This is Vera Khovanskaya's website. I am a graduate student in the Information Science PhD program at Cornell University.

I study how social implications are built into technology through technical decision-making, and develop methods to identify and alter underlying values in technology through critical technical practice. I am also interested in methods that integrate archival research with early stages of design research and speculative design. My current focus for this work is studying the design and implementation of new metrics for evaluating the outputs of work in relationship to organized labor, specifically in the context of workplace rationalization projects taken up by the engineering department of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union in the 1940-50s.

I regularly teach and TA INFO/STS 4240: Designing Technologies for Social Impact. In summer 2018, I co-organized a summer school on technology and social impact. In summer 2017, I taught INFO1100, an introductory programming course for non-majors in Processing.

My academic advisor is Phoebe Sengers. My dissertation committee also features Karen EC Levy, Adam Seth Litwin, and Lynn Dombrowski. I am a member of the Culturally Embedded Computing Group, CEmCom.

The most recent verison of my CV can be found here (last updated April 2020).

Recent Work

Here are some of my recent publications on the role of data-driven methods, technology use, and technical expertise in the labor movement:

Khovanskaya, Vera, Phoebe Sengers, and Lynn Dombrowski. Bottom-Up Organizing with Tools from On High: Understanding the Data Practices of Labor Organizers." Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2020.

Khovanskaya, Vera, Lynn Dombrowski, Jeffrey Rzeszotarski, and Phoebe Sengers The Tools of Management: Adapting Historical Union Tactics to Platform-Mediated Labor." Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 3.CSCW (2019): 1-22.

Khovanskaya, Vera, and Phoebe Sengers. Data Rhetoric and Uneasy Alliances: Data Advocacy in US Labor History." Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference. 2019.


Here are two recent workshops I have co-organized on the topics of worker-oriented design and historical methods:

Fox, Sarah E., Vera Khovanskaya, Clara Crivellaro, Niloufar Salehi, Lynn Dombrowski, Chinmay Kulkarni, Lilly Irani, and Jodi Forlizzi. "Worker-Centered Design: Expanding HCI Methods for Supporting Labor." Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts. 2020. (Website here.)

Soden, Robert, David Ribes, Maggie Jack, Will Sutherland, Vera Khovanskaya, Seyram Avle, Phoebe Sengers, and Susanne Bødker. "Fostering Historical Research in CSCW & HCI." In Conference Companion Publication of the 2019 on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, pp. 517-522. 2019. (Website here.)


I am in the process of updating my website with pre-prints of my work. Until then please email me for a .pdf of anything that has my name on it.

Email me at vdk9 at cornell dot edu.

I exist more substantially on Twitter.