Spring 2021 Events

If you have an event involving Digital Scholarship that you would like us to help advertise, please write to dssn@buffalo.edu.

All of our Spring 2021 presentations and workshops were held online. Some of the programming was recorded, and those recordings, along with any additional materials, are linked below.

Spring 2021



February 11, 1:00-2:30: Vanessa Holden “Digital Footprints: The Freedom on the Move Project”
Freedom on the Move (FOTM) is an open access crowdsourced database project aimed at transcribing and coding thousands of advertisements placed by enslavers and jailors for fugitives from American slavery. Often called runaway ads, these important primary sources are a rich record of enslaved people’s resistance and American slavery’s cruelty. Dr. Holden will speak about these fraught sources and the ethical implications of turning fugitives from slavery into data points, navigating racist language in the sources, and imbedding an ethic of care in how participants are asked to engage in building an archive. FOTM’s work bringing the database to K-12 classrooms and museums presents challenges familiar to digital humanists who must act as a bridge between cutting edge scholarship in the humanities and the practical needs of computational humanities teams, platforms, and user interfaces. Based at the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER), FOTM’s lead faculty include Ed Baptist (Cornell), Vanessa M. Holden (UB Distinguished Visiting Scholar, CDI), Hasan Kwame Jeffries (Ohio State), Molly Mitchel (UNOLA), and Josh Rothman (Alabama). 
Co-sponsored Global Gender Studies, Transnational Studies, History, Center for Diversity/Innovation
View the presentation recording

February 19, 11:00-12:00: Siwei Lyu “Fighting AI-synthesized Fake Media”
Recent years have witnessed an unexpected and astonishing rise of AI-synthesized fake media, thanks to the rapid advancement of technology and omnipresence of social media. Together with other forms of online disinformation, the AI-synthesized fake media are eroding our trust in online information and have already caused real damage. It is thus important to develop counter measures to limit the negative impacts of AI-synthesized fake media. In this presentation, Dr. Lyu will highlight recent technical developments to fight AI-synthesized fake media, and discuss the future of AI-synthesized fake media and their counter technology.
Co-sponsored by Department of Communication, Department of Psychology, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
View the presentation recording

February 22, 1:00-2:30: Mishuana Goeman “Digital Possibilities and Collaboration with First Peoples”
Co-Director of two digital projects working in collaboration with Indigenous communities, Mishuana Goeman will address best practices and the primary tools involved in the projects. Mapping Indigenous LA aims to uncover the multiple layers of indigenous Los Angeles through storymapping with tribal Nations, Indigenous youth, community leaders, and elders from indigenous communities throughout the city of Los Angeles to tell the muti-layered stories of placemaking. This collaborative research, and its resulting website, makes visible the rich Indigenous identities and histories that are often hidden within other racial formations yet deeply embedded in place through tools such as ArcGIS, Timemap, Mukurtu and others. MILA tells a story of Los Angeles that looks at the relationship between people, place, and the environment. With COAH (Carrying Our Ancestors Home), the site focuses on the process and diversity of returning ancestral remains and cultural items from museums to First Peoples and the impact of such repatriation on Indigenous communities, in part through digital story telling enabled by Mukurtu and Nightlabs. It is become an important teaching tool in American Indian Studies,  archaeology, anthropology, and cultural material classes as it uniquely presents tribal voices.
Co-sponsored by Department of Geography, Department of Linguistics, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, forthcoming Department of Indigenous Studies, Department of Transnational Studies, and Center for Diversity Innovation
View the presentation recording


March 3, 12:00-1:00: Cody Mejeur and Blair Johnson “Queer/Feminist New Media Tools” 
Queer/feminist DH scholars and new media artists use (and critique!) technologies in order to challenge dominant narratives, biases, and cultures in digital spaces and to advocate for more socially just societies and futures. UB’s Palah Light Lab seeks to further this work through creative new media art projects that foster community and cultural critique while centering marginalized peoples. This workshop explores queer/feminist design principles through the lab’s ongoing projects in poetry and gaming (such as Trans Folks Walking, a 3D narrative video game about trans peoples and their experiences) and will introduce accessible digital tools such as Twine and Ren’Py that participants can use to create their own new media art.
Co-sponsored by Department of Media Study, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies 
View recording
Presentation slides

March 9, 12:00-1:30: “Immersive Technology and Instruction in Geology, Social Work, and Surgery”
Presentation by members of the Department of Geology and the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, the School of Social Work, and the Department of Surgery about ways they are using Augmented/Virtual Reality in their work and research.


