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Keynote Speakers

Speaker Biographies

André Brock is an associate professor of media studies at Georgia Tech.  He writes on Western technoculture, Black technoculture, and digital media.  His scholarship examines Black and white representations in social media, videogames,  weblogs, and other digital media.  He has also published influential research on digital research methods. His first book, titled Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures, was published with NYU Press in 2020  and theorizes Black everyday lives mediated by networked technologies.

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialog about race, gender, aging, and our future histories. Dinkins’ art practice employs emerging technologies, documentary practices, and social collaboration toward equity and community sovereignty.  She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to co-create more equitable, values grounded social and technological ecosystems. Dinkins exhibits and publicly advocates for equitable AI internationally. Her work has been generously supported by fellowships, grants, and residencies from United States Artist, The Knight Foundation, Berggruen Institute, Onassis Foundation,  Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, Creative Capital, Sundance New Frontiers Story Lab, Eyebeam, Data & Society, Pioneer Works, NEW INC, and The Laundromat Project. Dinkins is a professor at Stony Brook University where she holds the Kusama Endowed Professorship in Art.

Rayvon Fouché is Professor of American Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue University.  His work explores the multiple intersections between cultural representation, racial identification, and technological design. He has authored or edited Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power (Minnesota, 2004), Technology Studies (Sage Publications, 2008), the 4th Edition of the Handbook of Science & Technology Studies (MIT Press, 2016), and Game Changer: The Technoscientific Revolution in Sports (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). Most recently, he was the inaugural Arthur Mollela Distinguished Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Grants and awards from the Illinois Informatics Institute, Illinois Program for the Research in Humanities, University of Illinois' Center for Advanced Study, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation have supported his research and teaching. He holds a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University.  Prior to Purdue, he served on the faculty of the Science and Technology Studies Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the History Department and the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and as a postdoctoral fellow in African & African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Catherine Knight Steele is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland - College Park and was the Founding Director of the African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHum). Beginning in Spring of 2021, she will direct the Black Communication and Technology lab as a part of the Digital Inquiry, Speculation, Collaboration, & Optimism Network funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Steele earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on race, gender, and media, with a specific emphasis on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. She examines representations of marginalized communities in the media and how groups resist oppression and utilize online technology to create spaces of community. Dr. Steele's research on the Black blogosphere, digital discourses of resistance and joy, and digital Black feminism has been published in such journals as Social Media + Society, Information, Communication and Society, and Television and New Media. Her book Digital Black Feminism (NYU, 2021), examines the relationship between Black women and technology as a centuries-long gendered and raced project in the U.S. Using the virtual beauty shop as a metaphor, Digital Black Feminism walks readers through the technical skill, communicative expertise, and entrepreneurial acumen of Black women’s labor—born of survival strategies and economic necessity—both on and offline.

Lisa Nakamura is the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor in the Department of American Cultures, and the founding Director of the Digital Studies Institute, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since 1994, Nakamura has written books and articles on digital bodies, race, and gender in online environments, on toxicity in video game culture, and the many reasons that Internet research needs ethnic and gender studies. These books include, Race After the Internet (co-edited with Peter Chow-White, Routledge, 2011); Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet (Minnesota, 2007); Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (Routledge, 2002); and Race in Cyberspace (co-edited with Beth Kolko and Gil Rodman, Routledge, 2000). In November 2019, Nakamura gave a TED NYC talk about her research called “The Internet is a Trash Fire. Here’s How to Fix It.”  

M. Remi Yergeau is Associate Professor of Digital Studies and English, and Associate Director of the Digital Studies Institute, at the University of Michigan. Their book, Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness, was awarded the 2018 MLA First Book Prize, the 2019 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Book Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship, and the 2019 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award. They are currently at work on a second book project about disability, digital rhetoric, surveillance, and (a)sociality, tentatively titled Crip Data. Active in the neurodiversity movement, they have previously served on the boards of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and the Autism National Committee (AutCom).