Faculty Spotlight – November 2020

Dr. Laurie Bonnici co-presented at the annual Document Academy DOCAM conference on August 6th, 2020. “If an antelope can be a document, then…can monsters be anecdata?” compares the fascination with folkloric traditions or myths, such as mermaids or the Kraken, to the notion of anecdata – an information phenomenon described as a bridge connecting people with codified or discoverable information. “Anecdata is little-known knowledge imparted by common people passed through proximal ties.” This work was published in October 2020, titled “Embracing Monsters as Documents.” Well done, Dr. Bonnici!

Dr. James Elmborg spoke on a panel at the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) conference on November 17. Titled “Increasing Equity in Audiovisual Archiving through Fellowship Programs,” the panel addressed concerns within the field of audiovisual archiving, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Several programs are addressing the concerns presented, including WGBH’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship (PBPF), The AMIA Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program (ADIFP), and BAVC’s Community-based Preservation Education and Training Program (CPET). This panel had representatives from each group present to discuss the achievements, challenges, and strategies from their respective programs. Hats off to Dr. Elmborg!

Dr. Miriam Sweeney virtually attended the Association of Internet Researchers conference, held on October 27th -31st. Featured as a co-speaker for a roundtable event, Dr. Sweeney spoke on “the relationship between humans, machines, and culture as a way to problematize popular notions of ‘algorithmic culture’ that tend to reify code as a rational tool and de-emphasize the roles of humanism, ideology, and power in the process.” Referring to this as “Facing Our Computers” Dr. Sweeney’s creative play on words is meant as “a playful and multi-layered provocation for exploring the design, use, and meaning of digital assistant technologies, artificial intelligence, and related smart technologies that are part of our ubiquitous technology ecosystem.” Well done, Dr. Sweeney!