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.