SSC Seminar Series: Virginia Eubanks (Associate Professor, Political Science, University at Albany, State University of New York, USA)

iZombie: How Digital Debt Collection Drives Perpetual Poverty

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

12:30 - 2:00pm

Mackintosh-Corry Hall D216


In 2018’s Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigated the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people. In it, she argues that new high-tech tools in public services in the United States divert the poor from public resources, classify and criminalizes whole communities, and predict future behavior as a mechanism of social control. More recently, Eubanks has been writing about the toll that digital debt collection takes on working-class families. Join us for a lively conversation about Eubanks’ new reporting for The Guardian, which uncovered for the first time the true scope and impact of iZombie debt in the U.S.

About the Speaker:

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor; Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a 2016-2017 Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, NY.

Virginia Eubanks' article was just published by the Guardian, October 15, 2019 on this issue, see: Zombie debts are hounding struggling Americans. Will you be next?

Everyone welcome!