Between the Black Radical Tradition and the Digital
What would it mean to take the Black internet seriously? How do we call in Black studies scholars to imagining technologies of black freedoms in addition to grappling with the racial regimes wrought by artificial intelligence and machine learning models? The dominant approach to mis/disinformation is policing, reporting and suspending individual users but what if we oriented towards abolition and affirming black joy? What can the black radical tradition offer in addressing new modes of surveillance and social control that begin from black indigineity instead of reinscribing the nation state?
Contributors to special edition of Logic Magazine, in partnership with We Be Imagining, Beacons: Andre Brock and SA Smythe will be in conversation with Zoé Samudzi. Moderated by J. Khadijah Abdurahman.
Get the new issue of Logic Magazine, Beacons, here: https://logicmag.io
SA Smythe (they / them) is a poet, translator, and assistant professor of Black European Cultural Studies, Contemporary Mediterranean Studies, and Black Trans Poetics at UCLA, where they research relational aspects of Black belonging beyond borders. They are a Senior Fellow at theCenter for Applied Transgender Studies and editor of Troubling the Grounds: Global Configurations of Blackness, Nativism, and Indigeneity, a special issue for Postmodern Culture. Winner of the 2022 Rome Prize for Modern Italian Studies, Smythe is currently based between Rome and Tongva Land (Los Angeles).
André Brock (@docdre) is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media & Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Brock is one of the preeminent scholars of Black Cyberculture. His work bridges Science and Technology Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, showing how the communicative affordances of online media align with those of Black communication practices. 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. He is the author of Distributed Blackness: African-American Cyberculture.
Zoé Samudzi has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco where she is a postdoctoral fellow in the ACTIONS Program. She is co-author of As Black as Resistance, guest editor of the September-October 2021 issue of The Funambulist titled "Against Genocide," and a writer whose work has appeared in The New Republic, The New Inquiry, Hyperallergic, Jewish Currents, and other outlets.
J. Khadijah Abdurahman (she/they/any) is an abolitionist whose research focus is predictive analytics in the child welfare system. They are the founder of We Be Imagining, a public interest technology project at Columbia University’s INCITE Center and The American Assembly’s Democracy and Trust Program. WBI draws on the Black radical tradition to develop public technology through infusing academic discourse with the performance arts in partnership with community based organizations. Khadijah is co-leading the Otherwise School: Tools and Techniques of Counter-Fascism alongside Sucheta Ghoshal’s Inquilab at the University of Washington, HCDE. Their report examining the role of tech in mass atrocities in Ethiopia is forthcoming.