Feature Speakers

Dr. Lenin Martell

Dr. Lenin Martell

Lenin Martell Gámez (PhD, National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM) is an Associate Professor in the School of Political and Social Sciences as well as coordinator of the “Center for Writing and Digital Culture” at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM). He appears regularly as a media and public affairs commentator in both national and international media outlets and is the National Audience-Ombudsperson at the Mexican Public Broadcasting System (SPR). He co-directs the narrative-journalism “Heart of Mexico” program, organized by UNT and UAEM in various remote villages of Mexico. He has co-authored several books and published more than 20 academic articles on media and cultural studies.

 Connecting with communities through audience engagement:
Mexico as a case study

Friday, Sept 22 at 6pm | DMC 2.106

The economic, social, and emotional consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the devastation caused by climate change in Hawaii and New England, and the authoritarian immigration policies in Texas and Florida, among other global issues, provide compelling reasons for scholars to reflect deeply on how to counterbalance and resist these major changes. It is especially true when Communication, as a scientific field, could provide plausible means to solve most of the world’s problems. As a scholar, I am increasingly interested in examining how media platforms, especially public media in Mexico, can connect and engage with audiences to ignite new public conversations and provide more accurate information. This can empower citizens to adopt a more critical stance towards public affairs on both local and international levels. In this address I will explain how I have developed a new methodology for this purpose that draws upon critical pedagogies, Cultural and Audience studies, as well as Literacy Studies, and situated knowledge. This has led me to pose not only questions concerning the cultural practices we should be researching in our discipline, but on how we should approach them, and render them more meaningful to contribute to society in a broader way. 

Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian

Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian

Dr. Srividya "Srivi" Ramasubramanian is a Professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Her scholarship addresses  global issues relating to media, diversity, and social justice. She is the Founding Director of the Difficult Dialogues Project, CODE^SHIFT (Collaboratory for Data Equity, Social Healing, Inclusive Futures, and Transformation), and Media Rise (a global nonprofit for meaningful media). She did her post-doctoral fellowship at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and the National University of Singapore.

AI Empire: Interlocking Systems of Oppression in the Networked Global AI Order

Saturday, Sept 23 at 5:30pm | DMC 2.106

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to captivate the collective imagination through the latest generation of generative AI models such as DALL-E and ChatGPT, the dehumanizing and harmful features of the technology industry that have plagued it since its inception only seem to deepen and intensify. Using the analytical framework of “Empire," we argue that this networked and distributed globalizing AI order is rooted in heteropatriarchy, racial capitalism, white supremacy, and coloniality. It perpetuates its influence through the mechanisms of extractivism, automation, essentialism, surveillance, and containment. Reforming AI from within the same interlocking oppressive systems is futile. Instead, to advance justice, we must radically transform our ideas about technology and data by developing them from the bottom-up, from the perspectives of those who stand the most risk of being harmed.