UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Melanie Feinberg has been awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship by the European Commission. The fellowship enables experienced researchers to conduct projects outside of their home countries with the goal of facilitating international collaboration and creating breakthrough impacts.
Feinberg’s project, Data Stories, involves understanding data variation from a humanist perspective. When people tell different stories about the same event, we are interested in their stories for the variations, Feinberg said. One storyteller may emphasize details about the setting, while another may focus more on the plot. This type of variation is generally unwelcome when it comes to data collection.
“When we collect data about the same phenomenon, we usually want to eliminate that kind of variation,” Feinberg said. “In Data Stories, I will investigate how we might value the variation in data just as we value the variation in stories.”
Feinberg will be at the Department of Information Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, for the 2019-2020 academic year. The department focuses on using humanist approaches to understand information structures as cultural forms, making it a great environment for her project.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to concentrate on research ideas that have been percolating for a long time,” she said. “I am looking forward to working with collaborators such as Jens-Erik Mai, Jack Andersen, and Laura Skouvig, and to a vibrant intellectual exchange of ideas.”