Masterclass: Data & Discrimination with Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan

Masterclass Data & Discrimination

Date: 9 June 2017
Time: 10:00-13:00
Venue: Ravensteynzaal (kamer 1.06) op Kromme Nieuwegracht 80), Utrecht
Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students and interested colleagues
Credits: 1 ECTS
Coordination: Dr Karin van Es (UU) & Dr Koen Leurs (UU)

Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan will give a master class at Utrecht University on the critical study of data and discrimination.

In this masterclass, participants will explore the challenges and opportunities in studying data-driven discrimination, and question the nature and limits of the critical study of data-driven technologies. The class will begin with a stage-setting conversation led by Dr Gangadharan about the variety of approaches to understanding the discriminatory impact of automated computer systems, including legal, computer scientific, sociological, and STS approaches. Using a set of guided questions, participants will be asked to assess the critical nature of these studies and compare how each conceptualizes power and impotence in or of data-driven systems. In the remaining portion of the master class, participants will work in both small and large groups to assess their own research or research interests on the topic of big data, artificial intelligence, smart technologies, or data-driven systems. The master class will conclude with an overview of the principles and practices of participatory action research that informed the set of questions and activities used in the class. By the end of the class, participants will become comfortable with applying a set of tools and practices that can expand the critical nature of one’s work on data and discrimination.

Participants are welcome to submit a 400-word summary of their work in the area of big data, artificial intelligence, smart technologies, and other data-driven systems, which will be distributed to all participants in the masterclass. Please include a sentence or two as to what the unique contribution of your research is. Send your summary to before 1 June 2017. Summaries will be distributed one week prior to the session. Participants should come having read all summaries and be prepared for a very hands-on and interactive session.

In 2015, Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan was appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests lie at the intersection of communication policy and social justice. Over the past five years, she has developed a body of work focused on issues of privacy, surveillance, data profiling, and historically marginalized communities. Prior to joining the LSE, she served as Senior Research Fellow at New America’s Open Technology Institute, addressing policies and practices related to digital inclusion, privacy, and big data. See: