Upcoming Events:

Friday, March 3, 2017.

avatar-jpg-320x320pxLucy Suchman, Professor and Chair in the Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology –  Lancaster, United Kingdom,Relocating Innovation: Places and material practices of future making,” 11A-12P, NCSA Auditorium (1205 W Clark St, Urbana).

Abstract: TBA.

Lucy Suchman is Professor of
Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, and current President of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). Before taking up her present post she was a Principal Scientist at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, where she spent twenty years as a researcher. Her current research extends her longstanding engagement with the field of human-computer interaction to the domain of contemporary war fighting, including the figurations that animate military training and simulation, and problems of ‘situational awareness’ in remotely-controlled weapon systems. She is the author of Human-Machine Reconfigurations (2007) published by Cambridge University Press.

Past Events:

Tuesday, January 31. 11:00.
Illinois Informatics Institute Distinguished Lecture: “Virtual Role-Play with Interactive Characters” — W. Lewis JohnsonCEO and Chief Scientist of Alelo Inc. W. Lewis Johnson will present “Virtual Role-Play with Interactive Characters” as an Illinois Informatics Institute Distinguished Lecture. 1040 NCSA. Abstract: Globalization and artificial intelligence are making many routine jobs obsolete. Yet demand remains strong for workers with good people skills—teamwork, communication and listening skills, etc. This talk describes a computer-based learning approach for people skills called Virtual Role-Play, in which virtual role-players (artificially intelligent computer characters) engage in task-oriented conversation with learners. It combines speech and language technology, behavior animation, and performance analytics to provide realistic practice and assessment. It has been implemented on a variety of screen-based devices, in augmented reality environments, and in humanoid robots.

Saturday, January 28, 2017. 7 PM – 10 PM.
Fun With FOIAs! Workshop with Brian Dolinar & Sarah Lazare. Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center 202 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, Illinois 61801.

Thursday, January 26, 2017. 6-7pm.
Please join us for the public opening of Land Grant. This exhibition marks the university’s sesquicentennial and is organized by the graduate students of ARTH 546, taught by Terri Weissman, associate professor of Art History, and Amy Powell, curator of Modern and Contemporary art. And organized by ARTH 546 graduate students: Alyssa Bralower, Yue Dai, Evin Dubois, Maria Garth, Michael Hurley, Cory Imig, Lilah Leopold, Jenny Peruski, Luis Gonzalo Pinilla, and Allison Rowe.

Thursday, January 26, 2017. 7-8:30pm.
A discussion on Hidden Figures. Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center 202 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, Illinois 61801.

Friday, January 20, 2016. 9A-7P.
  • 9:00-10:30 a.m. P.S. 1: ANTHROPOLOGY READ-IN, SOCIETY MUST BE DEFENDED. Spurlock Museum. 600 S Gregory St, Urbana, Illinois 61801. event link:
  • 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. DESIGN AS PROTEST. Levis Faculty Center, 3rd Floor Lecture Hall. 919 W Illinois Street, Urbana. event link:
  • 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. POLITICAL PARTY! LETTER WRITING TO THE PRESIDENT-ELECT. Come get your political groove on, get inspired, write that letter! Asian American Studies Conference Room. 1208 W Nevada Street, Urbana
  • 4:00 p.m. EYES ON THE PRIZE film series. Episode 5: Mississippi: Is this America. Episode 6: Bridge to Freedom. 223 Temple Buell Hall. 611 E Lorado Taft Drive, Champaign.

November 15, 2016. 5:15-6:45pm.
Siobhan Somerville, English/Gender and Women’s Studies, UIUC on “Queer Theory”. 1002 Lincoln Hall. Readings posted here: Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage, 1978), pp. 1-49; Cohen, Cathy. “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” GLQ (3): 437-485.

November 9, 2016. 4pm.
Krystal A. Smalls, Black Survival and Signification in Digital Space. Davenport Hall, 109A.unnamed


November 1, 2016. 5:15-6:45pm.
David Theo Goldberg, Director, Humanities Research Institute, UC-Irvine, on “Digital Humanities.” 1002 Lincoln Hall. Readings posted here: David Beer, “Power through the Algorithm? Participatory Web Cultures and the Technological Unconscious” New Media and Society, 11.6 (2009): 985-1002; Kate Crawford, “Can an Algorithm be Agonistic? Ten Scenes from Life in Calculated Publics” Science, Technology, & Human Values 2016, Vol. 41(1) 77-92; McQuillan, D, “Algorithmic States of Exception” European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol 18, No 4-5, ISSN 1367-5494; Tiziana Terranova, “Red Stack Attack! Algorithms, Capital and the Automation of the Common,”; Michele Willson (2016): Algorithms (and the) Everyday, Information, Communication & Society, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1200645 T.

