2023-2024 Events

Nonhuman Witnessing

Thursday, May 2 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship and Online | Register

Dismantling the primacy of traditional human-based forms of witnessing is crucial if we are to reckon with an era of technoscientific war, ecological catastrophe, and technological capture. In his new book Nonhuman Witnessing: War, Data, and Ecology After the End of the World (Duke 2024), Michael Richardson shows how ecological, machinic, and algorithmic forms of witnessing can help us better understand contemporary crises. In this talk, he sets out the stakes of undoing anthropocentric witnessing and examines the mediations, affects, and communicative relations of nonhuman witnessing across an array of sites, from nuclear testing on First Nations land to autonomous drone warfare to algorithmic investigative tools.  

Michael Richardson is a writer, researcher, and teacher living and working on Gadigal and Bidjigal country. An Associate Professor at UNSW Sydney and an Associate Investigator with ADM+S, his research examines how technology, power, and culture shape knowledge in war, security, and surveillance. His latest book is Nonhuman Witnessing: War, Climate, and Data After the End of the World (Duke University Press, 2024). 

Zines as Critical Data

Friday, April 26 from 10:30am – 1:00pm | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship and Online | Register

Experience the convergence of creativity and critical inquiry at Zines in/as Critical Data. Join the students of CMSTMM 720: Data Culture(s) as they showcase their projects and delve into the world of zine-making. Explore how zines are a platform for crafting primary sources to enhance research, teaching, and learning. Engage with alternative narratives that disrupt conventional understandings of data culture(s). Participate in reflective discussions on entrenched assumptions about scholarship, authorship, and editorial privilege.

EdTech Inc., Revisited

Friday, March 22, 2024 from 11:30am – 1:00pm | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship and Online

Join Dr. Tanner Mirrlees for a talk on the rise of the EdTech industry. Using a political economy of communication framework, Mirrlees presents an overview of the EdTech industry and probes the forces and relations underpinning the digitization, commercialization, platformization, automation, and globalization of higher education. Offering a counterpoint to techno-deterministic and techno-optimistic narratives about EdTech, Mirrlees considers the ethical and social dimensions of the EdTech industry’s impact on teacher labor, student learning, and the public education sector as a whole.

Data Illustration with Comic Book Artist Keith Grachow

Monday, March 4, 2024 from 8:30am – 10:30am | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

Learn how to use creative design and illustration to engage audiences and illuminate your data findings in this 2-hr, hands-on instructional workshop taught by graphic designer and comic book artist Keith Grachow.

The class will begin with a few practice exercises (“data doodles”), which will allow students to get comfortable drawing and learn some basic skills. Then we will move onto the main activity, which will involve re-designing a traditional chart (e.g. bar chart or line graph) using illustration techniques.

The Data Illustration workshop is part of the Faculty of Humanities HUM2DH3: Introduction to Digital Scholarship class. The class has been exploring creative approaches to modelling data findings through visuals, sound, and physical crafted objects. Some of the critical questions we’ve been engaging with include: what can data illustration teach us about the value of creativity and self-expression in how we communicate data findings? How can we design data models that challenges our preconceptions and biases, invite us to ask important questions, and even inspire social change?

From Continent to Diaspora, Home to Here: A reading of seminal texts from Africa, the Caribbean and North America

Monday, February 26, 2024 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

Join us for a lunch time gathering where we will be reading of seminal texts from the Black diasporic cannon. Curated works from the continent of Africa and the diaspora, including the Caribbean, the United States and Canada will be read. The event will also feature a reading of thematic poetry. Dr. Clare Warner, Dr. Juliet Daniel, Eve Nyambiya, Renata Hall and Crystal Mark will be reading seminal texts from the Black diasporic cannon. The event will also feature a reading of thematic poetry and refreshments.

Decolonising Media and Communication Studies Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship and Online

Please join us for a hybrid book launch and roundtable for Decolonising Media and Communication Studies Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (Routledge 2023), moderated by Dr. Sisanda Nkoala and featuring co-editors Drs. Selina Mudavanhu, Kezia Batisai and Shepherd Mpofu.

The book provides insights on decolonising media and communication studies education from diverse African scholars at different stages of their careers. These academics, located on the continent and in the diaspora, share an interest in decolonising higher education broadly and media and communication studies teaching and learning in particular.

Co-presented by the Department of Communication Studies and Media Arts and the Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship.

Automating (In)securities: Cybersecurity’s Future AI Imaginaries

Friday, January 19, 2024 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM | Online

In this talk with TMU’s Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI), SCDS Academic Director Andrea Zeffiro considers how applying generative AI to automate repetitive tasks like data collection, extraction, and basic threat search and detection can also automate a normative bias regarding what constitutes risks and threats and how to mitigate them. Risk, security, and safety are differentially applied based on factors including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexuality, and disability. She examines the imaginaries generated to support advances in AI in the cybersecurity domain and the ways these epistemic claims and future visions can omit the differential vulnerabilities that contribute to insecurities in the first place.


Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 2:30 – 3:20 PM | Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

Curious about ChatGPT? Are you feeling overwhelmed by its implications or excited by its possibilities? Perhaps you’re confused about what it means for the University community, or maybe you’re experiencing a mix of emotions? You’re not alone!

ChitChatGPT is an event for McMaster students, faculty, and staff to engage in a semi-structured, open discussion on the many facets of ChatGPT. Our goal is to start the conversation we need to create a framework for understanding ChatGPT and what it means for Mac.

We’ll discuss setting up future or regular sessions, where you’ll have the chance to connect with other members of the university community who want to talk about AI. Let us know if you’re interested!

Presented in collaboration with Alpha Abebe, Sara Bannerman, and Ian Steinberg.