Charlton McIlwain to deliver 2022 Annual Communications Lecture: UMass Amherst

Charlton McIlwain, professor of media, culture, and communication and current vice provost for faculty engagement and development at New York University, will deliver the annual UMass Amherst Communication Lecture on Friday, April 22 at 11:30 a.m. at Communication Hub on the third floor of the Integrated Learning Center.


Charlton McIlwain

Each spring, the annual Communication Conference invites nationally and internationally renowned scholars at UMass Amherst to engage with the campus and the Western mass community about their scholarship and outstanding contributions to the field of communication in the world. analysis of contemporary social problems. This year’s conference, titled “How to Make Technology Anti-Racist,” will address general calls for more accountability and transparency about the governance and content distribution practices of social media platforms and search engines. McIlwain will offer a historical reflection on how computer technology actors can learn from the past to reimagine, conceptualize, design and build new technological systems that are less biased, more just, increasingly equitable and explicitly anti-racist.

McIlwain is the founder of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies (CR+DS), a network of prominent public scholars of color who research, share knowledge, and bring together stakeholders at the intersections of race and technology to combat social discrimination based on race, ethnicity and identity implemented through the design, deployment and use of digital technology applications and platforms.

Her work focuses on the intersections of race, digital media and racial justice activism. He is the author of the books “Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, From the Afronet to Black Lives Matter” (Oxford University Press 2019) and “Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in US Political Campaigns”, which he has co-authored with Stephen M. Caliendo (Temple University Press 2011). He is also the author and co-author of several scientific articles, including “Racial Formation, Inequality & the Political Economy of Web Traffic”, co-authored with Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark, which was published in the journal Information, Communication & Society , and he is one of the authors of the #CommunicationSoWhite study

The annual communications conference, founded in 2020, is sponsored by the UMass Amherst Department of Communications with support from the Cardinal-O’Leary Fund. Conference speakers are nominated and selected by faculty members and the graduate student body.

“The forum recognizes and highlights academic excellence and the plurality of perspectives and methodological traditions within our discipline,” explains Erica Scharrer, professor of communication and head of the department. “Charlton McIlwain’s work is truly inspiring and connects directly to our commitment to social justice and engaged scholarship in communication.”

Those unable to attend the conference in person can also join via Zoom and are asked to RSVP online by Thursday, April 21.

For more information about the Department of Communication’s annual conference or McIlwain’s visit to UMass Amherst, contact Martha Fuentes-Bautista at [email protected]

Angela C. Hale