What is A Feminist Lab? Symposium

The first “What Is a Feminist Lab?” Symposium took place at the University of Colorado, Boulder on April 17-18, 2019. Co-organized by Maya Livio, Lori Emerson, and Thea Lindquist, the event surveyed the recent proliferation of labs within and outside of academic spaces and explored the ways through which intersectional feminist approaches can be integrated into labs and the work they do. The event brought lab leaders and collaborators from across the U.S. and Canada into dialogue.

Featured Speakers:

Ashley Baccus-Clark headshot

Ashley Baccus-Clark is a Brooklyn-based molecular and cellular biologist and multidisciplinary artist who uses new media and storytelling to explore themes of deep learning, cognition, memory, race, trauma, and systems of belief. She currently consults in virtual reality production and is working on her first feature. Ash is currently represented by Mssng Peces, is the Ida Ely Rubin Artists in Residence at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, and a 2019 United States Artist fellow in Media. She frequently collaborates with Hyphen-Labs, with whom she wrote and produced NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism. NSAF premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and has been shown at Sundance Film Fest, SXSW, Tribeca Film Fest (Jury Honorable Mention), Gray Area Art & Technology Festival, Primer Speculative Futures Conference, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Stony Island Arts Bank & Rebuild Foundation, New Inc: Versions Festival, Refinery 29’s 29 Rooms, and more.

Ingrid Burrington headshot

Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the weird feelings people have about both. Much of her work focuses on mapping, documenting, and studying the often-overlooked or occluded landscapes of the internet (and the ways in which the entire planet has become, in effect, a “landscape of the internet”). Her areas of inquiry vary widely, from the open-pit mines where minerals are extracted to create hardware to the quiet insinuation of fiber optic cable and antennae into urban environments. By examining the political geography and embodied realities of living on a networked planet, she seeks to demystify these technologies for non-technical publics and to reframe technology’s underlying politics and power dynamics. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, Popula, e-flux journal, and other outlets. She is also the author of Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure. Ingrid has previously taught at Rhode Island School of Design, the Cooper Union, and the School for Poetic Computation. Her work has previously been supported by Eyebeam, Data & Society Research Institute, the Studio for Creative Inquiry, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

Max Liboiron headshot

Max Liboiron is an Assistant Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she directs CLEAR. CLEAR develops anti-colonial methodologies and instruments in the natural sciences by grounding them in Indigenous thought and Métis legal orders to create place-based scientific protocols in marine plastic pollution research. Dr. Liboiron has played leading roles in the establishment of the field of Discard Studies (the social study of waste and wasting), the Global Open Science Hardware (GOSH) movement, and is a figure in feminist science studies and justice-oriented citizen science. She is currently the Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research) at Memorial University.

Elizabeth Losh headshot

Elizabeth Losh is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at William and Mary with a specialization in New Media Ecologies.  Before coming to William and Mary, she directed the Culture, Art, and Technology Program at the University of California, San Diego. She is the is the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press, 2009), The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University (MIT Press, 2014), and Hashtag (Bloomsbury, 2019). She is the co-author with Jonathan Alexander of Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013; second edition, 2017). She published the edited collection MOOCs and Their Afterlives: Experiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education (University of Chicago, 2017), and she is co-editor of Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities (Minnesota, 2018). Her current work-in-progress focuses on ubiquitous computing in the White House in the Obama and Trump administrations. She has also written a number of frequently cited essays about communities that produce, consume, and circulate online video, videogames, digital photographs, text postings, and programming code in journal articles and edited collections from MIT Press, Routledge, University of Chicago, University of Minnesota, Oxford, Continuum, University of Alabama, University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, and many other presses. Much of this body of work concerns the legitimation of political institutions through visual evidence, representations of war and violence in global news, and discourses about human rights.

Tara McPherson headshot

Tara McPherson is Professor in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Chair of the Division of Cinema + Media Studies, and Director of the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.  She is author of Feminist in a Software Lab (Harvard University Press 2018) and Reconstructing Dixie (Duke 2003), co-editor of Hop on Pop (Duke 2003) and Transmedia Frictions (California 2014), and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected (MIT 2008.)  She was Founding Editor of the pioneering multimedia journal Vectors and is lead PI of the online platform, Scalar. She has received funding from the Mellon, Ford, Annenberg, and MacArthur Foundations, as well as from the NEH.

