In this graduate critical production course, students will investigate various methods for producing arguments in both written and visual/aural texts. The particular emphasis of this course will be on learning basic visualization design and evaluation principles: how to acquire, parse, and analyze large datasets; and how to query the data against a particular set of research questions guiding your overall concepts and research agendas. Students will also learn basic 2D, timeline, and network visualization software tools to produce a set of critical data visualizations in their final project for the class. At the midterm, students will submit an editorial statement reflecting their research interests and practices, along with a concept note and query for final visualization projects. Students will generate methodological questions that pertain to the particularities of producing scholarship across “theory and praxis,” and across word and image. These will form the basis of their final praxis projects. During the second half of the quarter, students will produce original data visualizations using Processing, Gephi, Google Charts, or Unity based on their individual projects submitted at the midterm. Weekly throughout the course, students will participate in technical labs that enable them to produce and critique global media analytics.
The class is organized procedurally through these three topics:
- Culture and Data – The natural archival structure for data is a database. And it is a data-driven logic that is at the epistemological foundation of database narratives, visualizations, arguments, and stories.
- Algorithms and Analyzing – Students will engage in lab sessions on social media analytics — how to read it, and how to critique it.
- Networks and Visualization – We will consider the multiplicities of networks: solidarity networks, artistic networks, academic networks, virtual networks; networked images as political instruments..
In addition to the regularly readings and discussions, students will participate in the following:
- A collective note-taking practice on Titan Pad for all class discussions.
- Weekly blog writing (300-500 words) due Fridays by 10pm, and commenting (two comments on peers’ blog posts) due the following Sunday by 10pm. If no class, then no blog is due that week.
- Attending minimum two events and lectures on campus (details in class schedule in red)
- Midterm: Editorial Statement, Concept Note, and Research Question uploaded to class blog
- Final: Data visualization project upload to class blog and in-class presentations
The course will use WordPress (FAMST248.wordpress.org) as the main online platform to provide: weekly syllabus updates, PDFs for all readings, events and resources. Students must use the blog to regularly reflect on readings, share relevant projects and report on their ongoing group projects.