This is a University-wide Course and it is open to all CEU students.
In the era of pervasive and networked computing, data curation is an increasingly important practice. It might be defined as “the active and on-going management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness.” The practices and consequences of data curation ramify throughout all stages of the assembly and use of data sets—digital, textual, visual, or otherwise—and accordingly this course aims to create a dialogue between creators, users, and subjects of data, and offers a critical humanistic and/or social science perspective on the creation and use of the data which drives so much discovery today.
Because of the drive towards interdisciplinary methodologies, the traditional distinction between the way we train as social scientists and as humanists is beginning to disappear. Some interesting questions come up that traverse disciplines: what do we consider to be ‘data’? how do we collect it as researchers? and how do we curate it as scholars? These questions can be asked at any stage of research, and of traditional, print-based scholarship as well as digital humanities projects and computation-based scholarship more broadly. This course will focus on the task of turning raw materials – both analog and digital – into a usable dataset for research purposes, surveying how this works across disciplines, and asking critical questions of the move toward data-based research in both the humanities and social scientists.
The broad and compelling insight that motivates the current course is that data itself is richly contextualized both at the site of its creation and the site of its use, and these social, cultural, and personal contexts are essential to understanding the forms which it takes, the uses to which it can be put, and the costs and benefits of making decisions based on data analysis.