  • Louanne Bakk, School of Social Work
  • Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Social Work
  • Dana M. Horne, School of Social Work
  • Margarete Jadamec, Department of Geology and the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
  • Samantha Koury, Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care
  • Brian Quaranto, Department of Surgery
  • Melanie Sage, School of Social Work
  • Mickey Sperlich, School of Social Work
  • Steven Sturman, School of Social Work

Full Description
View Presentation Recording

March 24, 1:00-2:00: Melanie Aceto "Choreographic Lineage” 
This presentation will provide some background to the Choreographic Lineage Project, an interactive, web-based genealogical network illustrating connections between dance artists, their teachers, their students, their collaborators and people they were influenced by, and to give an update of developments since last spring, as partially supported by a DSSN Enabling Grant. This project represents collaboration between Aceto in the Department of Theatre & Dance and Alan Hunt and Bina Ramamurthy in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Co-sponsored by Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Computer Science and Engineering
View Presentation Recording

March 30, 2:00-3:00: Barry Smith "Ontology and the Digital Humanities"
An ontology is a category system developed to classify and reason about entities of different sorts. In former times such systems were developed manually, sometimes by philosophers. Nowadays ontologies are created inside the computer and UB is a world center of this new digital ontology research. UB faculty and students are involved in efforts to develop ontologies in areas such as: Collaborative Behavior, Populations and Communities, Emotions, Information Artifacts, and Mental Diseases. One special area of focus is the Environment Ontology, which was developed in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme. Another is the Ontology of Medically Related Social Entities, where we are working with medical scientists to develop ontologies of gender and other demographic categories. Smith will describe how ontologies are built, how they work, and what they are useful for, welcoming both audience members not familiar with this work and those already active in the field.
View Presentation Recording


April 7, 12:30-2:00: Yotam Ophir “The Analysis of Topic Model Network”   
The Analysis of Topic Model Network (ANTMN) method was developed by Ophir and his colleague Dror Walter to equip researchers with an inductive, data-driven approach for the identification of media frames. Media framing is a core journalistic practice consisting of the selective emphasis of specific features of events and people, at the expense of others. Though a journalistic practice at its core, framing is being used by others, from politicians to laypersons on social media. In this talk Ophir will go through the three steps of ANTMN (topic modeling, network analysis, community detection) and demonstrate its applicability to various contexts, and its flexibility when combined with other social science methods, such as time series analysis, surveys, and experiments. He will demonstrate their work with ANTMN using examples ranging from the way the media talk about epidemics and its effects on the public’s trust in and compliance with CDC, to the ways politicians frame and are being framed during electoral races and its impact on their success, to the analysis of Russian trolls and bots who interfered with American online discourse during the years leading to the 2016 elections and what it means for our democracy.
Co-sponsored by Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Department of Communication, Department of Political Science
View presentation recording

April 9, 3:00-4:30: "Radical Poetics of Form: Digital and Visual Poetry with Keith Wilson"
The revolution will not be televised--what if it was? What would it mean then? In this Palah Light Lab workshop, we will talk about (and learn the basics of) writing digital poems. A digital poem is one designed for use on a computer. What are the unique affordances that a digital poem grants us, and what are the ways that we can use those affordances to create something that communicates a message that could not be communicated in a traditional poem? 

Additional links to more about Wilson's work (digital poem, interview):

April 16, 1:30-5:00: Symposium: "Automation, Algorithms, and Bias, from Settler Colonialism through the Future of Auditing"
Speakers: Sarah Montoya, Cathy O'Neil, and Ewa Plonowska Ziarek. Moderator and comments: Evviva Weinraub Lajoie
Full Description

April 21, 1:00-2:30: Claudio Saunt, University of Georgia "Digital Public History"
Claudio Saunt is the Richard B. Russell Professor in American History, Associate Director of the Institute of Native American Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Virtual History at the University of Georgia. He will discuss his work in digital public history, specifically in mapping, which has included the Invasion of America and Pox Americana projects.​
Co-Sponsored by Digital Humanities Research Workshop
View Presentation Recording