November 1, 2016. 5:15-6:45pm.
Terri Weissman, Art History, UIUC on “Visual Studies”. 1002 Lincoln Hall. Readings posted here: WJT Mitchell, “Showing Seeing: A Critique of Visual Culture,” Journal of Visual Culture (2002) Vol 1 (2): 165-181; Tanya Sheehan, “Looking Pleasant, Feeling White: The Social Politics of the Photographic Smile,” which is in Feeling Photography, ed. Elspeth Brown and They Phu, p. 127-157; Ariella Azoulay, “A Civil State of Emergency,” Artforum, December 2011. (2-3 pages); Claudio Lomnitz, “2006 Immigrant Mobilizations in the United States,” in Non-Governmental Politics ed. Michel Feher (Zone, 2006): 434-445.

October 31, 2016. Deadline: The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate application. Applications for collaborative researcher in the field of environmental humanities, broadly conceived.

October 25, 2016. 5:15-6:45pm Paul C. Taylor, Philosophy/African American Studies, Penn State U, on “Critical Race Theory.” 1002 Lincoln Hall. Readings posted here: Derrick Bell, “Racial Realism,” Connecticut Law Review 24 (1992): 363-379; Nikhil Pal Singh, “Racial Formation in an Age of Permanent War, in HoSang, Daniel, Oneka LaBennett, and Laura Pulido, eds., Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century (Berkeley: UC Press, 2012), p. 276-301; Roderick Ferguson, “On the Specificities of Racial Formation,” in HoSang et al., pp. 44-57; Patricia Williams, “On Being the Object of Property,” Signs Vol. 14, No. 1 (Autumn, 1988), pp. 5-24.

Friday, October 14, 2016 – 9a-5p.
Secrecy and Publics Symposium. Lucy Ellis Lounge in the Foreign Languages Building (707 South Mathews Avenue Urbana, IL).

October 13, 2016, 7:30 pm
Sociologist Simone Browne to lecture on “Four Women and One Robot”. Levis Faculty Center, Third Floor main lecture hall (919 West Illinois Street, Urbana, IL) IPRH. “Four Women and One Robot”. Through the stories of four women and one robot this talk situates blackness as an absented presence in the field of surveillance studies, and questions how a realization of the conditions of blackness—the historical, the present, and the historical present— can help social theorists understand our contemporary conditions of surveillance.

October 11, 2016. 5:15-6:45pm.
Mishuana Goeman, Gender Studies/American Indian Studies, UCLA, on “Indigenous Studies.” 1002 Lincoln Hall. Readings posted here: Mishuana Goeman, Mark My Words (U of Minnesota P, 2013), Intro, ch. 1; Mishuana Goeman, “Disrupting a Settler Grammar of Place in Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie’s ‘Photographic Memoirs of an Aboriginal Savant’,” in Theorizing Native Studies, eds. Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith, Duke University Press, Spring 2014; Linda McDowell, “In and Out of Place: Bodies and Embodiment,” Gender, Identity and Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007); Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.”

October 24, 2016  12:00-4:30pm
2016 iSchool Research Showcase addressing questions such as:  

  • Does consumer product labeling actually protect consumers?
  • Can scientific models lead to greater workflow reproducibility?
  • How does digital literacy, traditionally defined, hinder digital inclusion?
  • Does implanting technologies inside the body alter how we define “human”?
  • Can social informatics principles transform big data?
    Illini Union, Ballrooms A and B, 1401 W. Green Street, Urbana. The schedule is available on the Research Showcase web page
    Refreshments provided during both poster sessions.




October 11, 2016. 5:15-6:45pm.
Chris Taylor, English, U of Chicago, on “Postcolonial Theory”. 1002 Lincoln Hall. Readings posted here: McClintock, Anne, “The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term ‘Post-Colonialism'”; Stoler, Ann Laura, “On Degrees of Imperial Sovereignty”; “Editor’s Column: The End of Postcolonial Theory? A Roundtable with Sunil Agnani, Fernando Coronil, Gaurav Desai, Mamadou Diouf, Simon Gikandi, Susie Tharu, and Jennifer Wenzel,” in PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America) 122, no. 3 (2007)

October 10-15, 2016.
Hidden Histories Campus Tours. Urbana and Champaign versions of tours.

