Critical Data Studies A Cross-College Collaboration

Past Events

Through our public lecture and open seminar series, CDS hosts a robust program of events each semester that promotes scholarly conversations across Purdue’s campus and creates opportunities for public dialogue on key issues in critical data studies.



Monday, 17th


Spring 2020 CDS Distinguished Lecture

Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code

Ruha Benjamin, Associate Professor of African American Studies and the founder of the JUST DATA Lab at Princeton University.  

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Fowler Hall

The Spring 2020 Critical Data Studies Distinguished Lecture will be given by Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and founder of the JUST DATA lab whose work examines the social dimensions of science, technology and medicine. Dr. Benjamin is the author of Race After Technology and People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, and the editor of Captivating Technology.

In her lecture, Dr. Benjamin 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, she challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves. Dr. 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 are asked to 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.

The hour-long talk will be followed by a half-hour Q&A with the audience. The event is free and open to the public. Classes are welcome.


The event is organized by the CDS Collective in partnership with the Purdue Libraries & School of Information Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Division of Diversity & Inclusion, DiversiKey, African American Studies & Research Center, NSF Center for the Science of Information, The Data Mine, and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. 

Monday, 17th

Author Reception with Distinguished Guest Speaker Dr. Ruha Benjamin

4:00-5:00 PM

HSSE Library

Prior to the public lecture, there will be an informal author reception with Dr. Benjamin in the HSSE Library. All are welcome. Please RSVP using the link below if you plan to attend the reception.

Friday, 28th

Open Seminar

Data Colonialism: Rethinking Research/Data Ethics Roundtable

with Kendall Roark, Laura Zanotti and Stephanie Zywicki 

2:30-3:30 PM

SWAIM Room, 4th Floor, HSSE Library


MARCH 2020

Monday, 30

Virtual Event

Purdue Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

The Critical Data Studies – Data Mine Learning Community invites you to participate in the Purdue Virtual ART+FEMINISM Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Open to All. Beginner and experienced editors are welcome. Join us!

10:00 AM-

4:00 PM


Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well documented. In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female; more recent research puts that number at 16% globally and 23% in the United States. Further, data analysis tools and computational linguistics studies have concluded that Wikipedia has fewer and less extensive articles on women; those same tools have shown gender biases in biographical articles.

This is a problem.

When cis and trans women, non-binary people, people of color, and Indigenous communities are not represented in the writing and editing on the tenth-most-visited site in the world, information about people like us gets skewed and misrepresented. The stories get mistold. We lose out on real history. That’s why we’re here: to change it.


Ways to participate:

  1. Visit our outreach dashboard page, join our program and browse list of artist pages that need work. If you are a new editor you will be prompted to sign up for an account:,_2020)  
  2. Read the Safe Space/Brave Space policy:   
  3. Complete the beginner or intermediate/advanced Art + Feminism training.
  4. Sign-in to the Dashboard Monday to start editing. 
  5. To assist new and experienced editors, local organizers will be monitoring the Slack channel #onlineediting from 10 AM – 4 PM EST on Monday, March 30.



Reach out to local contact:  and/or  visit the Art + Feminism website to find out more about the project:

Flyer attached. Feel free to forward. All welcome.

Friday, 27th


The University in Turbulent Times: Power, Technology & Inequality Panel

with Holly Okonkwo, Lindsay Weinberg, Madisson Whitman

2:30-3:30 PM

SWAIM Room, 4th Floor, HSSE Library


APRIL 2020

Friday, 17th

CANCELED EVENT - Public Lecture

On Race and Technoculture

Andre Brock, Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Tech

3:00-4:00 PM

SWAIM Room, 4th Floor, HSSE Library


Dr. André L. Brock is an Associate Professor with the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech and the author of Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures (2020).

Dr. Brock's 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 article “From the Blackhand Side: Twitter as a Cultural Conversation” challenged social science and communication research to confront the ways in which the field preserved “a color-blind perspective on online endeavors by normalizing Whiteness and othering everyone else” and sparked a conversation that continues, as Twitter, in particular, continues to evolve.

For his lecture, Dr. Brock will give a 35-40 minute presentation entitled “On Race and Technoculture” and will address key concepts behind his newly released book Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures (2020) followed by an audience Q&A session.

Seating is limited, registration is required. RSVP to


This event is co-sponsored by the Critical Data Studies - Learning Community and American Studies.

Friday, 17th

CANCELED EVENT - Open Seminar: CDS Workshop

Critical Technoculture Discourse Analysis

Andre Brock, Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Tech University

4:00-5:00 PM

SWAIM Room, 4th Floor, HSSE Library


Immediately following his lecture, Dr. Brock will lead a workshop that will introduce participants to the concepts and techniques of his critical race methodology for digital studies and digital humanities. 

