Digital Methods Summer School

Picture of network TIM copy
A draft network visualization of the Facebook Page Like Network of a page relevant to our study of transnational Romanian motherhood in Italy. We gathered the data with Netvizz and made the graph in Gephi. This was one of the early versions of the visualization of this network. We made many others that were fancier, but I find it important to show at least a part of the process of getting there so as not to present data as truth/objective/final but always open and interpreted  

Last week I completed the Summer School of the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam as part of the digital methods training of the Digital Crossings project I’m working on. It was an immersive experience in the world of “big data” researchers, tools, methods, and ontologies. We learned through a mix of keynote lectures, tutorial workshops, and working in groups on our own research projects. I had the opportunity of pitching three small sub-projects that I proceeded to work on for the first week together with my team from the Digital Crossings research project and an international group of participants of the summer school.

The sub-projects we worked on were based on three issues that were relevant to the three migrant groups in which our overall project is interested: Romanian, Turkish, and Somali women who have migrated to European capitals. One of the sub-projects was about the so-called “children left behind” that stay in Romania when their mothers move to Western Europe to work. To do this, we traced the campaign, “Te iubeste mama! / Mamma ti vuole bene!” (trans. Mum Loves you!), which also has an online presence on Facebook. The above graph is one of the visualizations we made of the network of Facebook pages within which the Facebook page of the campaign is embedded. 

It’s just a taste of some of the material we generated and played around with using the digital methods tools.

Click the links to check out our project documentation and the slides of the final presentation I gave on our sub-projects and the end of week one.