The question that I hope to most address in this seminar is: What are the range of methods and tools that are now available for doing computer-aided textual analysis? And, having had no formal training in this in graduate school nor the time go get a degree in computer science, how can we actually get up to speed and use these methods/tools in our research? This seminar could be an opportunity to train in new methods and methodologies for all of us.

I know that “big data” are being conceived differently across disciplines (i.e. in some fields, millions of tweets or a complete population of online data constitute “big data,” while in others, lesser numbers will do…), but I’d like to know more about how big data, in an cross-disciplinary sense, are affecting culture, labor, and more? I’d like for the conversation to move beyond the popular focus on “surveillance,” to dig deeper into other areas that focus democratic opportunities and concerns.