Over the past two decades, racially and economically segregated primary and secondary schools in Southern California have hosted a number of technology-focused interventions aimed in one way or another at improving public education. The current incarnation of this relentless experimentalism focuses on building the capacities of educational organizations to analyze, aggregate, and visualize digital data captured from the many apps, devices, platforms, and records involved in the everyday activities of contemporary schools. Based on several years of field-based research in Los Angeles, Access Is Capture (University of California Press, 2024) argues that the pursuit of data-drivenness enjoins the public to configure a racial project, one marked by extractions of capital from minoritized communities and from the state via investment in digital technologies. Data-intensive computation delivers many forms of value to privileged individuals and organizations, but never to the communities that hope to share in the putative benefits of access to technology.

This talk is part of our Humanistic Design Speaker Series.

About the speaker

Roderic Crooks is an assistant professor in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine. His research examines how the use of digital technology by public institutions contributes to the minoritization of working-class communities of color. His current project explores how community organizers in working-class communities of color use data for activist projects, even as they dispute the proliferation of data-intensive technologies in education, law enforcement, financial services, and other vital sites of public life. He has published extensively in HCI, STS, and social science venues on topics including political theories of online participation, equity of access to information and media technologies, and document theory.

Learn more about Roderic Crooks.

Who can attend?

Open to the public, the campus community, students, graduate students, research scholars, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Refreshments will be provided.
Registration is recommended.