Dr. André Brock: On Race and Technoculture
Dr. André Brock
This talk is part of the FIAT Justice Lecture Series coordinated by the Algorithmic Fairness and Opacity Group (AFOG), Cal NERDS, and the D-Lab and sponsored by the Public Interest Technologies University Network (PIT-UN).
Where does Blackness manifest in the ideology of Western technoculture? Technoculture is the American mythos (Dinerstein 2006) and ideology; a belief system powering the coercive, political, and carceral relations between culture and technology. Once enslaved, historically disenfranchised, never deemed literate, Blackness is understood as the object of Western technical and civilizational practices. This presentation is a critical intervention for internet research and science and technology studies (STS), reorienting Western technoculture’s practices of “race-ass technology” (Chun 2009) to visualize Blackness as technological subjects rather than as “things”. Hence, Black technoculture.
Utilizing critical technocultural discourse analysis (Brock 2018), Afro-optimism, and libidinal economic theory, this presentation employs Black Twitter as an exemplar of Black cyberculture: digital practice and artifacts informed by a Black aesthetic.
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André Brock is an associate professor of media studies at Georgia Tech. His scholarship examines racial representations in social media, videogames, Black women and weblogs, whiteness, and technoculture, including innovative and groundbreaking research on Black Twitter. His first book, Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures, was published in 2020 with NYU Press and theorizes Black everyday lives mediated by networked technologies.