Virginia Eubanks to present free talk at Newman University Feb. 1

Jan 11, 2023
Virginia Eubanks

On Feb. 1, Virginia Eubanks, associate professor of political science at the University of Albany and investigative longform journalist, will arrive on Newman University’s campus to talk about her past and future works.

The free event is open to the public and will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Dugan Conference Center.

Eubanks’ presentation, titled “Automating Care: Technology, Caregiving, and the Labors of Love,” will touch on her most recent book, “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor,” among other topics.

“I’ll be talking a little bit about [the book], as well as my electronic visit verification story,” Eubanks shared in a special edition episode of “The Newman Bond,” Newman’s new podcast series featuring perspectives on the contemporary world from experts at and around the university. “I’ll also be reflecting on my own role as an unpaid family caregiver in my own family over the last seven years in the wake of some really devastating community violence.”

Interview with Virginia Eubanks – The Newman Bond

Professor of History and Director of International Studies Cheryl Golden describes Eubanks as a “dynamic and thought-provoking speaker. … We are very excited to welcome Dr. Virginia Eubanks to the Wichita campus.”

Cheryl Golden
Cheryl Golden, Professor of History & Director of International Studies

“Her award-winning research and writing on data-based discrimination ask us to consider how technology affects civil and human rights,” Golden explained. “This speaks to our aims as a Catholic university to respect the dignity of all persons.”

Eubanks’ visit is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities grant Newman received for the project “Emphasis in Technology and Human Values.”

“Our faculty at Newman will work with Eubanks and her innovative approaches to help develop our new NEH-supported program designed to emphasize technology and human values in our students’ coursework,” Golden added.

Behind the book

Eubanks explained that “Automating Inequality” is a book of long-form journalism that highlights the human face of technological change and what it means to families across the nation.

Throughout the book, Eubanks explores the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America through human stories.

“I came to do this kind of work because I’m a problem-oriented scholar in that I have a tendency to follow what I think are the most pressing, urgent issues I’m encountering in my community and in my activist work,” she said. “I bring the tools of journalism and scholarly research to bear on those problems, issues and concerns as well. And that’s very much where this book came from — a number of conversations with women in my community that led me to start thinking about technology in a different way.”

For more information on Eubanks’ forthcoming visit to campus, contact [email protected].

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