Fall 2023

INF 385T Special Topics in Information Science : Datafication

Unique ID: 28675


12:30 PM - 03:30 PM  UTA 1.204


Processes, techniques, and technologies that generate inscriptions (ready-to-take data), especially from or about people(s) or culture(s). Contexts, consequences, and history of datafication practices. Purposive intervention with datafication processes, practices, and artifacts.


This course approaches the phenomenon of datafication as entangled agencies of equivalence, meaning, and identity. We will survey the history, practices, and technologies surrounding a variety of specific datafication processes performed by human and nonhuman actors in contexts like governance, visual and textual media, technoscience, and industry. We will seek evidence of datafication’s material, discursive, and ethical consequences as we uncover its effects upon cultural conceptions of originality, control, and proof. Students will investigate datafication processes experientially by performing datafication and examining data and datafication artifacts. Course readings will be drawn from fields including critical data studies, algorithm studies, and software studies; information history, information infrastructure studies, and classification theory; philosophy of information, language, and science; and social studies of science, art, and technology. Students will undertake an original, substantial, and scholarly investigation of a specific datafication process, devise an intervention within it, and explain how their intervention alters datafication’s consequences.


Graduate standing.


Restricted to graduate students in the School of Information through registration periods 1 and 2. Outside students will be permitted to join our waitlists beginning with registration period 3.