Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series: The Place of Data (Alan Liu and Roopika Risam)

Thu November 2nd 2023, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Terrace Room, Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg. 460).

The Data that Divides Us: Recalibrating Data Methods for New Knowledge Frameworks Across the Humanities

Setting the stage for our future Mellon Sawyer Seminar discussions, The Place of Data will explore the various axes along which data has engendered the divisions that shape our current world. Whether those divisions lie along fault lines in geography, race, gender, or discipline, our initial seminar will situate our thinking about data within this complex web of cultural intersections. What dangers attend the use of data across these divisions and how might we use data itself to redress these concerns?

This is the first event in the Mellon Sawyer Seminar series, The Data that Divides Us: Recalibrating Data Methods for New Knowledge Frameworks Across the Humanities, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. During Stanford University's 2023-24 academic year, the Sawyer Seminar Series will convene scholars from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and personal standpoints to discuss the data that has saturated our world.

The seminar will feature remarks from Prof. Alan Liu (Univerity of California, Santa Barbara) and Prof. Roopika Risam (Dartmouth) and a response from Prof. Mark Algee-Hewitt (Stanford). The event will be preceded by a reception at 5:00 p.m. in the Terrace Room of Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg. 460). A Zoom link is available upon request from Office Management Intern, Daniela Perez (perezd20 [at] (perezd20[at]stanford[dot]edu)).

About the Presenters


Alan Liu is Distinguished Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has in the past served as Chair (2008-2012), Graduate Program Director, and Undergraduate Program Director. He is also an affiliated faculty member of UCSB’s Center for Information Technology & Society and Media Arts & Technology program. Previously, he was on the faculty of Yale University’s English Department and British Studies Program.



Roopika Risam is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies and of Comparative Literature and part of the Digital Humanities and Social Engagement cluster at Dartmouth College. Her research interests lie at the intersections of postcolonial and African diaspora studies, critical university studies, and digital humanities.






About the Respondent

Mark Algee-Hewitt is Associate Professor of Digital Humanities in the English Department at Stanford University and the Director of the Stanford Literary Lab. His research combines literary criticism with digital and quantitative analyses of literature and other textual corpora. As director of the Stanford Literary Lab, he has led projects on a variety of topics, including the use of extra-disciplinary discourse in novels, the narratological theory of the short story, and science-fiction world building.