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Race, justice and technology

Ruja Benjamin joins the Fall 2020 Tanner Talk at the U.
headshot of Ruha Benjamin

Ruha Benjamin will speak virtually with Erika George, director of the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center, on Oct. 15, 2020 at 12 p.m.

The Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah will host Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and founder of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, in a virtual conversation with Erika George, director of the center, Oct. 15, 2020, at 12 p.m. The discussion will focus on the intersections of race, justice and technology. The online event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

“Professor Benjamin’s scholarship investigates the cultural coding embedded in computer code,” said George. “She identifies the difficulty presented by a cultural ‘digital denial’ that serves to replicate racial hierarchies in our society. As a legal scholar, I am especially interested in the implications of her research for decoding discrimination and protecting human rights.”

Benjamin is the founder of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, the author of two books, “People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier,” “Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code” and editor of “Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life.”

Benjamin has studied the social dimensions of science, technology and medicine for more than 15 years and speaks widely on issues of innovation, equity, health and justice in the U.S. and globally. She is also a faculty associate in the Center for Information Technology Policy, Program on History of Science, Center for Health and Wellbeing, Program on Gender and Sexuality Studies, Department of Sociology and serves on the Executive Committees for the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and Center for Digital Humanities. Benjamin is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2017 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton.

This event is sponsored by O.C Tanner, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Utah Humanities and the University of Utah College of Humanities.

About Tanner Talks

Launched in February 2020, Tanner Talks bring leading interdisciplinary scholars, public figures, faculty, students and lifelong learners together for open, unscripted conversations about contemporary challenges. The inaugural Tanner Talk featured Ibram X. Kendi, founder and director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and author of “How to Be An Antiracist.”

About Tanner Humanities Center

Since 1988, the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah has promoted humanities inquiry and exchange by supporting innovative scholarly projects and creating opportunities for interaction among scholars, students and lifelong learners. They offer programs in three major areas, public engagement, educational outreach and academic research. The activities reflect a vision of the humanities as not only relevant, stimulating and cutting-edge, but also essential for developing critical thinking, tolerance and respect on campus and in the community.