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Speakers

L
   isted in alphabetical order. 

Dr. Ruha Benjamin is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine. She is also the founder of the JUST DATA Lab and the author of two books, "People's Science" (Stanford) and "Race After Technology" (Polity), and editor of "Captivating Technology" (Duke). She writes, teaches, and speaks widely about the relationship between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice.

Dr. Rumman Chowdhury’s passion lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence and humanity. She holds degrees in quantitative social science and has been a practicing data scientist and AI developer since 2013. She is currently the Global Lead for Responsible AI at Accenture Applied Intelligence, where she works with C-suite clients to create cutting-edge technical solutions for ethical, explainable and transparent AI. In her work as Accenture’s Responsible AI lead, she led the design of the Fairness Tool, a first-in-industry algorithmic tool to identify and mitigate bias in AI systems. The Fairness Tool has been utilized successfully at Accenture clients around the world. Dr. Chowdhury co-authored a Harvard Business Review piece on the tool. Dr. Chowdhury holds two undergraduate degrees from MIT, a master's degree in Quantitative Methods of the Social Sciences from Columbia University, and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, San Diego.

Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA (Pawnee), was born in the heart of Alaska where she was raised in the traditional values of giving, respect for all and love. Ms. Echo-Hawk currently serves as the Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, and the Chief Research Officer at the Seattle Indian Health Board. Urban Indian Health Institute is a Tribal Epidemiology Center that serves tribal people currently living off tribal lands nationwide. In addition, in UIHI’s role as the National Coordinating Center for Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country, she also works with approximately 100 tribal nations. Her work incorporates these core principles and activities: engagement and participation of community partners; research and evaluation on health, healthcare, and other community priorities; education, training, and capacity-building for Native people, including researchers, students, and communities; infrastructure development; technical assistance; and sharing results in a way that recognizes and respects the unique cultural contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native people. In these roles she also works with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and organizations to identify health research priorities and with health researchers to ensure research is done in a manner that respects tribal sovereignty and is culturally appropriate.

Dr. Kristen Hoganauthor of "The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability," is the Barnard Library and Academic Information Systems Director for Collections Strategy and Library Operations. At the University of Texas, she served as the English Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies Librarian, the Associate Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and most recently as the Education Coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Center. She has also worked in feminist bookstores, including as book buyer and co-manager of the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, a racial justice-based and trans affirming feminist bookstore. Kristen loves to learn about, discuss, and work toward racial justice-based queer feminism in everyday life. Her book, The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability (Duke University Press, 2016), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award this past summer. She has a PhD in English Literature and an MS in Information Studies, both from UT. Kristen Hogan will be speaking about her work at McGill University and at Montreal’s feminist bookstore L’Euguélionne.

Dr. Alex Ketchum is the Faculty Lecturer of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University. In addition to her research on feminist consumption and communications, she is co-founder and editor of The Historical Cooking Project (historicalcookingproject.com), a website dedicated to food history scholarship and Food, Feminism, and Fermentation (foodfeminismfermentation.com). She presently manages 5 websites that make academic research accessible to the public for free. For a full list of her publications, go to alexketchum.ca. Ketchum will lead a 2-hour workshop “Website Creation for Research Distribution Accessibility.” She will work with participants to begin building their own websites to make their research results accessible to the public. Participants will gain the tools to buy a domain name, create multiple pages, do simple HTML coding, and more. The workshop will be available for up to 20 graduate students and professors. No prior coding skills will be required.

Suzanne Kite is an Oglala Lakota performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD student at Concordia University and Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Her research is concerned with contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance practice. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video & sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Kite argues that the inseparability of body and voice with mind and heart is central to a Lakota epistemology. This guides her development of wearables which interface body and computer. She will speak about this concept through her performance practice which utilizes the body to navigate digital landscapes (visual and sonic) through wearable electronics. Following her discussion of indigenous protocols for AI, she will speak about how to integrate digital artistic practice with decolonial and social justice work.

Dr. Laura Klein is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. She received her PhD in English and American Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center, and my AB in Literature (English and French) from Harvard University. She is currently at work on two major projects: the first, Data by Design, is an interactive book on the history of data visualization; and the second, Data Feminism, co-authored with Catherine D'Ignazio, is a trade book that explores the intersection of feminist thinking and data science. She also maintains ongoing research into the application of quantitative methods to the "data" of early American culture. Her first book, Matters of Taste: Eating, Aesthetics, and the Early American Archive, is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. It shows how thinking about eating can help to tell new stories about the range of people, from the nation's first presidents to their enslaved chefs, who worked to establish a cultural foundation for the United States. With Matthew K. Gold, she edits Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press), a hybrid print/digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge.

Dr. Hannah McGregor is an Assistant Professor in Publishing @ SFU, where her research and teaching focuses on the links between publishing and social change, from the role podcasts might play in expanding public engagement with research, to systemic barriers to access in the Canadian publishing industry (https://hannahmcgregor.com/). She is the creator of the peer-reviewed, podcast Secret Feminist Agenda (https://secretfeministagenda.com).

