History Acts 20 – Fighting With Data

How activists can use, resist or generate the data that is being deployed in this crisis

Online Meeting
Tuesday 5 May: 6:30pm – 8:30pm 

For more details and to log on please visit  historyacts.org 

Ordinarily, History Acts run face-to-face workshops. With lockdown in place however, we’ve decided to go online, with some quickly-organised workshops, focusing specifically on activists’ responses to the pandemic. For our third event we are discussing ‘How activists can use, resist or generate the data that is being deployed in this crisis’.


Radical Statistics Group was formed in 1975 by researchers and statisticians with a common interest about the political implications of their work. Members are committed to helping build a more free, democratic and egalitarian society.

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project is a data-visualization, data analysis, and storytelling collective documenting the dispossession and resistance upon gentrifying landscapes. The collective primarily works in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City.


Professor Oz Frankel is Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research, New York. His book States of Inquiry: Social Investigations and Print Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain and the United States explores the early roots of the modern informational states.

Professor Edward Higgs is Professor of History at the University of Essex, UK. He has written widely on the history of censuses and surveys, civil registration, women’s work, the impact of the digital revolution on archives, the information state, and the history of identification.

Dr Guy Beckett is a historian of ideas. His research looks at the impact of nineeenth-century social statistics on governance and political debates. He recently completed his PhD and is a founder of History Acts.

Professor Zohreh Bayatrizi, University of Alberta, works on the history of sociology, knowledge and power, law and society, sociology of death and dying, sociological research & social policy.

Professor Tim Rowse, Western Sydney University, works on Australia’s colonial history, including the history of its official statistics, which he sees as a form of colonial knowledge.

For all our workshops, we have a panel of activists and historians. The activists speak first, and then the historians respond. We ask that historians don’t prepare a paper or a talk, but just come ready to listen to the activists and respond to the issues they raise, based on their research and expertise. The final part of the workshop opens up to the audience for group discussion. The focus is on how history/historians can provide useful info/assistance to aid activist efforts in the present.


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