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We start with an eye toward social issues and concerns, and integrate social theory, art, computer science, and design to create new technologies and artifacts that evoke thought, debate, discussion, and consideration of a more harmonious mediated world. Our projects range from small experiments with new innovations to large-scale studies on major issues like “big data”, privacy, social justice, and self-exploration through technology. We are an open community of interdisciplinary scholars and designers who have fun, learn, and grow together, and are always looking for more fellow travelers!

People

Roderic Crooks
Principal Investigator

Bono Olgado
Doctoral Researcher

Lucy Pei
Doctoral Researcher

Andrew Hamann
Graduate Researcher

Values

We are a community of writers.

All scholarly work is done primarily in written form, even quantitative research. If we think of ourselves as writers, we can work to cultivate the idiosyncratic habits and rituals that will help us get our best writing done. In a 1993 interview, Toni Morrison said, “Writers all devise ways to approach that place where they expect to make the contact, where they become the conduit, or where they engage in this mysterious process.” 

We practice anti-racism.

Anti-racism is accomplished through expression or action that challenges an implicit or explicitly racist policy (Kendi, 2019). In the simplest terms, antiracism directs us to discuss racism openly and to oppose it in every place we find it. Echoing the Statement of the Combahee River Collective (1977), we also recognize that “the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives.” Questions of race are fundamentally questions also of sex, gender, class, disability, citizenship, and any other form of socially sanctioned difference.

We practice reciprocity

We center the minoritized and racialized communities we care about in our research. We recognize the value of the intellectual work done in working-class communities of color. We do not allow that the knowledge we produce is superior to the lived experiences of community members. We recognize that racialized and minoritized communities are resilient and powerful, even under consistent conditions of oppression.

We value academic generosity.

Academic generosity is a model of engagement “that emphasizes listening over speaking, community over individualism, collaboration over competition, and lingering with the ideas that are in front of us rather than continually pressing forward to where we want to go.” Such thinking connects higher education to multiple communities and encourages the recognition of higher education as a public good (Risam, 2019). This ethos of generosity challenges the acceptance of precarity: “When precarity wants us to feel isolated, alone, and in perpetual competition with each other, there is a radicalism in being generous with each other, through coalition building, collaboration, and solidarity” (Dowland and Perez, 2018).

References

  • The Combahee River Collective. (2014/1977). A Black feminist statement. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 42(3/4), 271–280.
  • Crooks, R., Contreras, I., & Besser, K. (2015). Herstory belongs to everybody or The Miracle: A queer mobile memory project. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 11(2).
  • Douglas Dowland, D. and Pérez, A. (2018, September 23). How to be a generous professor in precarious times. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an antiracist. New York, NY: Penguin Random House
  • Risam, R. (2019). Academic generosity, academic insurgency. Public Books.
  • Schappell, E. And Brodsky Lacour, C. (Fall 1993). “Toni Morrison, The Art of Fiction No. 134.” The Paris Review. Issue 128.

Publications