Browse Exhibits (7 total)

International Seasonings: DH Capstone Project 2020


"International Seasonings: A Study of Immigration to Ottawa (2006-2016)" was created and launched by the 2019-2020 Digital Humanities Capstone class at the University of Ottawa. As a team, the seven students combined their diverse educational backgrounds and skills with the of Professor Jada Watson to develop this storymap on immigration in Ottawa from 2006 to 2016. Using Census data, the team mapped how immigration has shaped and influenced Ottawa through cultural institutions such as restaurants. Users are able to read more on the story of immigration in Ottawa and explore different cultural food establishments from all continents of the world.

The Data Mappers team hopes that you are as inspired by the history of Ottawa's cultural food establishments as they were!


Racial Profiling is Alive and Well at the University of Ottawa


By Mills Amaning

On June 13, 2019, a video of a black student being handcuffed at the University of Ottawa for skateboarding on campus surfaced on Twitter. Moments after, the video had garnered national attention on the news and quickly became one of the most prominent incidents of racial profiling on campus. When Jamal Boyce was stopped on campus, there was no demonstrable reason why campus security required his identification, or to know his purpose on campus. The altercation had even piqued the curiosity a PhD candidate named Christopher Kelly-Bisson, who witnessed the incident and reported that the security officers had ignored white student who was also skateboarding through campus. Many speculated that this was an instance of racial profiling – raising concerns amongst BIPOC students and families within and outside of the campus. After all, in the words of Kelly-Bisson, “[Racism] happens in [Ottawa or Canadian universities], it happens all the time.” 

The year following this incident, racism on campus received increasingly more attention, coming to a head in the Fall 2020 semester, when University of Ottawa instructor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval used the n-word in class. Whether Professor Lieutenant-Duval is white or black, it is of critical importance that professors ensure that their classrooms are safe and respectful place for all students to learn and not have to endure racism or other forms of oppression. The act of Lieutenant-Duval using an explicit word in the classroom shows the level of amateurism of her profession that the school expects from their own academic and administrative staff to practice the policy of the prevention of harassment and discrimination.

This project reflects on the history of racial profiling at the University of Ottawa. With the rise of profiling on campus over the last few years and the continued prevalence of racism in society, it is important that we begin to understand why we are still dealing with these issues on Canadian campuses today. 

Spun Out! Representation on Canadian Active Rock Radio

by Abigail Alty and Dalie Brisson
An examination of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and nationality in Canadian Active Rock radio.

In reviewing Watson’s (2019) analysis of gender representation in Canadian country music radio, we learned that between 2005 and 2018 female artists received less airplay than male artists, and had a decreasing presence on Canadian country radio. We were disappointed with the results, but wondered if this was an issue concerning country music radio exclusively. Through a preliminary review of the literature, we discovered that active rock radio is also an overwhelmingly male format (Crider, 2020). Through this project, we set out to analyze not only the gender representation in active rock radio, but to draw on data feminist principles to seek out and highlight the Black, Indigenous, and musicians of colour (BIPOC); two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (2SLGBTQ+) musicians; and non-binary musicians that are charting a new path in active rock radio.

A Review of Representation in the Palme D'Or Competition


by Heather Munro

This exhibit is an analysis of data pertaining to three groups of people relevant to films in the Festival de Cannes’ Palme d’Or competition, the directors, cast leads, and character leads. The data was collected with the intent to examine representation of several facets of identity among each of the three groups who are most responsible for the portayal of the stories told by the films in the competition. For each of these groups, I have compiled data on their gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability status to demonstrate how these different facets of identity are represtented by each film, see how they intersect, and explore their possible significance.

Machine Learning and its Effect on Pop Culture

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by Abigail Alty and Dalie Brisson

This exhibit was created for Dr. François Dominic Laramée's course, DHN4300/ISI6300 Machine Learning and the Humanities. Through this exhibit, we aim to present an overview of artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) in particular, within North American pop culture, by looking specifically at music, cinema, and literature. The purpose of the exhibit is to share knowledge on the topic of machine learning, algorithms, and the role they play in pop culture. We will explain how ML impacts each of the selected facets of pop culture, whether it is how they are consumed, how they rise to popularity and influence trends, or how AI contributes to the cultural industry.

