Data-bodies and data activism: Presencing women in digital heritage research



Thompson T (2020) Data-bodies and data activism: Presencing women in digital heritage research. Big Data and Society, 7 (2).

As heritage-as-the-already-occurred folds into heritage-in-the-making practices, temporal and spatial fluidity is made more complex by digital mediation and particularly by big data. Such liveliness evokes ontological, epistemological and methodological challenges. Drawing on more-than-human theorizing, this paper reframes the notion of data-bodies to advance data activist-oriented research in heritage. Focused primarily on women, it examines how their distributed agency and voice with respect to data practices and the (re)makings of (digital) heritage could be amplified. I describe three methodological directions, influenced by feminist work in critical data studies, which could be employed by researchers: attuning to and becoming with data, making data physical, and changing narratives. From databodies to haunted data, performative data curation and mapping data-bodies, and attuning to data streams and re-voicing narratives, this paper contributes to discussions of how to engage critically and creatively with the datafication of digital heritage practices, knowings and ontologies.

More-than-human; data-bodies; big data; research methods; digital heritage; gender; feminist critical data studies

Big Data and Society: Volume 7, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online23/11/2020
Date accepted by journal24/09/2020

People (1)


Dr Terrie-Lynn Thompson

Dr Terrie-Lynn Thompson

Senior Lecturer, Education