October 6, 2016. 5:30 p.m.
KAM artist residency. Artist Talk with Borderland Collective. KAM Lower Level, Auditorium (Room 62)

October 5, 2016. 6:00 p.m
KAM artist residency | Borderland Collective: Timeline Workshop. La Casa Cultural Latina, 1203 W. Nevada St. Urbana

October 1, 2016. The Heartland Maker Fest ( is Makerspace Urbana‘s annual event celebrating the amazing makers in Urbana-Champaign and the surrounding communities. We wish to: Inspire By searching for creative and unique makers to exhibit at the festival we hope attendees are inspired by the creative projects of others. Empower By focusing on hands on experiences we hope people feel empowered to make their own projects a reality. Connect By creating a free and open public festival we hope to connect attendees to the local resources they need to help make their ideas come to life. Who organizes the event?  Volunteers! Many of whom are from Makerspace Urbana, Central Illinois Aerospace (CIA), the CU Community Fab Lab, and other great organizations. If you are interested in helping organize just email us at

September 16–24, 2016
The Pygmalion Festival, Urbana-Champaign, IL.

Thursday, September 15th, 2016.
11:30a.m. Donna Cox: The Unofficial History of Visualization Donna Cox will give a talk at the NCSA Auditorium about the history of visualization. Donna Cox is a nationally renowned scientific visualization and art expert, with her work featured in many movies and documentaries, including the award-winning “The Tree of Life” (Dir. Terrence Malick).

Friday-Saturday, September 16-17, 2016.
MidweSTS 2016 Graduate Student Workshop brings together scholars across disciplines and institutions whose work connects with critical computing, STS, digital studies, media studies, and making. We’ll gather for a mix of student presentations and panels, faculty-facilitated conversations, city/nature walks, off-site visits to relevant Chicago sites, “hands-on” sessions, and demos – with room for networking, mentorship, and community building. Where: Illinois Institute of Technology Downtown Campus, 565 W. Adams Street, Chicago, IL.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016.
Geof Bowker, Professor, School of Information and Computer Sciences, UC-Irvine: “The Data Citizen: New Ways of Being in the World.” 4:00-5:30P, NCSA Auditorium. *Reception to follow.
Bowker_poster_11x17_08092016-194x300Abstract: For all its hype, the phenomenon of big data and its attendant analytics is nevertheless changing what it means to be human. This talk explores the ontological dimensions of this change with a view to teasing out the impacts of its long term historical trajectory and the ethical design issues which arise.

Download poster copy here.

Geoffrey C. Bowker is Professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences and Director of the Values in Design Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine. From 1993-1998, he was faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences, and was a faculty affiliate of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications from 1998-1999. He currently co-directs the NSF-funded Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society with researchers from across academia and the IT industry. He has published widely on the topics of information infrastructure, classification systems in distributed scientific collaborations, and the use of web and digital resources across disciplines.

Friday, April 22, 2016.
Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York City: “Designing Culture: Creating Multidisciplinary Collaboration” – 11A-12P, NCSA Auditorium. * Breakfast reception before the talk: How does inter-disciplinarity impact innovation? Anne Balsamo shares an approach to the study and practice of technology-based innovation, to demonstrate how the real business of innovation is the reproduction of culture over time and over place. She discusses the role of the humanities and sciences in cross-disciplinary collaborations that focus on the creation of new technologies. And she explores how – given that the humanities seriously considers questions of ethics, cultural and social good, and intentional future-making – there is an important role for humanists in the process of creating new technologies. The presentation will be framed by work from her recent book, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, and will offer a specific example of ways in which questions of culture informed the development of new technologies.

Friday, April 22, 2016.
The Center for Advanced Study, 2:30-3:30p, Round Table: Teaching Literature and Science: Comparative Practices in the US and UK, Featuring: Lucinda Cole, Gillen Wood, Andy Gaedtke, and Rebecah Pulcifer

Thursday, April 21, 2016.
The Center for Advanced Study, 2:30-3:30p Round Table: Literature and Science Across the Pond: Research Practices in the US and the UK, Featuring: Ted Underwood, Robert Markley, Justine Murison, Brandon Jones. 4:00-5:30p Panel – Featured Speakers: Dr. Will Tattersdill (University of Birmingham), ‘Fram: An Account of Science Fiction and Polar Exploration in the Fin-de-Siècle Periodical Press’.

