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Contact and Distance in the Post-Pandemic Social World

04/22 Thursday | 5pm

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The Institute for Public Knowledge, in partnership with the NYU’s Cross-Cutting Initiative on Inequality, invites you to join a conversation on the future of social distancing in a post-pandemic world. The event is moderated by Eric Klinenberg featuring Natasha Dow Schüll, Paul DiMaggio, Danah Boyd, and Meredith Broussard.

We encourage you to RSVP and join us live to pose your questions directly to the panel. For those unable to attend live, we will record and upload each event to IPK’s YouTube channel here.

Natasha D. Schüll is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her 2012 book, ADDICTION BY DESIGN: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton U Press) parses the intimate relationship between the experience of gambling addiction and casino industry design tactics, showing how architectural, atmospheric, ergonomic, audiovisual, and algorithmic-computational techniques are marshalled to suspend—and monetize—gamblers’ attention. Her current book project, KEEPING TRACK (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, under contract), explores the rise of sensor-based, digital technologies of the self and the new modes of introspection, self-care, and self-regulation they offer. Schüll’s documentary film, BUFFET: All You Can Eat Las Vegas, has screened multiple times on PBS and appeared in numerous film festivals. Her research has been featured in 60 Minutes, The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, and other outlets.

Paul DiMaggio is Professor of Sociology at New York University with affiliate appointments in the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Stern School of Business, and the Center for Data Science.  He has written and taught about cultural policy and communications policy, and has published more than 125 scholarly papers and book chapters on such topics as the origins and consequences of cultural hierarchy in the United States, cultural and political polarization in the U.S., the role of social networks in economic exchange, the impact of network externalities on social inequality, and varieties of American nationalism.  Current research addresses Americans’ understandings of the relationship between science and religion, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on attitudes toward diversity and immigration.

danah boyd is a partner researcher at Microsoft Research, the founder and president of Data & Society, and a visiting professor at New York University. Her research is focused on making certain that society has a nuanced understanding of the relationship between technology and society, especially as issues of inequity and bias emerge. She is the author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, and has authored or co-authored numerous books, articles, and essays. She is a director of both the Social Science Research Council and Crisis Text Line. She has been recognized by numerous organizations, including receiving the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer/Barlow Award and being selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. Originally trained in computer science before retraining under anthropologists, danah has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information.

Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World.” Her research focuses on artificial intelligence in investigative reporting, with particular interests in AI ethics and using data analysis for social good. A former features editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, she has also worked as a software developer at AT&T Bell Labs and the MIT Media Lab. Her features and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, Harper’s, Slate, and other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @merbroussard or contact her via meredithbroussard.com.

Eric Klinenberg is Helen Gould Shepard Professor of Social Science and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (Crown, 2018), Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002), as well as the editor of Cultural Production in a Digital Age, co-editor of Antidemocracy in America (Columbia University Press, 2019), and co-author, with Aziz Ansari, of the New York Times #1 bestseller Modern Romance (The Penguin Press, 2015). His scholarly work has been published in journals including the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, and Ethnography, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and This American Life.

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