News and Events

Event Archives 2019-2020

Fridays, January 24 – April 17, 2020
STS Lunch Seminar Series

12:00-1:15 pm
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Thursday, February 13, 2020
Entretejido [on ethical fashion]
Film screening + discussion with the director
Patricia Alvarez Astacio (Brandeis University)
Olin Center Room 11 | 6:00-8:00 pm
Sponsors: Department of Anthropology, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Environmental Studies, and STS

Entretejido is an observational documentary that weaves together the different sites and communities involved in the making of alpaca wool fashions. The film is a sensorial immersion into the textures that compose this supply chain, from animal to runway, employing sonic and visual juxtapositions that explore the fluid complexity of entanglements between Andean artists, alpaca herders, urban designers, development efforts, and the emerging Peruvian high-fashion world.

Patricia Alvarez Astacio is an anthropologist and filmmaker whose scholarly research and creative practice develops in the folds between ethnography, critical theory, sensory ethnography, and the documentary arts. Her most recent works converge on issues of gender and ethnic representations in neoliberal, post-authoritarian Peru. She is currently working on her book manuscript Moral Fibers: Making Fashion Ethical.
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Fridays, September 13 – December 6, 2019
STS Lunch Seminar Series

Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room | 12:00-1:15 pm
More information and speaker lineup >

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
A New Jim Code? Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life

Ruha Benjamin (Princeton University)
ASEAN Auditorium, Cabot Center | Reception 4:30, Lecture 5:00-6:00 pm
Sponsors: STS, Diversity Fund, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism and Diaspora, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Department of Computer Science, and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

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, Dr. 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.
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