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Public Talk: Dr. Chen on The Digital Democracies Institute

Dr. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun: "The Digital Democracies Institute and why interdisciplinary work is effective, productive, and necessary."
Abstract: The Digital Democracies Institute (DDI) integrates research in the humanities and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice. Our work aims to combat the proliferation of online “echo chambers,” abusive language, discriminatory algorithms and mis/disinformation, by fostering critical and creative user practices, and alternative paradigms for connection. A range of disciplines provides rich perspectives on democracy’s ideals and practices in the Internet age. Yet, despite the best efforts of specialists in various disciplines and sectors, the problems of misinformation, radicalization, echo chambers, and abusive language persist. A lack of communication across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries means that insights into these problems may be replicated and not shared, and solutions that may depend on insights from another discipline may not be considered. In addition, the lack of a common vocabulary inhibits the development of shared theoretical frameworks and solutions. The Digital Democracies Institute aims to bridge this gap through interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge mobilization.
Bio: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is Simon Fraser University’s Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media in the School of Communication and Director of the DDI. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT, 2006), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT 2011), Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (MIT 2016), and Discriminating Data (2021, MIT Press), and co-author of Pattern Discrimination (University of Minnesota + Meson Press 2019). She has been Professor and Chair of the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, where she worked for almost two decades and where she’s currently a Visiting Professor. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania, Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and she has held fellowships from: the Guggenheim, ACLS, American Academy of Berlin, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She has been a Visiting Professor at AI Now at NYU, the Velux Visiting Professor of Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School; the Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, Visiting Professor at Leuphana University (Luneburg, Germany), and a Visiting Associate Professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard, of which she is an Associate.

Register in advance for this meeting:

hosted by McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

February 8, 2022 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

virtual event, register at link in description

Event type: Lecture