Marisa Parham headshot

Marisa Parham is Professor of English at Amherst College, and directs the irLH, which is an independent workgroup for digital and experimental humanities. irLh develops and incubates digital projects for AR, VR, and screen, and supports the work of digital scholars. Parham also serves as a faculty diversity and inclusion officer (FDIO) at Amherst College. As FDIO, Parham is an advocate and innovator for diversity and inclusion in the college’s overall academic program, while especially supporting both individual faculty success and the expansion of academic departments. Marisa Parham holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and is the author of Haunting and Displacement in African-American Literature and Culture, The African-American Student’s Guide to College, and is co-editor of Theorizing Glissant: Sites and Citations. Her current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality. She is particularly interested in how such terms share a history of increasing complexity in literary and cultural texts produced by African Americans, and how they also offer ways of thinking about intersectional approaches to digital humanities and technology studies. Parham currently serves on the Board of Directors for Amherst Media, and formerly served on the founding Board of Directors for the Amherst Cinema Arts Center, and on the board for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. She is also a former director of the Five College Digital Humanities Initiative, serving Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Jacqueline Wernimont headshot

Jacqueline Wernimont is an anti-racist, feminist scholar working toward greater justice in digital cultures. She writes about long histories of media and technology – particularly those that count and commemorate — and entanglements with archives and historiographic ways of knowing. This includes the 2018 MIT title, Numbered Lives: Life and Death in Quantum Media and, with Elizabeth Losh, the edited volume Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminisms and Digital Humanities, out from University of Minnesota’s Debates in DH series. She is a network weaver across humanities, arts, and sciences. This work includes co-Directing HASTAC and Dartmouth’s Digital Humanities and Social Engagement Cluster. Wernimont received her PhD and MA from Brown University and her BA from the University of Iowa. She is Distinguished Chair of Digital Humanities and Social Engagement, and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dartmouth College.

Darren Wershler headshot

Darren Wershler holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature, and is the co-founder of the Media History Research Centre and Director of the Residual Media Depot. He is currently writing THE LAB BOOK: Situated Practice in Media Studies, with Jussi Parikka and Lori Emerson. Darren’s other books include The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting, and Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. Upcoming projects include a book on Minecraft (with Bart Simon), and BODGE, a book about the practice, political economy and culture of video game hardware modification.

Lab Tours by:

Laura Devendorf headshot

Laura Devendorf (Unstable Design Lab) is a design researcher who builds tools and technologies that suggest alternative ways of relating with our bodies, things, and environments. Her recent work focuses on smart textiles—a project that interweaves the production of computational design tools with reflections on gendered forms of labor. Laura is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Information Science, an ATLAS Institute Fellow, and director of the Unstable Design Lab. She earned bachelors degrees in Studio Art and Computer Science from the University of California Santa Barbara before earning her Ph.D. at the UC Berkeley School of Information. She has worked in the fields of sustainable fashion, design, and engineering. Her research has been featured on National Public Radio and has received multiple best paper awards at top conferences in the field of human-computer interaction.

Thea Lindquist (she/her) is a librarian and historian interested in helping others integrate digital methods and open and collaborative approaches into their scholarly practice. She is professor in the University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is also a founding initiative director and co-executive director of CU Boulder’s Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship. Lindquist has actively promoted Digital Humanities in a variety of contexts, both inside and outside of CU Boulder, and is currently director of CU Boulder’s Digital Humanities graduate certificate. Her own research in digital history is often experimental, collaborative, multidisciplinary, and international.

Erin Espelie headshot

Erin Espelie (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology Studio for the Arts) is a writer, editor, and filmmaker, with degrees in molecular and cellular biology from Cornell University and the experimental and documentary arts from Duke University. Her poetic, nonfiction films have shown around the world at the New York Film Festival, the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival, the Whitechapel Gallery, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Imagine Science Film Festival and more.Her feature-length documentary, The Lanthanide Series, won the grand prize at the Seoul International New Media Festival in 2015; it has shown in Denmark, Portugal, the U.K. and had its New York City premiere at Anthology Film Archives in June 2016. Espelie currently holds an assistant professorship in Film Studies and Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado Boulder; she serves as an Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and is Editor in Chief of Natural History magazine, a centenarian publication for which she has worked since 2001.

libi rose striegl headshot

libi rose striegl (BTU Lab) is an artist and PhD candidate in Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where her research pursuits include investigations of obsolete technologies and interrogations of convenience, productivity, and dysfunction. She holds an MFA in Experimental Documentary Arts from Duke University, and a BA/BFA in Film Studies from CU Boulder.

Tara Knight headshot

Tara Knight (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology Studio for the Arts) is a filmmaker, animator, and media designer for live performance. Her broad range of media practices includes animated shorts, dance collaborations, projection design and media installations. The Floating World, a performance she co-created with Malashock Dance, was awarded an Emmy in 2011. Her Mikumentary series of films have screened in institutions ranging from pop culture to fine arts, including: New York Comic Con, South by Southwest Interactive, Time Warner’s “Future of Storytelling,” animation festivals in Britain, Hong Kong, and Mexico, and a tour with Miku the hologram herself in North America and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Two of Knight’s short films won 2014 Van Gogh Awards at the Amsterdam Film Festival in the categories of animation and world cinema. Recently, Knight has worked as a projection designer for the La Jolla Playhouse’s premiere “Hollywood” as well as Diversionary Theater’s “Amazons and their Men,” and her most recent dance films are touring at festivals in Greece, Argentina, Helsinki and other international festivals. Current projects include Sound Planetarium, a multidisciplinary project to create an interactive, data-driven “instrument” for both artistic and scientific research. Knight received a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California San Diego. She is currently an Associate Professor of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado Boulder.