Starting next week, four visiting speakers will give virtual talks on media studies and the African American experience. The colloquium series is part of Arts & Sciences’ digital transformation initiative and co-organized by African and African American Studies and Film and Media Studies.
“This series came about through a joint recognition by AFAS and FMS of the increasingly vital role that emerging digital media, technologies, and platforms play in the lives of Black people globally,” said Shanti Parikh, professor of sociocultural anthropology and associate chair of African and African American studies, who co-organized the colloquium series. "We also hope to highlight and celebrate the innovative contributions of Black scholars to digital media and humanities research.”
The series offers a range of scholarly topics and viewpoints related to the intersections of digital media and race. “Digital media such as Black Twitter, BLM, and other hashtag movements have enabled new ways of forming Black communities and activism that transcend traditional bounded geographies," Parikh said. "On the other hand, merging critical race theory with media studies reveals ways in which digital surveillance technologies, AI, and algorithms might perpetuate or create new forms of racism, racial exclusion, and anti-Black violence."
Apryl Williams (University of Michigan) will talk about “Race + Sorting Algorithms? The New Sexual Racism in Online Dating” April 19 at 4:30 p.m. An expert on critical algorithm studies and cultural studies of race, gender, popular culture, and identity in digital spaces, Williams will explore the processes used by dating sites to determine whose profiles are shown to whom.
Moya Bailey (Northeastern University) will give a talk on “Transforming Misogynoir through a Digital Health Practice” April 20 at 4:30 p.m. Bailey’s research focuses on marginalized groups’ use of digital media to promote social justice as health promotion. Her lecture will consider ways to transform misogynoir into something useful.
Raven Maragh-Lloyd (Gonzaga University) will give a lecture on “‘Do It for the Culture’: Crafting and Archiving Community through Black Digital Media Practices” April 27 at 4:30 p.m. Maragh-Lloyd is a media studies scholar whose research examines the intersections between race, gender, and digital media culture. Her talk will focus on the ways that Black users employ racial humor and communal care to reconfigure media landscapes.
Amber Hamilton (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) will talk about “Doing Race Online: An Exploration of Race-Making on Social Media Platforms” April 28 at 4:30 p.m. Hamilton is a doctoral candidate whose research focuses on the intersection of race, racism, technology, and media studies. In her talk, she will examine Black Twitter as a case study to understand how Black users do race, express and construct what it means to be Black, resist racial oppression, and engage in cultural conversations on social media platforms.