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DISCO Network Lecture Series | Algorithmic Ableism at the Intersections: Disability, Race, Gender, and New Technologies

Lydia X. Z. Brown in Conversation with Remi Yergeau and David Adelman
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
4:00-5:30 PM
Lydia X. Z. Brown's work focuses on unearthing, examining, and challenging the intersectional harms of algorithmic technologies on disabled people living at the margins of the margins. From algorithmic worker management, credit decisions, threat assessment, health predictions, decision-making technologies, and surveillance apparatuses, algorithmic and automated technologies increasingly have an outsized impact on disabled people, particularly disabled people from multiply-marginalized communities. Lydia's work calls attention to the particular ways in which algorithmic technologies serve to exclude disabled people from public participation and social integration, exacerbate existing hyper-surveillance of and attendant harms to disabled people, and manufacture new means of regulating disabled people's lives.

Lydia X. Z. Brown is an advocate, organizer, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work focuses on interpersonal and state violence against disabled people at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language, and nation. Lydia is Policy Counsel for Privacy & Data at the Center for Democracy & Technology, where their work focuses on algorithmic harm and disability discrimination. Lydia is also an adjunct lecturer in the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Disability Studies Program at Georgetown University, as well as an adjunct professorial lecturer in American Studies in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University. They are co-president of the Disability Rights Bar Association and Disability Justice Committee representative on the National Lawyers Guild board.

M. Remi Yergeau is the Arthur F. Thurnau Associate Professor of Digital Studies and English at the University of Michigan. They direct the Digital Accessible Futures Lab as a part of the DISCO Network, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation. Their scholarly interests include rhetoric & writing studies, digital studies, queer rhetorics, disability studies, and theories of mind. Their Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness (Duke UP), is a winner of the 2017 Modern Language Association 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 on disability, techno-rhetorics, and sociality, tentatively titled Crip Data.

David Adelman is a DISCO Network Postdoctoral Research Rellow at the Digital Accessible Futures Lab at the University of Michigan. His research interests center on disability and crip studies, with a particular emphasis on disability media studies, digital disability cultures, disability film studies, and critical sexuality studies. Through an interdisciplinary crip studies/feminist lens, he pursues questions which emerge at the intersection of power, culture, technology, identity, and desire.

We want to make our events accessible to all participants. Please register in advance for the online Zoom Webinar here:

CART will be provided. If you anticipate needing accommodations to participate, please email the DISCO Network at Please note that some accommodations must be arranged in advance and we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Activism, Big Tech, Digital Studies, Digital Studies Institute, digital technology, Disability
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Digital Studies Institute

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