The contemporary research environment prompts a number of new questions, challenges, and issues related to research design, methodology, and epistemology. Those whose research considers the Internet, networking technologies, digital media, or new forms of mediated connectivity must confront a rapidly changing set of practices related to the study of these phenomena. These range from high-volume quantitative big data methods to cultural analytics of visualizations to granular qualitative research that can account for the role of sociotechnical actors including algorithms and platform affordances. Those whose research focuses on more ‘traditional’ or ‘analogue’ media and practices are also rarely unaffected by increasing digitization of these forms. The speed of these changes necessitates critical analysis of the potential pitfalls and creation of best practices within the contemporary research environment. These are essential to ensure that we do not lose sight of the trees for the forest in a context that can fall into the trap of fetishizing technology and the size of the data set.
Participants will discuss how feminist digital research methods can shape such a critical intervention. How might a feminist approach afford an ethical, rigorous, and politically-engaged way of conducting research today? Speakers include faculty, visiting scholars, students, and members of the broader community who are often implicated in academic research.
This roundtable discussion is led by Alison Harvey and Mary Elizabeth Luka, sponsored by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connections. Hosted by the Department of Media and Communication’s Gender Research Group in the Bankfield House Lecture Theatre at the University of Leicester.