Chris Gilliard

Thursday, April 18

Data, Discrimination, and Democracy: A Conversation with Chris Gilliard

"Coded bias," "surveillance capitalism," "predatory inclusion," "digital redlining": these are examples of an emergent vocabulary for describing some of technology's worst effects on democracy. We'll discuss what educated digital citizens need to know about these effects and their causes with privacy researcher Chris Gilliard, who popularized the term "digital redlining" and testified about it before the House Financial Services Committee Task Force on Financial Technology.

Chris Gilliard is a writer, professor and speaker. His scholarship concentrates on digital privacy and the intersections of race, class, and technology. He is an advocate for critical and equity-focused approaches to tech in education. He is currently a Just Tech Fellow at the Social Science Research Council. His work has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, EDUCAUSE Review, Fast Company, Vice, Wired, and The Atlantic.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Friday, April 19

Open Matters

The systems we use to "manage" (already a nervous-making word) our courses and student learning are too often technologies of extraction. They hoover up resources from our institutions and content from us and our students, and while their stated goals – creating the best possible environments for digital learning – may be admirable, their prime motive is by and large delivering value for shareholders. As a result, education is not the field they are serving, but rather the resource they are strip mining. Developing open-source, academy-owned alternatives to these platforms is a serious challenge, but one that demands to be met. This talk will explore what our dependence on corporate educational infrastructures may mean for the future of higher education, as well as ways that academic institutions might become better able to take control of their own infrastructural needs.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University, where she also directs MESH, a research and development unit focused on the future of scholarly communication. She is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 50,000 scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world, and she is author of several books, including Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and its follow-up, Leading Generously: Tools for Transformation (Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming fall 2024). She is president of the board of directors of the Educopia Institute, and she is past president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.