Race & Computing

Week 4 Race and Computing

Curated by Theodora Vardouli
Moderated by Simone Mauro and Reda Berrada 

July 27, 2020

Required readings

Benjamin, Ruha. “Introduction.” Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. John Wiley and Sons, 2019.

Kurgan, Laura et al. “Homophily: The Urban History of an Algorithm.” E-Flux Architecture, 2019. https://www.e-flux.com/architecture/are-friends-electric/289193/homophily-the-urban-history-of-an-algorithm/

Further readings

Benjamin, Ruha, ed. Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life. Duke University Press, 2019.

Eubanks, Virginia. Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. First ed., St. Martin’s Press, 2018.

Noble, Safiya Umoja. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York University Press, 2018.

McIlwain, Charlton D. Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, from the Afronet to Black Lives Matter. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Nakamura, Lisa, and Peter Chow-White. Race After the Internet. Routledge, 2012.

Rankin, Joy Lisi. A People’s History of Computing in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2018.

Angwin, Julia, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner. “Machine Bias.” Propublica. 2016. https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing

Buranyi, Stephan. “Rise of the racist robots – how AI is learning all our worst impulses.” Guardian, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/aug/08/rise-of-the-racist-robots-how-ai-is-learning-all-our-worst-impulses

Kayser-Bril, Nicolas. “Google apologizes after its Vision AI produced racist results.” Algorithm Watch. 2020. https://algorithmwatch.org/en/story/google-vision-racism/

Burstein Ben-Aharon, Aya. “Is AI doomed to be racist and sexist?” UX Collective, 2019. https://uxdesign.cc/is-ai-doomed-to-be-racist-and-sexist-97ee4024e39d

*Also take a look at this extensive list of resources at the Algorithmic Justice League
(https://www.ajlunited.org) Library: https://www.ajlunited.org/library/home

Murals, Bikes, Patios

Week 5 Murals, Bikes, Patios: Racism and Bias of White Urbanism and Placemaking

Curated by Sarah Gelbard
Moderated by Michelle Brais and Laura Di Fiore 

August 3, 2020

Required readings

Summers, Brandi T. “Introduction.” In Black in place: the spatial aesthetics of race in a post-Chocolate City, 1-12. University of North Carolina Press, 2019.  (full introduction optional).

Dorries, Heather. “‘Welcome to Winnipeg’ Making settler-colonial urban space in ‘Canada’s most racist city.’” In Settler City Limits: Indigenous resurgence and colonial violence in the urban prairie west, edited by Dorries, Henry, Hugill, et.al. U Manitoba Press, 2019. Read pages 31-41 (full chapter optional).

Ward, Ariel. “A Tale of Two Truths: Transportation and Nuance in the Time of COVID-19.” Medium. May 14, 2020. https://medium.com/at-the-intersections/a-tale-of-two-truths-transportation-and-nuance-in-the-time-of-covid-19-9bc99ff8c005
*Content Warning: Race-based violence* [Note: the author shares a personal account of race-based violence at the start of the essay – if you are concerned this may be triggering or distressing, you can start reading on the second page of the pdf or scroll to under the first image start reading from the paragraph beginning with: “Taking transit while Black…”]

Further readings

Koh, Annette. “Placemaking When Black Lives Matter.” In Transformative Planning: Radical Alternatives to Neoliberal Urbanism, edited by Angotti, 97-100. Black Rose Books, 2020.

Rutland, Ted. Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century. Halifax. University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Indigenous Peoples & Decolonization

Week 3 Indigenous Peoples and Decolonization

Curated by Magdalena Miłosz
Moderated by Éloïse Choquette

July 20, 2020

Required readings

Fortin, David. “From Indian to Indigenous Agency: Opportunities and Challenges for Architectural Design.” In Design and Agency: Critical Perspectives on Identities, Histories, and Practices, edited by John Potvin and Marie-Ève Marchand, 243-58. London; New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020.

Burdett-Moulton, Harriet, Wanda Dalla Costa, Kelly Edzerza-Bapty, and Ouri Scott. “Indigenous Perspectives on the Notions of Architecture.” Interview by Tiffany Shaw-Collinge. The Site Magazine, June 13, 2018. http://www.thesitemagazine.com/read/indigenous-perspectives

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, no. 1 (2012): 1-9. https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/18630

Further readings

Vowel, Chelsea. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada. Winnipeg, MB, Canada: HighWater Press, 2016.
*A great primer on Indigenous issues is the blog âpihtawikosisân by Métis writer Chelsea Vowel, as is her book, Indigenous Writes, which is available as an ebook through McGill: https://apihtawikosisan.com/blog/

Indigenous Architectures

Check out the list of sources here (bottom of post):

Settler-Colonial Architectures

Fortin, David, Jason Surkan, and Danielle Kastelein. “Métis Domestic Thresholds and the Politics of Imposed Privacy.” In Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture, edited by Rebecca Kiddle, luugigyoo patrick stewart, and Kevin O’Brien, 76–84. Novato, California: ORO Editions, 2018.

Swentzell, Rina. “Conflicting Landscape Values: The Santa Clara Pueblo and Day School.” Places Journal  7, no. 1 (1990). https://placesjournal.org/article/the-santa-clara-pueblo-and-day-school/

Tanner, Adrian. “Architecture Without Rooms: Cree Dwellings and Social Order.” Together We Survive: Ethnographic Intuitions, Friendships, and Conversations, edited by John S. Long and Jennifer S.H. Brown, 71–90. McGill Queen’s University Press, 2016. 

Settler Colonialism

Kauanui, J. Kēhaulani. “‘A Structure, Not an Event’: Settler Colonialism and Enduring Indigeneity.” Lateral 5, no. 1 (2016). https://doi.org/10.25158/L5.1.7

Razack, Sherene, ed. Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2002.

Rifkin, Mark. “Settler Common Sense.” Settler Colonial Studies 3, no. 3–4 (November 1, 2013): 322–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/2201473X.2013.810702

Simmons, Kristen. “Settler Atmospherics.” Cultural Anthropology 32, no. 4 (November 2017). https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1221-settler-atmospherics

Simpson, Audra. “Settlement’s Secret.” Cultural Anthropology, vol 26, no. 2 (2011): 205 17. https://www.jstor.com/stable/41238320

Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research, vol 8, no. 4 (December 2006): 387–409. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623520601056240

Indigenous Literature

Elliott, Alicia, et al. This Place: 150 Years Retold. HighWater Press, 2019.

Nixon, Lindsay. Nîtisânak. Montreal: Metonymy Press, 2018

*recommended list by CBC


Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.