Accessible Data Visualizations

Ansley Colclough

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Pedagogy, Tools

Are you reading this blog post from computer screen or an screen reader? Did you need to adjust the font or text size, screen brightness, or filter the interface through a browser extension or rely on an app like Accessibility to access this information? In her entry on “Access” in Keywords for Disability Studies, Bess Williamson notes that despite advances in accessibility rights due to technology, “technical change does not necessarily translate to the deeper goals of openness, inclusion, or opportunity”

When Data Visualization Goes Wrong and Numbers Mislead

Ansley Colclough

Data, Data Visualization

Source image: The Most Misleading Charts of 2015 Fixed on Quartz To some students and readers, one of the rhetorical effects of data visualization is that the mere presence of a pie chart, graph, or timeline on a page confers “legitimacy” to an argument. At worse, this gesture attempts to obfuscate weak evidence. At best, the information conveyed may be correct but unnecessary to support an argument. In a piece for The New York Times, By the Numbers writer Charles M. Blow compared the

Lesson Plan: Visualizing Difference with Tableau Public

Mac Scott

Data, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools, Uncategorized

In his much referenced TED Talk, David McCandless says that “if you start working with [data] and playing with it in a certain way, interesting things can appear and different patterns can be revealed” (5:57-6:14). And Virginia Kuhn argues that there are “two main uses for information visualization: discovery and representation.” With this in mind, data visualization software can certainly be a productive tool for research and invention. We can begin to identify patterns in what might otherwise be a

Machine as Organism: Technology, Biology, and Collective


Data, Devices, History

      The constant increases in technological capacity, prevalence of automation and machine assistance, and the advancement of bio-tech, artificial intelligence, and medical technologies, expedite the tendency to view the issue of human subjectivity through a dichotomy of man/machine. This framing pre-inscribes a frictional relationship between man and machine, as if machines desire to, and are succeeding in closing the ontological gap between human beings and machines and/or artificial intelligences. The paradoxical novelty that wearable technology presents us (both

Workshop Recap: R and Twitter

Kevin Schaeffner

Data, Events, Social Media

Lars Hinrichs, pictured center, leads the workshoppers through an intro to the language of R.

In the first workshop of the fall semester, Lars Hinrichs brought his knowledge of English Language and Linguistics to the DWRL for an introduction to R and Twitter. While Twitter’s reputation certainly preceded itself, the workshop began with an introduction to R — a necessary introduction for those of us unfamiliar with current research practices in the digital humanities. As a programming language, R is an open-source tool for statistical analysis and visualization. For a range of scholars interested in

Bibliography Management


Data, Pedagogy, Tools

Wooden desk strewn with loose papers and spiral notebooks

In high school, works cited pages always gave me pause. I would print the specifications of the bibliography style and take great care not to misplace a period or a comma. Invariably, it took me far longer than I expected. When I was in college, I started to use sites like Easybib. But by then, I had a lot more material to review and it wasn’t as simple as producing a works cited page. What I needed was an easier

Lesson Plan: Infographics – Digital, Visual Stories

Sierra Mendez

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Image source: Image source: Both infographics and data visualization are tools to visually represent data. They make it easier for audiences to grasp difficult concepts by communicating meaning through a visual summary. It is the level of narration where the forms diverge: data visualization will employ algorithms to directly represent vast quantities of data and make interpretation simpler, whereas infographics are constructed by a human to tell a story about the data–to summarize its context, its meaning, and

Lesson Plan: Transforming Data Visualizations

Mac Scott

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Contemporary rhetorical theory privileges a view of rhetoric as dynamic, where texts circulate both spatially and temporally to myriad effects. For instance, in her influential article “Unframing Models of Public Distribution,” Jenny Rice pushes against a view of rhetoric as contained and static, arguing instead that the “rhetorical situation is part of . . . an ongoing social flux” and that rhetorics “evolve in aparallel ways” (9, 14) as they circulate. Mary Queen, in “Transnational Feminist Rhetorics in a Digital

Lesson Plan: Visualizing and Analyzing Terministic Screens with Voyant

Matt Breece

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

When instructors teach rhetorical or textual analysis that focuses on how word choice frames arguments and how audiences might interpret texts, it often relies on a singular text with an assignment that asks students to analyze how the author’s choice of words, terms, or metaphors influence its interpretation. Yet this type of analysis is limited because it doesn’t account for how word choice excludes other words, thus affecting a text’s interpretation. As Kenneth Burke reminds us in “Terministic Screens”: “Even