AfroGeeks: From Technophobia to Technophilia

A conference on Race and Technology, May 7-8, that examines contemporary black experiences of new information technologies in both local and global contexts.

Friday, May 07, 2004
8:30 AM - 10:30 PM
Room 6046 (McCune Conference Room)
UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC)
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara , CA 93106-3140

Free and open to the public.  All conference activities located at: UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC), room 6046 (McCune Conference Room).

According to the website (, "IN RECENT YEARS, African Americans, especially, have been portrayed as poster children for the digital divide discourse. Though rarely represented today as full participants in the information technology revolution, black people are among the earliest adopters and comprise some of the most ardent and innovative users of IT (information technology). It is too often widespread ignorance of African Diasporic people’s long history of technology adoption that limits fair and fiscally sound IT investments, policies and opportunities for black communities locally and globally. Such racially aligned politics of investment create a self-fulfilling-prophesy or circular logic wherein the lack of equitable access to technology in black communities produces a corresponding lack of technology literacy and competencies.

Thus, necessary high-tech investments are not made in such underserved communities because many consider it fiscally irresponsible, which, in turn, perpetuates the vicious cycle. Despite such formidable odds, black people continue to break out of this cycle of socially constructed technological determinism. It is in this way that African Diasporic people’s many successes within new media and information technologies are too often overshadowed by the significant inequalities in technology access.

This conference takes up these and other important issues pertaining to black people’s actual engagements with IT outside the popular stereotype of black technological lag behind other population sectors. Among the topics addressed at this “AfroGEEKS” conference are: concerns with structural barriers to IT access; effective models of innovative IT use and adoption; the influence of traditional science education on black youths’ tech skills; black technophobes and Luddites; computer gaming; black IT leaders; IT commodity consumption versus production; black blogs and virtual communities; high-tech racial surveillance and profiling after 9-11; digital arts; the geek identity problematic, and more. . . "

Internationally known speakers including:

Carroll Parrott Blue

Anita Brown

Jorge Coelho

Anna Everett

Renee Green

William Jones

George Lewis

Kalamu ya Salaam

Greg Tate

Special Instructions

Conference on Saturday is from 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM; Reception and Dinner 6:30 - 10:30 PM.

Cost : Free and open to the public

For more information please contact:

Center for Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara,4603 South Hall

Tel: 805-893-3914

Sponsor(s): , Center for Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. For additional sponsors, please visit the website. Information on non-JSCASC events posted at request of sender and does not reflect opinions of or endorsements by African Studies Center personnel.