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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:  

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.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.