Keynote Speaker

Miriam Sweeney standing in front of a brick wall wearing glasses and a black blazer of a white and black striped top

Miriam E. Sweeney (Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is an associate professor in the school of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. She conducts critical cultural research in information and digital media studies, particularly focused intersections of race and gender in the design, use and meaning of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Her current projects explore artificial intelligence, virtual assistants, voice interfaces, and related dataveillance technologies as sites of blurred corporate and state power.

Keynote Presentation: Facing Our Computers: Algorithmic Literacies as Praxis

“Facing Our Computers: Algorithmic Literacies as Praxis” is a call to turn our attention to the current technological environment, characterized by increased reliance on algorithmic technologies, and grapple with it as part and parcel of the broader social, political, and economic landscape. Borrowing from Paulo Freire’s (1972) definition of praxis as “reflection and action directed at the structure to be transformed”, I invite us to consider how ”facing our computers” (i.e. developing critical algorithmic literacies as a reflective tool) might help LIS “expand the conversation” around algorithmic culture in our professional roles in order to better formulate actions and responses that lead us to better collective futures.