CFP: Recounting Algorithms

The University of Toronto Mississauga Library invites proposals for its upcoming workshop, Recounting Algorithms: A Workshop on Critical Algorithm Studies in the Library. From the call:

How can libraries and archives best contribute to emerging critical discourses around algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence? Recounting Algorithms is a two-day workshop, supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources and hosted by the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, that aims to enrich the intersections of critical algorithm studies and academic librarianship.

Efforts to historicize, culturally situate, and foreground algorithmic systems as manifestations of bias and power have flourished recently. Work in this area has contributed important insights into the often oppressive operational conditions of systems used to automate tasks such as hiring, criminal risk assessment, supply chain management, web page ranking, and surveillance. The robustness of this growing field of inquiry is demonstrated in the varied institutional backgrounds of those who have contributed to it—they include journalists, artists, advocates, and academic researchers from across the disciplinary spectrum.

They are calling for proposals for pedagogical resources, creative projects, and library services that explore how libraries can support and build on investigations of algorithmic systems (including machine learning and AI) and their enabling social conditions.

Potential themes include but are not limited to:

  • Projects to collect, preserve, and curate materials relevant to the study of algorithmic systems.
  • Resources for addressing emerging aspects of information and digital literacy related to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Projects that reframe core values and practices (such as access and literacy) in light of work from critical algorithm studies.

Invited workshop attendees will present proposals (in draft or prototype form) and participate in workshop activities to further develop their projects. Projects will be shared as an online resource following the workshop.


Submissions should include a project abstract (500-word max) and bio (50-word max) for each presenter. If submitting with co-authors, please limit the group to no more than three presenters. Please submit all materials via email by January 17, 2020. Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance by February 7, 2020. Email with additional questions.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Hannah Hopkins, Kathia Ibacache, Jill Krefft, Megan Macken, Sarah Obenauf, Heather Rogers, Kate Thornhill(Editors-at-large for the week), Pamella Lach (Editor for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Linsey Ford, and Ian Goodale (dh+lib Review Editors).