Chan receives Fiddler Innovation Faculty Fellowship

Anita Say Chan
Anita Say Chan, Associate Professor

Anita Say Chan, associate professor in the iSchool and the Department of Media and Cinema Studies, is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Fiddler Innovation Faculty Fellowship from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). The Fiddler Fellowship is part of a $2 million endowment from Jerry Fiddler and Melissa Alden to the University of Illinois in support of the Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media (eDream) Institute at NCSA.

Chan was awarded the fellowship in conjunction with the multidisciplinary Innovation Illinois Community Laboratory project, which is part of the University of Illinois Presidential Initiative to Celebrate Arts and Humanities. This project involves a series of interdisciplinary courses and the development of a lab space—the Community Data Clinic—at the NCSA where undergraduates from all disciplines imagine, research, and prototype social innovation projects that will become part of an expanding archive.

Community Innovation (IS 266) is one of the courses that the iSchool is hosting. This spring, the class integrates interdisciplinary faculty and researchers—Karrie Karahalios from the Computer Science Department and Karen Rodriguez'G from the Office of Undergraduate Research—as co-instructors and co-leads.

"The Community Data Clinic is an interdisciplinary research, pedagogy, and public engagement hub that hosts both community and civic partnerships around data analysis and archiving, and coursework, such as IS 266, to foster interdisciplinary student research communities," Chan explained. "Among the community and civic organizations the clinic has developed partnerships with are the City of Urbana, Cunningham Township, and the Champaign County Mental Health Board."

Chan's research and teaching interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the "periphery," science and technology studies global contexts, and feminist and decolonial approaches to technology. Her book, Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism (MIT Press, 2014), addresses the competing imaginaries of global connection and information technologies in network-age Peru.

Chan is a 2019-20 Faculty Fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute in New York City. She directs the interdisciplinary Technocultures Lab in Department of Media and Cinema Studies and is a faculty affiliate at the Illinois Informatics Institute, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for Global Studies, Department of Anthropology, and Department of Asian American Studies. Chan received her PhD from MIT in the history and anthropology of science and technology studies.

Research Areas:
Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

iSchool students present their research at Urbana City Council meeting

At the Urbana City Council meeting on May 9, students in the Community Data (IS 594) course presented their research on how communities are reducing gun violence. According to their instructor Chamee Yang, postdoctoral research associate with the iSchool, Community Data Clinic, and Just Infrastructures Initiative, the new course was designed as an experiential learning opportunity with a community engagement component, where students could gain research experience with real-world implications. Throughout the Spring 2022 semester, students worked in groups to explore community-driven approaches to prevent gun violence.

Chamee Yang, Sarah Unruh, and Gowri Balasubramaniam

Dinh defends dissertation

Doctoral candidate Ly Dinh successfully defended her dissertation, "Advances to Network Analysis Theories and Methods for the Understanding of Formal and Emergent Structures in Interpersonal, Corporate/Organizational, and Hazards Response Setting," on May 19.

Ly Dinh

Lee selected for leadership institute

MS/LIS student Kyra Lee had the opportunity to network with leaders in the LIS field at the 2022 Black Caucus American Library Association (BCALA) Leadership Institute. At the inaugural event, which took place from April 12-14 in Durham, North Carolina, LIS students and early career library professionals gathered for workshops, panels, facilitated discussions, and presentations. Lee was one of eighteen students selected to participate in the institute.

Kyra Lee

2021 Downs Intellectual Freedom Awards given to #FReadom Fighters and ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom staff

For libraries and librarians, 2021 was an especially challenging year in terms of the increase in attempts at censorship. According to the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges to library materials more than tripled from 2020 to 2021. In addition, current estimates show that 82 to 97 percent of challenges go unreported, suggesting that the total number of challenges are significantly greater.

#FReadom Fighter logo

New project to improve health of patients with kidney failure

There are approximately 600,000 individuals in the U.S. who are undergoing hemodialysis (HD) therapy for kidney failure. In hemodialysis, a machine filters wastes, salts, and fluid from the blood when an individual's kidneys are no longer healthy enough to do this work adequately. While lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and making better nutritional choices would benefit HD patients, they are not popular with patients—leading to poor health outcomes. A new project, led by Assistant Professor Jessie Chin, aims to boost HD patients' commitment to exercise through a long-term motivational interviewing conversational agent (LotMintBot).

Jessie Chin