Big Data and the Human Interface

June 26-28, 2018
4.30-6.30 pm


The course will consider the online community beyond computational processes that are the purview of programmers and hackers and their algorithms, and engage students as cultural analysts, humanists and ethicists around the rules and regulations that must apply to the human in question, beyond the social handle and the online avatar.

Negar Mottahedeh is Associate Professor of Literature at Duke University. She is a cultural critic and theorist specializing in interdisciplinary and feminist contributions to the fields of Middle Eastern Studies and Film and Media Studies. He has published four books on Iranian Cinema, the history of reform, revolution and the uses of social media in protest. Her new book "#iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online Life" (Stanford University Press, 2015) is about one such social media mobilization. "#iranelection" follows the protest movement around Iran's fraudulent presidential election in 2009 to investigate how emerging social media platforms developed as a result of the international solidarity around the hashtag. Just as the world turned to social media platforms to understand the events on the ground, social media platforms adapted and developed to accommodate  global activism. "#iranelection" reveals the new online ecology of social protest and offers a prehistory, of sorts, to the uses of hashtags and trending topics, of selfies and avatar activism, citizen journalism and YouTube mashups.