Charis welcomes Dr. Ruha Benjamin, author of People's Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, and Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life to discuss her newest book, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code.
In Race After Technology, Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the "New Jim Code," she shows how a range of discriminatory designs 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. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life.
This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding 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 ourselves manufacture.
This is a Charis Circle Founding the Future of Feminism Event. The suggested donation is $5.
From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.
The contributors to Captivating Technology examine how carceral technologies such as electronic ankle monitors and predictive-policing algorithms are being deployed to classify and coerce specific populations and whether these innovations can be appropriated and reimagined for more liberatory ends.
Stem cell research has sparked controversy and heated debate since the first human stem cell line was derived in 1998. Too frequently these debates devolve to simple judgments--good or bad, life-saving medicine or bioethical nightmare, symbol of human ingenuity or our fall from grace--ignoring the people affected.