Dr. Helen V. Pritchard
University of Plymouth, UK

  • Loren Britton
    Kassel University
  • Romi Ron Morrison
    University of Southern California, USA
  • Dr. Eric Snodgrass
    Linnaeus University
    , Linköping University

Oracle(s) and Screen Readers: Black Feminist theory and critical access tools for digital pedagogies

In their 1999 book Sorting things Out Classification and its Consequences, science and technology scholars Bowker and Star ask: „Why should computer scientists read African American poets? What does information science have to do with race critical or feminist methods and metaphysics?“. Despite significant scholarship at the intersections of Black feminist theory, disability, digitalization and critical computing, the care and labor needed for radically reconsidering the ethical groundings of computer science has not been instituted. In addition, the close reading of Black feminist theory and accessible methods for digital pedagogies has not been maintained. Practicing, imagining and generating possibilities for accountability within computational practices are crucial. Through speculative and digital methods, the oracle(s) and Screen Readers working group will generate collective practices for questioning digital pedagogies through engagement with Black feminist theory, critical accessibility technologies and poet(h)ics (da Silva 2014). oracle(s) and Screen Readers brings together a trans-disciplinary network of scholars and artists to research and practice digital pedagogical practices through reading Black feminist thinking. The working group asks: How can we institute the reading of Black Feminist Theory within computer science / digital pedagogy, what forms might this reading practice take, by whom and with what computational tools?

Our working group we will engage these questions together by reading Black feminist theory and experimenting with critical access technologies for disabled people such as screen readers, sonification and speech to text. By this we hope to rethink the ethics for computational practices as a practice of po(ethics) and critical access. The working group will establish an international network of scholars, computer scientists, artists and technologists critically evaluating critical accessible computation that is just only emerging.

Our working group will consolidate a research node and develop digital pedagogical practices for accessible reading that center the work of Black Feminist theorists.