Week of April 18th, 2016.
2-day workshop featuring literature and science faculty member Will Tattersdill (U Birmingham). Details about this workshop coming soon.

Monday, March 28, 2016.
Disnovation and The Pirate Book: Visiting Artist/Designer Talk @ 5pm, 224 Art + Design. Paris-based artist Nicolas Maigret and Maria Roszkowska: will talk about their projects Disnovation and The Pirate Book, examining the mechanics and rhetoric of innovation, the historical contexts of media piracy, and how artists, designers, and thinkers are exploring these topics through speculations, diversions, and technological disruptions. Disnovation Research is a project inquiring into the mechanics and rhetoric of innovation. Considering the “propaganda of innovation” as one of the ideological driving forces of our era, it aims to explore the notions of technological fetishism and solutionism through speculations and diversions by artists and thinkers. The Pirate Book offers a broad view on media piracy as well as a variety of perspectives on recent issues and historical facts on the topic.

Celebrating Women in New Media ArtsMarch 18, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. This one-day symposium will provide a reflective context to examine the achievements of women in the field of media art and emerging technologies from the 1980s onward. The event celebrates the upcoming release of the new book from the University of Illinois Press, Women in New Media Arts: Perspectives on Innovative Collaboration, edited by Donna Cox, Janine Fron, and Ellen Sandor. Symposium participants include Tiffany Holmes, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and book contributor; Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Faculty; Ellen Sandor (MFA 1975, HON 2014), book editor and contributor; Donna Cox, book editor and contributor; Janine Fron, book editor and contributor.

Tuesday, March 15 , 11am, 3405 Siebel Center
Jessica Vitak,College of Information Studies at University of Maryland
HCI Seminar Series, hosted by Karrie Karahalios
Building Ethics Into Research Design in the Age of Big Data
Abstract: Pervasive information streams that document people and their routines have been a boon to social computing research. But the ethics of collecting and analyzing available online data present challenges to researchers. In this talk, I will share results from two survey studies, one of online data researchers in computer, social, and informational sciences, and a second of research institution IRBs. Findings from the surveys highlight areas of convergence and divergence about ethical practices in the digital age. I’ll conclude the talk with thoughts on where I think the research community needs to focus its attention in this ongoing debate and share a set of emergent best practices for ethical social computing research based on my analyses.

Bio: Jessica Vitak (PhD, Michigan State) is an assistant professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Her research approaches social science perspectives to emergent research problems users experience when engaging with communication technology. Her research has addressed issues of social capital and social support, relationship maintenance, and more recently, issues of privacy, security & ethics in the digital age. More information about her research can be found on her website ( and her lab’s website (

Monday, March 14th, 2016
Windsor Lecture Series (Annual), GSLIS Room 126, 4PM
This year the speaker is Dr. William Dutton (former director of Oxford Internet Institute)
Monday, March 14th, 2016
A Night of Video Art: Works by Semiconductor & the Otolith GroupArt Theater Coop, 7:30P, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt) is an artist duo concerned with the ways science and technology mediate our experiences of the material world. Their films Some Part of Us Will Have Become and All the Time in The World look at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and seismic distrubances, respectively. Introducing tremors to the natural landscape, the work portrays Earth under constant dramatic shifts. The Otolith Group (Anjalika Sagar & Kodwo Eshun) take their name from a part of the inner ear responsible for balance, orientation, and the perception of gravity. People to be Resembling is a “five-sided portrait” of the experimental jazz group Codona, founded by multi-instrumentalists Collin Walcott, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos in 1978. Otolith III, from the group’s Otolith Trilogy, imagines a conversation between legendary film director Satyajit Ray and his unrealized characters in The Alien, which would have been the first science fiction film set in contemporary India if Ray hadn’t had to abandon it in 1967. Post-show Q&A: Amy L. Powell (Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Krannert Art Museum) Tickets: $10/Adult, $8.50/Annual Member.

Friday-Saturday, March 11-12, 2016
(Re)configuring Space in Women’s and Gender History (WGHS Symposium)
Lucy Ellis Lounge: Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave.
* Saniya’s paper presentation is March 11, 9:00-10:20am; Keynote: Carina Ray, March 11, 6:00pm, University YMCA; Professionalization Roundtable: March 12, 11:00am-12:30pm, Lucy Ellis Lounge: Antoinette Burton, Carina Ray, and Dawn Durante.

