Workshop

Critical Media and Digital Studies

This workshop aims to bring together scholars interested in interrogating the sociocultural and political implications of digital technologies’ growing scope and indelibility upon the public sphere, in particular, its impact upon marginalized communities. Currently, digital technologies are advancing in their capabilities and reach at a far faster rate than conversations and policies that challenge its implementation and effects, both short and long-term. Technology is both reflective, mirroring the conditions of its material analog through human impositions, and a causal force in itself, engineering the (re)production of new materialities and futures. Our focus on race, gender, class, and other vectors add crucial depth to deliberations around data ethics by centering the needs and voices of communities that, through these technologies’ investment, are not only excluded from its intended beneficiaries, but are also further marginalized in the process. This workshop’s mission is to stay cognizant of and responsible to the people whose lives are affected by the progression of these conversations. Thus we consider communities as a critical part of developing, refining, and co-constructing technologies and their applications.         

As this research is fundamentally interdisciplinary and multi-methodological, we invite faculty and students from across the University to adjoin perspectives from cultural studies, sociology, social work, computer science, history, communication, anthropology, law, and other collaborators interested in interrogating different aspects of these issues. Together, we hope to engage in critical debate and study about new ideas in the field, and workshop in-progress scholarship of our own, especially from graduate student participants.

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