Seating is limited, registration is required. RSVP to


This event is co-sponsored by the Critical Data Studies - Learning Community and American Studies.

Friday, 24th


Fear of Small Numbers: Critical Data Studies and Violence Roundtable

with Megha Anwer, Rebeka Klein-Pejšová, Bill Mullen and Laura Zanotti

2:30-3:30 PM

 SWAIM Room, 4th Floor, HSSE Library



AUGUST 2019 

Friday, 30th

Open Seminar: Indigenous Rights, Brazil, and Media Sovereignty: A Conversation with Pat-i Kayapó

Pat-i Kayapó-Mẽbêngôkre, filmmaker and member of Beture film collective.

2:30-3:20 PM

WALC 3154

Pat-i Kayapó-Mẽbêngôkre is a filmmaker from the A’Ukre village, in the Kayapó Indigenous Territories of Brazil, and is part of the Kôkôjãgoti and Beture film collective. He has participated in over 4 workshops organized by the Video in the Villages, Purdue University, and Middle Tennessee State University. In 2016 Pat-i presented at the InDigital Conference at Vanderbilt University, and in 2017 he showed his films at the Smithsonian Institute Mother Tongue film festival. Since 2013, he has been a co-instructor on a summer study abroad course that takes place in his community each June with Purdue University, University of Maryland, The Federal University of Para, the University of Brasilia, and the Museu Goeldi. See Kokojagoti Blog and Pati Interview: Kokojagoti Blog –

Center for the Environment reception for Pat-i Kayapó, Rafael Galvãoand Maria Salgado to follow in the Ringel Gallery, Stewart Center, 4:30-6:00pm. 


Friday, 27th

Open Seminar: Que-erying the Curation of Black Data

Dr. Faithe Day, Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies & Critical Data Studies.

2:30-3:20 PM

WALC 3154

Faithe Day earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Digital Humanities and English from Wesleyan College. As a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies, she will undertake data curation projects in collaboration with scholars from the African American Studies and Research Center and faculty from Purdue’s university libraries. Specifically, she studies the role that online commenting communities play in the construction and consideration of Black Queer identity as well as the algorithmic underpinnings of social media platforms. Through an exploration of the burgeoning field of Black Digital Studies/Data Curation and a discussion of community based digital media platforms and archives, her talk “Que-erying the curation of Black Data” will explore the questions:

What and how does data mean for Black diasporic people? And, In what ways does Black Data Matter and to/for whom? 


Friday, 25th

Open Seminar Film Screening: The Cleaners (2018) by Hans Block

Introduction and discussion led by Dr. Dada Dacot, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Purdue University.

2:30-4:30 PM

WALC 3154

THE CLEANERS (Hans Block, 2018) focuses on a hidden third world shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn't like: violence, pornography and political content. The film introduces both "digital scavengers" (those whose outsourced job it is to delete "inappropriate" content off of the net), as well as people from around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical "cleaner" must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. 

Dada Docot is an assistant professor of Anthropology at Purdue. She completed a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of British Columbia and an M.A. in human security studies at the University of Tokyo. From 2017-2019, she was a Global Perspectives on Society Teaching Fellow at New York University Shanghai. She was also a visiting scholar at Oxford University’s Centre for Migration, Policy, and Society. Her current book project is an ethnography of everyday life in the so-called “Town of Dollars,” her hometown in the Philippines that has been radically changed by overseas mobilities. As a visual anthropologist, Docot’s works have appeared in both academic and art environments including the Society of Visual Anthropology’s Film Festival, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the CaixaForum in Barcelona, The Red House Center for Culture and Debate in Bulgaria, among others.


WED., 13th

Public Lecture: The Postgenomic Condition

Dr. Jenny Reardon, University of California, Santa Cruz and author of The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome

4:30-6:00 PM


Dr. Jenny Reardon, Professor of Sociology and the Founding Director of the Science and Justice Research Center (SJRC) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to campus in November 2019. Dr. Reardon will provide a talk and Q&A session on her celebrated book, The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome (2017). Her work highlights how innovative scientific ideas and data practices intersect with questions about identity, justice, and democracy. The SJRC at the University of California, Santa Cruz is a space for interdisciplinary, innovative research and pedagogical practice concerning the topics of biomedical innovation, species extinction, toxic ecologies, healthcare reform, and many others. The center provides graduate training programs and practice-based ethics pedagogy, sponsored research projects, and speaker series. Organized by the Honors College and CDS Collective.

