MISC Talk: Norman Makoto Su

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 11:30am

Erhlicher Room, North Quad 3100


Strange Bedfellows in HCI? Humanities and the Empirical


Arguably, HCI and CSCW are characterized by their egalitarian philosophy on methods. Lately, we have seen an increasing number of scholars drawing from the humanities (e.g., literary theory, philosophy) in their studies. In this talk, I discuss my ongoing efforts in human centered computing to conduct fieldwork and design at the intersection of social science (e.g., ethnography, computational social science) and humanistic approaches. Building on past work, I will lay out several key challenges that make the "blending" of the two ostensibly intractable. Yet, having the methods speak to each other by adopting the other's epistemological baggage may open the door to effective methods that significantly move the field forward. We can also draw on the fact that many of us engage with, to some degree, the humanities. Illustrating with examples from my research on various subcultures, I hope to inspire others to develop their own approaches incorporating the humanities with social sciences in HCI.

Speaker Bio

Norman Makoto Su is an Assistant Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington. His research interests lie in human–computer interaction (HCI) and computer–supported cooperative work (CSCW). His Authentic User Experience (AUX) lab characterizes the relationship of technology with subcultures and designs systems to account for their authentic practices and values. He received his Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, with a minor in Music. He was a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Information and Library Studies at University College Dublin, Ireland. He has done internships at IBM, The Aerospace Corporation, and PARC.