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Dissertation Project:
Crip Data Studies

A photo of computer programming

My dissertation project introduced “crip data” as a methodological approach that interrogates how communication platform systems ideologically value user-generated data in ways that reproduce offline Western and Eurocentric discourses of ableism vis-à-vis the programming of data-driven algorithmic sorting tools. In this way, ableist and racist ideologies hold enormous cultural implications for a platform system’s computational alteration of data both on and offline through visualization, analytics, and storage. My introduction of crip data investigates how crip data-making resistively reconfigures how digital platforms read and sort user-generated data
beyond networked ableism. I follow the critical provocations of disability media scholars, who note disability as an agentic site for valuable reconfiguratory resistance against the encoding of disability as an ontological lack in emerging media technologies. I frame my crip data
approach as a form of dismediation that builds upon resistive theoretical and creative practices that imagine alternative, anti-ableist possibilities for platform systems. Through four case studies (platform content moderation, neuroqueer technoscience, user-generated data activism, and subversive digital cultural production practices), my project asked: is another platform, one beyond ableist, racist, and colonial ideological biases, possible?

To examine these questions and tensions, I employed various critical humanistic methods, including close reading, ideological analysis, and critical digital autoethnography. Though I am primarily a humanistic researcher, I regularly collaborate with computational and social scientific scholars. 

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