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Intersections

The Future is Intersectional: Black Women Interrogating Technology

The Spelman College Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM in collaboration with the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry and Mozilla Foundation is proud to present a series of discussions highlighting the unique intersectional lens Black women bring to the development and utilization of technology in our society. Talks will cover both the vast contributions of Black women to this field as well as the challenging and demoralizing experiences Black women have in a field where they are highly underrepresented and often undervalued.


Series Events

Black Feminist Technoculture and the Virtual Beauty Shop

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 | 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

    Location
  • Zoom

Black women are at the forefront of some of this century’s most important discussions about technology: trolling, online harassment, algorithmic bias and influencer culture. But Black women’s relationship with technology began long before the advent of Twitter or Instagram. To truly “listen to Black women,” Steele points to the history of Black feminist technoculture in the U.S. to decenter white supremacy and patriarchy in the future of technology.

In this talk, Catherine Knight Steele places Black women at the center of a discussion about technology. Steele considers how Black women’s specific institutional and social oppression—which began long before the advent of digital technology—has resulted in their continued strength with communication technology. The virtual beauty shop provides a metaphor and mechanism to interrogate a Black feminist technoculture wherein we no longer treat Black women’s use and manipulation of digital technologies as deviant, deficient or an aberration. 

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This event is part of an ongoing lecture series "The Future is Intersectional: Black Women Interrogating Technology," organized by the Spelman College Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, in collaboration with the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry and Mozilla.

This event is co-sponsored by the Spelman College Women's Research & Resource Center.


ABOUT Catherine Knight Steele

Catherine Knight SteeleCatherine Knight Steele is an assistant professor of communications at the University of Maryland - College Park and was the founding director of the African American Digital Humanities Initiative. She now directs the Black Communication and Technology Lab as a part of the Digital Inquiry, Speculation, Collaboration, & Optimism Network funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Her research focuses on race, gender and media, with a specific emphasis on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. She examines representations of marginalized communities in the media and how groups resist oppression and practice joy using online technology to create spaces of community.

Steele's research on the Black blogosphere, digital discourses of resistance and joy, and digital Black feminism has been published in such journals as Social Media + Society, Feminist Media Studies, and Television and New Media. She is the author of "Digital Black Feminism" (NYU Press Fall 2021), which examines the relationship between Black women and technology as a centuries-long gendered and racial project in the U.S.

@SteeleCat717

AUC Data Science Initiative


UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry


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