussed the ethical issues that arise around the process of collecting and analyzing data.

LIS 2671: Digital Humanities

School of Computing & Information, University of Pittsburgh
Instructor, Summer 2017
This 10-week course integrated a history of the field with contemporary developments in digital humanities.

Hypothes.is Web Annotation Workshop

Digital Scholarship Services, University of Pittsburgh
Co-instructor, with Chelsea Gunn, February 10, 2017