We have four speakers slated to attend this year’s symposium on “Technologies of Race: Politics, Affect, Platforms.”

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Dr. Armond R. Towns

Dr. Armond R. Towns (University of Richmond) earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an emphasis in Black Studies, media philosophy, communication history, and British cultural studies. He is increasingly interested in Western “man’s” overrepresentation as the human in both science and philosophy and alternative genres of the human outside Western man’s vantage point. This leads Professor Towns to ask questions about race, gender, sexuality, class, time, and space. He will be giving his talk, “The Medium is the Message, Revisited: Media and Black Epistemologies”, on Wednesday morning from 10:15-11:15 U.S. Eastern Time.


Dr. Rianka Singh

Dr. Rianka Singh (University of Toronto) works at the intersection of feminist media studies, feminist geography and platform studies. Using these three lenses and raising questions about the platform and its role in structuring intersectional feminist struggle, her work highlights the important ways in which those who are also Black, brown, queer, trans and, or disabled, develop differential spatial strategies in moments of resistance. Her talk, “Platforms and the Politics of Elevation”, will be on Wednesday afternoon from 3:00-4:00 U.S. Eastern Time.


Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Dr. André L. Brock

Dr. André L. Brock (Georgia Tech) is an interdisciplinary scholar with an M.A. in English and Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His scholarship includes published articles on racial representations in videogames, black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital technoculture, as well as groundbreaking research on Black Twitter. His talk, “On Race and Technoculture” will be on Thursday morning from 10:15-11:15 U.S. Eastern Time.


Dr. Soraya Murray

Dr. Soraya Murray (University of California, Santa Cruz) is an interdisciplinary scholar who focuses on technology, science and visual culture, with particular interest in contemporary art, film and video games. Murray holds a Ph.D. in art history and visual studies from Cornell University. An Associate Professor in the Film & Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Murray studies technological representations (such as the playable simulations of video games), as well as the representations of advanced technology, science and innovation in film and visual culture. She will be giving her talk, “No Country For Old Tropes: Representation and Political Affect in Red Dead Redemption 2”, on Thursday afternoon from 3:00-4:00 U.S. Eastern Time.