Abstract: The increasing role and impact of information systems in modern life calls for new types of information studies that examine sociotechnical factors at play in the development and use of information systems and objects. In this talk, I will present critical data modeling: the use of data modeling and systems analysis techniques to build critical interrogations of information objects. I will describe the results of critical data modeling of a police arrest record dataset and discuss how conceptual modeling can help us synthesize critical information studies and identify new opportunities for modeling and critique.

Bio:  Karen M. Wickett is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois and is co-chair of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) Education Committee. Her research areas include information organization, metadata, knowledge organization, and data modeling. Dr Wickett is most interested in the analysis of common concepts and data models in information systems. Examining the assumptions and models behind these systems and artifacts can reveal bias and help us understand the role of information systems in societal oppression.


11 a.m. April 27, 2023


Harvill, Room 460

Abstract: Since its formation in 1999, the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive (LGIRA) has served as a vital resource for game scholars the world over. Often, when scholars first consult with us, they have an idea, concept, or argument they are exploring and need the Archive as a source of evidence. Once they arrive at the Archive (physically or digitally), they frequently discover that the LGIRA spurs new, sometimes even competing ideas. To us, this is one of the most valuable elements of archives generally—that is, they are thinking spaces, places where material objects, reanimated with new contexts, purposes, and ancillary artifacts, prompt unexpected lines of inquiry. In this colloquium, we will explore this idea of the archive as thinking space, citing examples from our work building and directing one of the largest game archives in the world.

Bio: Judd Ruggill and Ken McAllister co-founded the Learning Games Initiative and its corresponding research archive in 1999. Its purpose was simple: to provide a resource for computer game scholars studying the medium and its industry, but who didn’t have physical access to the objects of study themselves. Today, LGIRA houses more than 250,000 items, hundreds of which are in circulation around the world. Ken is Associate Dean of Research & Program Innovation for the College of Humanities, and Judd is the Head of the Department of Public & Applied Humanities.


11 a.m. April 7, 2023

Find inspiration to take the next step in your career development!
People follow a variety of pathways towards and through their careers. During this roundtable discussion faculty will share their career path stories and experiences in life and academia followed by Q&A.  Faculty panel will include Steve Bethard, Adarsh Pyarelal, Jay Sampson, Jamie Lee and Clay Morrison. 


10 a.m. March 30, 2023


Santa Cruz Room, Student Union, 3rd Floor

Abstract: “More peace of mind as your loved ones need more care.” This tag line appears in large, bolded letters on Amazon’s website advertising their service, Alexa Together.  Described as a “new way to provide support for your loved ones, keeping you together even when you're apart,” this “caregiving service” requires a subscription and an Amazon Echo device to facilitate the remote support of elderly family members, including control of household devices and increased surveillance opportunities. Using Alexa Together as one example, I consider how the frame of caregiving may be leveraged to “smooth” people’s concerns about privacy and data gathering in voice assistants, and justify intensified surveillance for elder adults and disabled family members as a function of market segmentation. The framing of surveillant technologies as caregivers both reflects and reproduces the extractive logics of algorithmic culture that transforms social relationships into opportunities for data gathering.

Bio: Dr. Miriam E. Sweeney is an associate professor of library and information studies at the University of Alabama. She studies the design, use, and meaning of technology in society.  Dr. Sweeney’s research has predominately focused on anthropomorphic interface design (e.g. chatbots, digital assistants), voice interfaces, artificial intelligence, and big data infrastructures with attention to issues of values in design, privacy, and ethics. Her current research examines issues of privacy, autonomy, and surveillance in voice assistant services raising questions about how voice assistant design and infrastructure might better account for data privacy, user autonomy, and consumer protections.


11 a.m. April 14, 2023

Abstract: Lori Emerson will discuss how her research focuses on uncovering crisis points in past media, or, points at which there was the possibility, never fully realized, for technologies that are definitively “other” than what we have now. Beginning with a brief overview of the Media Archaeology Lab and some of the oddities in its collection, she will move on to discuss the cluster of projects she's currently working on called "Other Networks" - an excavation of the rarely discussed, underlying workings of networks that preceded and/or that currently exist outside of the internet.

Bio:  Lori Emerson is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of the Intermedia Arts, Writing, and Performance Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also Founding Director of the Media Archaeology Lab. Emerson writes about media poetics as well as the history of computing, media archaeology, media theory, and digital humanities. She is currently working on a cluster of research projects she calls “Other Networks” or histories of telecommunications networks that existed before or outside of the Internet. She is co-author of THE LAB BOOK: Situated Practices in Media Studies” (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press, 2022) with Jussi Parikka and Darren Wershler and author of Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound (University of Minnesota Press, June 2014). She is also co-editor of three collections: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media, with Marie-Laure Ryan and Benjamin Robertson (2014); Writing Surfaces: The Selected Fiction of John Riddellwith Derek Beaulieu (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2013); and The Alphabet Game: a bpNichol Reader, with Darren Wershler (Coach House Books 2007).


11 a.m. March 17, 2023

Abstract: The black bar, the bleep, the cutout — the accouterments of redaction — have long inspired poets and artists. Yet the Global War on Terrorism and its various intelligence leaks, followed by the Trump regime, with its distinctive approach to records management, incited a recent wave of erasure poetry and deletionist conceptual art that focuses on state secrecy and redaction’s nefarious applications. As archivists know well, though, redaction can also be an act of care. In this talk, we’ll examine the work of censors, archivists, and myriad artists — particularly those working in decolonial and Black feminist traditions — to consider redaction as a capacious practice with diverse applications. By acknowledging the myriad media through which, and the various contexts and scales at which, it can operate, we can better understand how redaction functions a material technique, an aesthetic treatment, and an epistemological method that can serve various ethical and political ends – even as a means of preservation and an act of repair. 