WED., 13th

Open Seminar/Honor's College Event: Informal Conversation with guest speaker Dr. Jenny Reardon, CDS guest lecturer and author of The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome

2:30-3:30 PM

STEAM Lab, HCRS 1076

In advance of the public lecture, Dr. Reardon will host an informal conversation for students and faculty. Limited seating. Please RSVP. Attendees who RSVP will receive a PDF of suggested readings prior to the event.



WED., 13th

Lecture Series: Artificial Intelligence and The Digital Poorhouse

Dr. Virginia Eubanks, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY, and author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

4:30-6:00 PM

Fowler Hall

Dr. Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY.

She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the PoorDigital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.

Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a 2016-2017 Fellow at New America.

WED., 27th 

Spring Semester Meet & Greet 

 12:30-2:00 PM

HSSE Library, 1st Floor Periodical Reading Rm.

MARCH 2019

FRI, 29th

Seminar Series Roundtable: Power: Technology, Ethics & Social Justice in the Classroom

2:00-3:00 PM

SWAIM Center, HSSE Library, 4th Floor

Dr. Soheil Fatehiboroujeni, Postdoctoal Fellow, Engineering Education, Purdue University: "Why Engineering Ethics: Drivers and Barriers in the Ecosystem of Engineering Education."

Dr. Kendall Roark, Assistant Professor, Libraries & School of Information Studies, Purdue University: “Where is Social Justice in Data Science Ethics Education?”

Dr. Lindsay Weinberg, Postdoctoral Fellow in Innovative Studies, Honors College & Polytechnic Institute, Purdue University: "Rethinking Privacy: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Critical Technology Education."

APRIL 2019

FRI, 26th

Seminar Series Roundtable: Power: Critical Political Ecologies 

 2:00-3:00 PM

SWAIM Center, HSSE Library, 4th Floor


Dr. Jason Ware, Clinical Assistant Professor, Honor’s College, Purdue University: “Political Consciousness: Navigating and Changing the Stories Census Data Tell About Urban People of Color.”

Dr. Laura Zanotti, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology & Associate Director, The Center for the Environment, Purdue University: “Recognitional Justice and Political Ecology: Collaborative Approaches to Critical Data Studies ”



WED., 3rd

Lecture Series: Intellectual Freedom and Racial Inequality as Addressed in Algorithms of Oppression

Dr. Safiya Noble,  Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Departments of Information Studies and African American Studies and author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

6:00 PM

Fowler Hall

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Departments of Information Studies and African American Studies.

She is the author of a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press).

Safiya is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award. Her academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology.

Dr. Noble is the co-editor of two edited volumes: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design. She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of the Commentary & Criticism section of the Journal of Feminist Media Studies. She is a member of several academic journal and advisory boards, including Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno where she was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018.


MON, 5th

Seminar Series Roundtable: Power: Elections & the Tech Industry

 12:00-1:00 PM

HSSE Library, Rm 353


Join our panel discussants for a critical and timely conversation on the power of the tech industry in U.S. elections.

Dr. Swati Srivastava, Assistant Professor of Political Science specializing in International Relations, Purdue University:

Dr. Srivastava studies the political power of private actors in global affairs, including large corporations, business associations, and NGOs. Her talk will focus on Facebook's practices in data management related to politics and elections, especially what data and political information users have access to and what user data others, like political operatives, have access to. She will also address questions of political responsibility and Facebook’s use of content moderators and a “War Room” to protect against fake news and data privacy for the 2018 election. 

Dr. Jennifer Hoewe, Assistant Professor, School of Communication, Purdue University:

Dr. Hoewe studies media psychology and political communication with a focus on how media use influences political attitudes and behaviors. Considering the ways in which access to political information has changed, Dr. Hoewe will explain how people use that information to form political attitudes and make decisions. She will address how news consumption habits have shifted and their repercussions, including emotional responses and perceptions of bias. 

Dr. Natasha T. Duncan, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & the Director of Study Away Program, Honors College, Purdue University:

Dr. Duncan's research focuses on international migration, particularly immigration policies toward high skilled labor migration and the political remittances of emigration. Dr. Duncan will address the securitization of immigration at the southern border in light of the themes of the panel. 

Dr. Giancarlo Visconti, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Purdue University:

Dr. Visconti specializes in comparative political behavior, distributive politics, causal inference, and Latin American politics. He specifically focuses on how voters modify their political preferences and electoral choices after negative events such as natural disasters, crime, and economic shocks. His work relies on a variety of methods for drawing causal inferences from experimental and observational data. Dr. Visconti will discuss themes from the talk in the context of recent evidence about selective exposure to misinformation and consumption of fake news. 

Dr. Safiya Noble, author of "Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism," speaks at Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall on October 3, 2018. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca Wilcox)