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Creating an Undergraduate Course Using Responsible Data with Border Women Literature, Testimonio, and Statistics

Published onDec 06, 2023
Creating an Undergraduate Course Using Responsible Data with Border Women Literature, Testimonio, and Statistics

As a graduate research assistant in the cross-institutional and interdisciplinary grant project, "Responsible Datasets in Context: Collaboratively Designing for Ethical Humanities Data Education," I will be providing insight into how Dr. Sylvia Fernandez and I are collaborating with other scholars to revise undergraduate courses related to socially responsible computing in the humanities and information science. Each institution is tasked with curating and publishing one “responsible dataset in context” and accompanying sample pedagogical deliverables to further expand how data can be used in undergraduate computing or data studies courses. At the end of this year-long project in Summer 2024, all teaching materials and datasets will be publicly available for use at other institutions. As part of the University of Texas at San Antonio team, we are revising Dr. Fernandez’s undergraduate course titled, “Border Women Literature and Testimonio and Counterdata,” which converges data science, multilingual borderlands literature, and periodicals to craft an undergraduate course about gender violence and feminicides in the US-Mexico border. As bilingual scholars from the Juárez/El Paso borderlands region, Dr. Fernandez and I will address how gender violence has affected, affects, and can continue to affect border women unless there are systemic and cultural changes, as well as better forms to shape policy by creating, analyzing and sharing data. In this presentation, I will be addressing my role as a graduate research assistant in this project as well as our progress, methods, and ongoing results as we teach and implement this interdisciplinary curriculum. One of our methods includes interdisciplinary close and distant reading of literary texts by border women about gender violence. For this, students will engage with texts and collaboratively create datasets based on those texts that document the names, stories, and coordinates that will identify spaces of violence in Juárez and the surrounding borderlands. Another method entails cross-referencing datasets with relational data using the Ester Cano NMSU Archive which houses the periodicals that recorded Juárez feminicidios and oral histories collected by the Fuerza Feminista Memory Project. Since this project works in collaboration with our undergraduate students, I will be presenting our results after implementing these activities, student growth throughout this learning process, and our challenges. This project highlights ways to intersect critical humanities studies and data science for the development of pedagogical resources that help students in higher education acquire the skills to consider both the human decisions and sociohistorical context that impact the collection, categorization, and preservation of data, and to help them meaningfully incorporate this information into all subsequent analyses and interpretations of data. Feminicide and gender violence is a global issue, one that deeply affects women in different areas. Thus, by ethically blending these disciplines to focus on this area of study, students can become responsible professionals by implementing critical approaches to data, especially antiracist, feminist, and decolonial.

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