Bio: Shannon Mattern is the Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Media Studies and the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with CommunitiesDeep Mapping the Media CityCode and Clay, Data and Dirt: 5000 Years of Urban Media, all published by University of Minnesota Press; and A City Is Not a Computer, published by Princeton University Press. She also contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures to Places Journal. In addition, she serves as president of the board of the Metropolitan New York Library Council and regularly collaborates on public design and interactive projects and exhibitions. You can find her at


1 p.m. March 24, 2023


Abstract: Online spaces such as social media platforms have been lauded for their potential to be “great equalizers,” but in reality, they reify existing oppressions. Our understanding of how oppression manifests online is largely limited to how “Big Tech” platforms like Facebook and Twitter operate. However, many other types of platforms exist on the internet, and some of these spaces explicitly try to be inclusive of people with traditionally marginalized identities. My research explores queer people’s participation in online media fandoms as a context through which to examine how connections between people’s practices and platforms’ policies produce marginalization within seemingly inclusive digital environments. My dissertation specifically focuses on how structural power dynamics including racism, homophobia, and colonialism relate to inequitable dimensions of a) creative practices, b) community formations, and c) platform governance structures. My findings bolster our understanding of online environments writ large and help us consider ways to develop more just and liberatory social media platforms in the near future.

Bio: Diana Floegel earned their doctorate in Communication, Information, and Media at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. They currently work as a Senior Regulatory Analyst at the Institutional Review Board at the University of Pennsylvania. Their research focuses on equity in online creative communities, information practices, and information institutions like libraries.  


11 a.m. Feb. 24, 2023

In this talk, I will highlight the political work behind large-scale exhibitions and the politics of exhibiting scientific knowledge to the public. In the book, Extinct Monsters to Deep Time, I describe participant observation among the Smithsonian’s exhibition team tasked with the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)’s largest-ever exhibit renovation, Deep Time (to open in 2019)I highlight how processes of negotiating, planning and designing scientific knowledge in exhibits is shaped by the intersections of different expertise's involved in the planning process—including Education, Design, Exhibit Writing, Project Management, and three subfields of Paleobiology—as well as broader institutional cultures and pressures. Drawing on interview, oral history and archival research, the work contextualizes the contemporary exhibits process by tracing trends in exhibit development from late-19th century to the present, I show how the deep history of earth is mediated through 1) different techniques and technologies for museum communication, 2) the recent professionalization of museum disciplines, and 3) the expanding institutional split between the museum’s missions of “research” and “outreach.” 

Bio: Dr. Diana E. Marsh is an Assistant Professor of Archives and Digital Curation at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (iSchool). She studies how heritage institutions share knowledge with the public and communities. Her current research focuses on improving discovery and access to colonially-held archives for Native American and Indigenous communities. She completed her PhD in Anthropology (Museum Anthropology) at the University of British Columbia, an MPhil in Social Anthropology with a Museums and Heritage focus at the University of Cambridge in 2010, and a BFA in Visual Arts and Photography at the Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University in 2009. Her recent work has appeared in The American ArchivistArchival ScienceThe Public Historian, and Museum Anthropology. Her book, From Extinct Monsters to Deep Time: Conflict, Compromise, and the Making of Smithsonian’s Fossil Halls was published in 2019 with Berghahn Books, and has just been released in paperback.


11 a.m. Feb. 10, 2023

Presented by the Arizona's iSchool Faculty

Join us to learn about the research being conducted in Arizona's iSchool! 

Presenters and topics:

Cheryl Knott - Online Searching Textbook Revision

Ren Bozgeyikli - VR for Rehabilitation of Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury

Sarah Bratt - Use of AI for Data Management and Curation: Social Scientists & Librarians

Adarsh Pyarelal - Artificial Social Intelligence

P. Bryan Heidorn - Ecological Phenophase Prediction

Diana Daly - iVoices, Immersive Truth, and Funds of Student Knowledge

Lila Bozgeyikli - Exploring Real/Virtual Objects in World-Fixed Virtual Reality

Jennifer Rochelle - Student-led Curriculum Assessment: Analyzing DEI in Library and Information Science

Cristian Román-Palacios - Models and Packages – BARN, Clustering Cities, and Synthetic Populations vs Climate Change

Andrea Thomer - Building Infrastructure for Past Global Change Research

Steven Bethard - Matching Textual Locations to Ontology Concepts

Zack Lischer-Katz - Curating and Preserving Visual Information


10 a.m. Jan. 27, 2023
Rami El Ali

Abstract:  What is the value of virtual theft when compared to nonvirtual theft? Or a virtual relationship when compared to a nonvirtual relationship? More generally, how do we assign value to virtual counterparts? In this talk I offer a framework for answering this question while introducing my research more broadly. I distinguish two views of virtual value. Virtual monism maintains that virtual Xs belong to only one value-salient kind in relation to X, while virtual pluralism denies this. I argue that while popular, virtual monism is mistaken. The standard dualistic versions of virtual pluralism are also mistaken by being too coarse-grained. In place I argue for a four-fold pluralism, on which virtual Xs belong to one of four basic and differently valued kinds and apply this view to various debates.


Bio:  Rami El Ali is a philosopher of mind, primarily working on perception, technology, and phenomenology. He received his first PhD in philosophy from the University of Miami. After eight years as a professor of philosophy at the Lebanese American University, he left to pursue a second PhD in Information at the University of Arizona. He is currently completing a monograph on perception and preparing new research on virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Contact: For more info or to contact Rami El Ali, please visit


11:30 a.m. Jan. 20, 2023
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