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A History of Data, Big and Little

November 1, 2016, 7:00 PM


For many of us, seeing is believing; we’re strongly influenced by an empirical understanding of what constitutes proof (“show me the proof,” as opposed to “explain to me the proof,” “tell me the proof,” etc.). Developments in how we understand data and data science, however, complicate our reliance on empiricism by introducing new standards of statistical significance and methodology, as well as new epistemological problems.

This talk by Assistant Professor of English Aaron Hanlon will trace a long history of the concept of data in the Anglo-American tradition, starting with the introduction of the word “data” into the English language in the 17th century. We will track the development of the concept of data through the British Enlightenment before addressing the ways that recent cultural developments regarding data are changing how we see, read, and interpret knowledge today.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


November 1, 2016
7:00 PM


Megan Fossa


Room 100, Lovejoy Building, Colby College
Mayflower Hill Drive
Waterville, ME
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