Annual Digital Lecture

Exploration of digital ideas is an important part of our archival work. The Annual Digital Lecture offers the opportunity to hear from a leading speaker on a topic related to digital research, in addition to highlighting some of the innovative digital work happening at The National Archives. This year, we will be publishing three blogs about our digital research in the lead up to the lecture, so be sure to watch this space and to follow us on Twitter for updates. You can see our 2020 staff research poster exhibition here.

2021 Annual Digital Lecture 

Lauren F Klein, Emory University, ‘Data Feminism and the Archive’

27 October from 16:00 to 17:00

As data are increasingly mobilized in the service of governments and corporations, their unequal conditions of production, asymmetrical methods of application, and unequal effects on both individuals and groups have become increasingly difficult for data scientists, digital humanists and others who rely on data in their work to ignore.

How can scholars, librarians, and archivists intervene?

Drawing from Klein’s recent book, Data Feminism (MIT Press), co-authored with Catherine D’Ignazio, this talk will present an approach to doing data science with archival materials that is informed by the past several decades of intersectional feminist activism and critical thought.

The talk will show how challenges to the male/female binary can challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems; how an emphasis on emotion can expand our ideas about effective data communication; and how the concept of ‘invisible labor’ can expose the significant human efforts required of our automated systems, as well as of our scholarship and library work.

Taken together, these examples will demonstrate how feminist thinking can be operationalized into more ethical and equitable data practices in the archive and beyond.

To register for the lecture, please click here.

Programme (times in BST):

16:00: Lecture starts

16:35: Q&A

17:00: Event close

This event will take place online. Joining details will be sent to attendees a few days before the event.

Past lectures:

2020: Carly Kind, ‘The death of anonymity in the age of identity’. You can listen to the audio recording of the online event here.

2019: Safiya Noble, ‘Algorithms of Oppression’. You can watch a video from the event here.

2018: Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford, ‘Semantic Capital: what it is and how to protect it’. This lecture was not recorded.