COVID-19

Ruha Benjamin on The New Jim Code: Race After Technology

Event

Wilson Hall Room 118, 3506 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2A7, CA

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/860437420968372/

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and even deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. In this talk, Ruha Benjamin presents the concept of the “New Jim Code" to explore a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity: by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies, by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions, or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. We will also consider how race itself is a kind of tool designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice and discuss how technology is and can be used toward liberatory ends. This presentation takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

Dr. Ruha Benjamin is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine. She is also the founder of the JUST DATA Lab and the author of two books, "People's Science" (Stanford) and "Race After Technology" (Polity), and editor of "Captivating Technology" (Duke). She writes, teaches, and speaks widely about the relationship between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice.

This event is part of the Feminist and Accessible Publishing and Communications Technologies Speaker and Workshop Series (https://www.feministandaccessiblepublishingandtechnology.com). This series was made possible thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies of McGill, MILA, the Dean of Arts Development Fund of McGill, Media @McGill, McGill's Department of History and Classical Studies, the William Dawson Fund, RéQEF, the Moving Image Research Laboratory, Element AI, and L'Euguélionne: Montreal's Feminist Bookstore.

There is no fee required to attend this event. Notes on accessibility will be announced closer to the event.

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