Computing &: A conversation series on computation and storytelling
The Vagelos Computational Science Center (CSC) at Barnard College in partnership with The Brown Institute at Columbia Journalism School welcome you to Computing &, a series of panels exploring the complex and multifaceted role of computing in spaces of public life.
Framed around the theme of 'Computing &', we will rotate through three crucial subtopics, each representing an area where computation directly impacts vulnerable communities and the stories told about them. The discussions will highlight the oppressive and surveillant aspects of technology, as well as the innovative ways individuals and groups have leveraged technology and journalistic reporting to counteract these effects. This event is in-person only.
We'd also love to hear from Barnard and Columbia grads and undergrads who are interested in producing a journalistic piece based on one or more topics covered at the event. You can apply to receive mentorship and a seed grant to develop the piece. Apply here.
2:00pm - 3:15pm: Computing & Carceral Technology
A deep dive into the role of computation on communities pre-, during, and post-incarceration, exploring carceral technologies and alternative information networks. Featuring Sylvia Ryerson, Dan "April" Feng, Clarence Okoh, Martin Garcia, and moderated by Adam Iscoe.
3:30pm - 4:45pm: Computing & Queering Technology
A discussion on the role of queer communities in the design and implementation of internet technologies, examining the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital world. Featuring Afsaneh Rigot, Christina Dragon, Colleen Macklin, and a Tech Learning Collective instructor.
5:00pm - 6:15pm: Computing & Reproductive Justice
An exploration of how technology intersects with reproductive rights and justice. Featuring Anna Louie Sussman, Runa Sandvik, Dr. Kameelah Philips, and moderated by Saima Akhtar.
- Sylvia Ryerson is a PhD Candidate in American Studies at Yale University, with a Master’s concentration in the public humanities. Prior to graduate school she worked as an independent radio producer and at the Appalshop media arts and education center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. There, she served as a reporter and the director of public affairs programming, and co-directed Appalshop/WMMT-FM’s Hip Hop from the Hilltop & Calls from Home radio show, a nationally recognized weekly radio program broadcasting music and toll-free phone messages from family members to their loved ones who are incarcerated.
- Dan “April” Feng is the Chief Operating Officer at Ameelio. She holds a Masters degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. An economist by training and curious by nature, she had dedicated her work to solving the hardest challenges at the most critical time. Her previous experiences include solving social loneliness with Freakonomics author, Steven Levitt, working at the UK Parliament during Brexit, and managing public transportation innovations under then Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
- Clarence Okoh is Senior Policy Counsel in Youth Policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy.
- Martin Garcia, who is the Manager of News Inside, the print publication of The Marshall Project, and the Associate of Inside Story, The Marshall Project’s new video series, both of which are distributed in hundreds of prisons and jails throughout the United States. Martin is also one of the co-chairs of The Marshall Project’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. He is a Mercy College graduate and well versed in Department of Corrections policy.
- Afsaneh Rigot is a scholar and researcher covering issues of law, technology, LGBTQ, refugee, and human rights. She is a senior researcher at ARTICLE 19 focusing on MENA LGBTQ and Tech issues, an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Advisor to the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard University, and a Technology and Public Purpose Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She is the founder of the Design From the Margins tech design methodology.
- Christina Dragon (she|her) serves as the Measurement and Data Lead in the NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office. Previously she served as the Sexual and Gender Minority Data Lead in Medicare’s Office of Minority Health and as the data analyst for the Health People 2020 LGBT Health topic area at the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, and has over a decade’s experience working on federal SGM data.
- Colleen Macklin is a game designer and an Associate Professor in the school of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons School of Design. She’s interested in how games model and reveal ideologies through systems.
- The Tech Learning Collective is an apprenticeship-based technology school for radical organizers founded in New York City that provides a security-first IT infrastructure curriculum to otherwise underserved communities and organizations advancing social justice causes.
Anna Louie Sussman is a journalist who writes on gender, economics, and reproduction. She is working on her first book, about the relationship between capitalism and reproduction, for Dey Street Books.
Runa Sandvik is the founder of Granitt, a company focused on security for journalists and other at-risk people. Her work builds upon experience from her time at The New York Times, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and The Tor Project. Originally from Oslo, she now lives in New York.
Dr. Kameelah Phllips is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, wife, mother, and lifelong women’s health advocate. She is an educator, mentor, and expert in women’s health issues and has been involved in local, national, and international organizations aimed at advancing women’s health care issues through advocacy and direct patient care. Dr. Phillips graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology with an emphasis in Women’s Health and Human Sexuality. As a Real World Alumnae, she has used this platform to travel nationwide to discuss domestic violence, smoking cessation, and other health-related issues.
Saima Akhtar is the Senior Associate Director of the Vagelos Computational Science Center (CSC) at Barnard College.
Adam Iscoe is a writer and editor from Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Texas Monthly and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. Iscoe is an editor at Lapham’s Quarterly. In 2019, he worked as a Visiting Scholar at The University of California, Berkeley. He has also taught journalism at Solano State Prison, in Vacaville, California; and edited The San Quentin News, an award winning newspaper produced by incarcerated journalists at San Quentin State Prison.
Computing & is a unique series of talks that engage area experts, scholars, technologists, and journalists working to expose and challenge harms often invisible to the masses.
This event is planned to take place in person at the Brown Institute in Pulitzer Hall (Columbia Journalism School). Refreshments will be served.
We look forward to seeing you there!
For more information about the Barnard CSC, go to https://www.csc.barnard.edu or follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@barnard_csc).
For more information about the The Brown Institute at Columbia Journalism School, go to https://brown.columbia.edu or follow us on Twitter (@BrownInstitute).