UK Happenings

Author, internet studies scholar Safiya Noble to speak at UK Libraries Dean’s Lecture

Safiya Noble headshot
Safiya Noble's presentation will help audiences understand the deeply rooted disparities in how online algorithms affect people of different races and genders. Photo submitted.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2022) — University of Kentucky Libraries will welcome University of California, Los Angeles Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies Safiya Noble, Ph.D., on Oct. 4, for a discussion of the ways digital media intersect with issues of race, gender, culture, power and technology.

Drawing on research from her new book, “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Noble’s presentation will help audiences understand the deeply rooted disparities in how online algorithms affect people of different races and genders, even while search engines claim to be progressive and unbiased.

“The Dean’s Lecture Series is designed to explore topics and ideas that impact and influence research libraries and the communities that use them,” shared Doug Way, dean of UK Libraries. “Dr. Noble’s work is of critical importance as we seek to understand and overcome structures baked into the online search engines we all use every day that serve to perpetuate inequities and biases in our world.”

The UK Libraries Dean’s Lecture will be held in person 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Worsham Cinema in the Gatton Student Center. The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs appreciated: bit.ly/UKL-Safiya-Noble.  

An acclaimed scholar and author, Noble also serves as co-founder and faculty director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. She is an affiliate in the School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA and a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, where she is a commissioner on the Oxford Commission on AI and Good Governance

In 2021, Noble earned the recognition of MacArthur Foundation Fellow for her groundbreaking work on algorithmic discrimination. This work prompted the foundation of her nonprofit, Equity Engine, which accelerates investment in companies, education and networks led by women of color. She is also a recipient of the Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award. In 2022, she was recognized as the inaugural NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award recipient. 

Noble is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, serving those vulnerable to online harassment, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation’s oldest Black think tank. 

Noble has been featured in several national and international publications for her knowledge on algorithmic discrimination and technology bias, including The Guardian, the BBC, CNN International, USA Today, Wired, Time, The New York Times, "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,: and a host of network news and podcasts. She is also the co-editor of two edited volumes: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology, and Design.

As the premier research library in Kentucky, UK Libraries empowers lifelong learners to discover, create and connect by providing ever-expanding access to quality information and collaborating with academic and creative communities worldwide to advance knowledge, enhance scholarship and preserve the history and culture of the Commonwealth. More information about UK Libraries can be found on its website.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.