We chose to explore this topic because as we learned more about the basics of machine learning we realized that it was a tool we were using every day, without knowing. The more we learned, the more we realized that ML is a tool that was also using us. To demonstrate how many people interact with ML on a daily basis, we have included case studies on three applications that use ML in cultural industries: Netflix, Goodreads, and Spotify. Part of the research in this project involved educating ourselves about the applications and programs we interact with to gain a deeper understanding of their inner workings and be better informed.

The Power of Fans: Charting the Canadian Music Industry Online


Created by: Kat Thornley

It’s no secret that online music streaming has been changing the game for Canadian artists, and with even more avenues for artists to self-release, self-manage, and self-promote, you can't ignore the impact services like Spotify and Apple Music have been having on the way us listeners get our daily music fix. While listeners can simply hit shuffle on Spotify's Discover Weekly Playlists, artists can reach wider audiences and theoretically “make it big” from streaming without having to hit the pavement and sell CDs at their local house shows. But if we want to truly understand the way online streaming actually affects artists beyond what is advertised to us, we have to start asking the right questions and poking around in some data.

Over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, I worked under Dr. Jada Watson's supervision to study the effects of online music streaming on the Canadian music industry through a digital humanities lens. The final study, "Charting the Canadian Music Industry Online: A data-driven approach to understanding the impact of fan-curated playlists on Canadian artists" explores Spotify artist data extracted from Chartmetric (a streaming and social data aggregator). The findings in this project draw attention to several areas related to who dominates the Canadian streaming market, who is underrepresented in our data, and what areas need further investigation. You’ll get a chance to play with some data on a larger scale, then look beyond the numbers using case studies to gain a better understanding of the voices this data represents. The study links to outside sources, detail methods of collection and analysis, and provide a data feminist perspective through prompts and inquiries for each graph.

Visit the project website and learn more about how streaming is impacting the Canadian music industry landscape!

Planting the Seeds of Change

Addressing sustainability and food security through academic seed libraries

A directed research project by Abigail Alty

This project was completed over the summer of 2023. For a portion of that time, I was staying in Chief Drygeese Territory, or Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NWT), where I am from and where my family remains. Wildfires and their smoke have increasingly been affecting southern provinces, but in the NWT, smokey skies have long been a sign of summer.

This summer started out like many of the summers before, with the occasional smokey day, but soon the smokey days outnumbered the clear days and the air quality diminished for days and weeks at a time. The smoke affects everyone differently, and even those of us who are acclimatized to it started to move activities indoors or wearing masks. I did most of the interviews for this project in Yellowknife, and listening back to the transcripts I can hear when I had a hoarse voice from spending too much time outdoors in the smokey air.

In August 2023, Yellowknife and many other communities in the NWT were evacuated due to threats of wildfires coming dangerously near to (or entering) communities. During this time food supply chains across the NWT, regardless of evacuation status, were disrupted. Stores in majority-Indigenous communities began to run out of food. Groceries then had to be shipped by air from Edmonton, Alberta, thus increasing the already high price of goods (Pressman, 2023). First Nations were subsidizing the cost of grocery store food so that people could access somewhat affordable foods (Pressman, 2023). Hearing these stories made me reflect on the food systems we support and uphold, despite being broken and unjust; on the ways that colonization and capitalism have taken the power of food sovereignty away from communities; on the supports that vulnerable communities, like some students, are (not) receiving.

This project is about seed libraries.
But it is also about food systems, living sustainably and inclusion.

On their own, seed libraries likely cannot provide food security or reverse climate change. However, I do think there is value in reflecting on and discussing where our food comes from and how it got to our plates. I also think that people have been left out of this conversation, and they are likely the ones that are most impacted by systems meant to starve them. Seed libraries are not the answer, but they are a tool for uplifting seeds, which can be a meaningful and worthwhile pursuit. If nothing else, I want this project to show the value of seeds, not as a commodity, but as a living symbol of change and growth.