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Dr. Srivi Discusses Data Justice and Engaged Research at Rutgers-New Brunswick Event

By Nicole Cheah, MND Journalism Undergraduate | February 17, 2024

Event Flier

On February 13, CODE^SHIFT Director Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian led a virtual discussion on data justice and engaged research at the Rutgers-New Brunswick School of Communication and Information.

The discussion was the kick-off event for the school’s Power and Inequality In Media and Technology Working Group, as part of a series titled "Can Research Be Revolution?” The event was organized by Britt Paris, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, and Khadijah White, Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies. In attendance were numerous professors, faculty members and doctorate students from the School of Communication and Information.

Dr. Ramasubramanian began by highlighting objectives to keep in mind during research. This included making the definition of data more universal, given that in addition to numbers, data consists of stories, art, and more. Furthermore, she said that researchers should consider how to humanize data, use data to highlight gaps and inequalities, and use data in a trauma-informed manner to heal communities affected by interlocking systems of oppression, such as colonialism and white-supremacy.

She noted how communication scholars are positioned to lead such discussions because of their cognitive flexibility and the field’s regular engagement with different disciplines, such as social sciences, humanities, arts, and data sciences. Dr. Ramasubramanian encouraged participants to view communication as a network that can break siloed knowledge, and bring different disciplines and methodologies together.

Dr. Ramasubramanian then presented her past and ongoing projects, which included her work with refugee artists as part of the Narratio Fellowship, in collaboration with the Engaged Humanities Network at Syracuse University. She also spoke on CODE^SHIFT’s recent mixed methods research workshop, ongoing research, and past community-building activities.

Finally, Dr. Ramasubramanian concluded the session by answering audience questions on how art – such as comics and photo-poetry – has played a role in her work, as well as tips on mentoring doctoral candidates.


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