Dr. Cait McKinney is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. She was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge. Formerly SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and Media@McGill Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, Montréal. She researches how queer and feminist social movements use new digital technologies to create and circulate information. She holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University, and has taught in communication studies, media and information studies, and sexuality studies. Her research is interested in how queer and feminist social movements use digital technologies to build alternative information infrastructures. She focuses on how these movements struggle to provide vital access to information using new digital tools, within conditions where that access is often precarious. For example, she has published on digitization strategies at queer community archives , lesbian-feminist newsletter networks, and community internet infrastructures built by AIDS activists.

Metonymy Press of Montreal publishes literary fiction and nonfiction by emerging writers. The press tries to reduce barriers to publishing for authors whose perspectives are underrepresented in order to produce quality materials relevant to queer, feminist, and social justice communities. The founders of the press, Ashley Fortier and Oliver Fugler, will lead a workshop on small press publishing. The workshop will include information that is useful to people interested in setting up presses, working with small presses, and how to make publishing accessible to marginalized communities.

Dr. Sarah Myers West is a postdoctoral researcher at the AI Now Institute of New York University and an affiliate researcher at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. Her research centers on the critical study of technology and culture, with an emphasis on historical and ethnographic methods. She is currently working on a project that addresses the politics of diversity and inclusion in technological communities by exploring the nexus of artificial intelligence, gender, and intersectionality. She received her doctoral degree from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in 2018, where her dissertation examined the cultural history and politics of encryption technologies from the 1960s to the present day. Her work is published in academic journals such as New Media & Society, Policy & Internet, Business and Society and the Internet Policy Review.

Dr. Shawn Newman received his PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen's University. His research projects have included: reconciliation project in ballet; racialized and racializing spectatorship in both artistic and activist spaces; shifting arts funding models that continue to reinforce dominant Eurocentric aesthetic practices and values; disability and performance; and Canadian multicultural nationalism. He has taught in the Department of Gender Studies and the Department of Film and Media at Queen's University, and the Department of Dance at York University. He is currently the Managing Editor of Public, Director of Public Access, and a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow in Cinema and Media Arts at York. He will give a lecture about his role as both Managing Editor of Public and a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow. The basis of this talk will be his current research project, "Publishing Dis/ability and Public Access," in which he is investigating the ways that academic journals can re-design digital publications to centralize accessibility technologies, and why this is imperative for organizations that focus on visual cultures. The talk will also discuss the need to anticipate our readerships' needs instead of merely react to them.

Mimi Onuoha is a Nigerian-American, Brooklyn-based new media artist and researcher whose work deals with the missing and obscured remnants forged from a society based on automation. Through layerings of code, text, interventions, and objects, she seeks to explore the ways in which people are abstracted, represented, and classified. Onuoha has been in residence at Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Studio XX, Data & Society Research Institute, Columbia University's Tow Center, and the Royal College of Art. Her exhibition and speaking credits include venues like La Gaitê Lyrique (France), FIBER Festival (Netherlands), Mao Jihong Arts Foundation (China), Le Centre Pompidou (France) and B4BEL4B Gallery (San Francisco). Her writing has appeared in Quartz, Nichons-nous Dans L'Internet, FiveThirtyEight, and K. Verlag. In 2014 she was selected to be in the inaugural class of Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellows, and in 2017 she was nominated as a Technical.ly Brooklyn Artist of the Year. Onuoha earned her MPS from NYU Tisch's Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she is currently a Researcher. Most recently she has been named the 2018-19 Creative-in-Residence at Olin College for Engineering. She will discuss how metrified societies require the fluid, organic, messiness of people to be secured, tagged, categorized, and abstracted. This event will be co-hosted with Montreal's Artificial Intelligence firm, Element AI. 

Jenn Riley is Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives in the McGill University Library, in Montréal, Québec. She is a digital librarian, collaborator, inquirer, learner, and analyst. Her former positions include being Head of Carolina Digital Library and Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Metadata Librarian for the Digital Library Program of Indiana University Libraries; and Digital Media Specialist for the Digital Library Program of Indiana University Libraries. The Digital Initiatives workshop will focus on open access scholarship and open data.

Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the directory of the philosophical documentaries “What Is Democracy?” (TIFF 2018), “Examined Life” (TIFF 2008) and Zizek! (TIFF 2005); the author of the American Book Award Winner, “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Cultures in the Digital Age; and a co-founder of the Debt Collective. She has written for The New York times, The London Review of Books, The Guardian, The Walrus, The Baffler, n+1, and many other outlets. Her new book, Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, will be out from Metropolitan Books in early 2019. Astra Taylor will be talking about how new technologies frequently presented as offering solutions to the problems of traditional publishing more often than not reinforce pre-existing power dynamics.