Friday, March 11, 2016
NCSA Colloquium: “Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures, Digital Memory and the Myth of Digital Universalism” — Anita Chan, UIUC
11:00am – 12:00p — Auditorium, NCSA Building, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana, IL
Channeling the promise global interconnection, and framed as the mark of contemporary optimization, “the digital” has come to represent the path towards the future for diverse nations, economies, and populations alike. In the midst of its accelerating pursuits across distinct global spaces, however, little has been made of the “universalist” underpinnings that mobilize digitality’s global spread, or of the distinct imaginaries around digital culture and global connection that emerge outside the given centers of techno-culture. This paper will attend to experiments in innovation spaces from the periphery, including the development of rural hack lab spaces in Peru, that distinctly engage local histories and memory of knowledge work around nature, technology, and information.

Saturday, March 5th, 2016
UIUC Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Ricker Library, 1-5PM, will take place in the Architecture Building (Rooms 102 A&B). The event is open to students, faculty and the public.  Please join us for a fun event that brings together diverse communities to create and improve Wikipedia articles related to women in the arts–art, architecture, design, landscape architecture and related fields. Despite its wide reach, Wikipedia suffers from a severe gender imbalance: since most editors are men, articles conform to men’s interests and perspectives. In an effort to change this, we are gathering a diverse group together to celebrate women’s cultural achievements. We will provide tutorials for Wikipedia newcomers, reference materials, and snacks. Bring your laptop, power cord, and ideas for entries that need updating or creation. Stop by for a little bit or stay for the whole afternoon. No Wikipedia editing experience necessary!

Friday, March 4, 2016
Department of Communication Colloquium: Joseph Cappella, University of Pennsylvania
Lincoln Hall, Room 1002, 3:30p. “Pro and Anti-Tobacco Information in the Media Environment: Understanding the Impact of Selection, Transmission, and Public Input” — Abstract: Since April 1, 1970 and the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, tobacco advertising and promotions have been significantly curtailed. With the advent of social media, however, tobacco ads, promotion and information common across social media platforms have come to outweigh the amount of anti-tobacco messaging. The research presented will focus on the influence of YouTube commentary on tobacco control messaging; the role of persuasiveness in the circulation of healthy messaging; and in the impact of commentary on policy debates about tobacco.

Thursday, March 3, 2016
NCSA: Celebrating 30 Years with NCSA Day at Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory, Urbana. Events all day, celebrating NCSA’s 30th anniversary. Take advantage of special extended museum hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to view all the museum’s exhibits, including the new NCSA exhibit that even includes a Cray 2 supercomputer! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres from 4:30-7 p.m. and visit with former Cray engineers who worked on the Cray 2, including current NCSA employee Jim Long. Then at 7 pm. renowned physicist and inventor of the warp drive, Miguel Alcubierre will give a talk in the Knight Auditorium of the Spurlock Museum.

Monday, February 29, 2016
Part II: Wikipedia Editing Editing Basics Workshop with Veronica Paredes. Time: 3:00-4:20P (Central time)/ 4:00-5:30P-EST (with Anita Chan’s MDIA590: Co-Design Seminar). * Will feature hands-on editing involving genealogies of UIUC institutional histories. If you are interested in participating please email by 12P-CT on Mon., Feb. 29. For local participants, we will meet at the Student Life and Culture Archive (Horticulture Field Laboratory/ Archives Research Center/ 1707 S. Orchard Street. From campus, take the Teal (12E) bus departing from Illini Union at 2:40p (or 2:20p, buses depart every 20 min). For virtual participants: Please email for the Blue Jeans Room link.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 12P, Sharon Irish is introducing and helping to guide a discussion with Harry Boyte, Senior Fellow at The University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, who will be speaking at the IPRH on “Public Humanities and the New Civic Studies.” Optional readings are available in advance of tomorrow afternoon’s talk, as well.

August 26th, 2015, 3p.m., North Garage: Welcome Meeting for new INTERSECT fellows

February 2014: “Beyond Big Data: the Politics of Vision in Complex Systems” panel for College Art Association Conference, Chicago, IL (Weissman and Hamilton, co-chairs)

Fall 2014: edited issue of Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus of the College Art Association (Weissman and Hamilton, co-editors)

October 3, 2013: “Interactive and Social: A Case Study of Swedish Online Newspapers” a co-sponsored talk with Cecilia Teljas, Media Technology & Interaction Design Dept., KTH