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PhD Book Club

The PhD Book Club is an interdisciplinary group of PhD students with the shared goal to critically examine the role of technology and media in upholding existing systems of oppression. Every quarter, we select a book and discuss its chapters in combination with critical work by scholars who have been minoritized in conversations in both academic thinking and mainstream media. We aim to expand the work we read, bring critical perspectives into our research work, and create a space for cross-lab and cross-discipline workshopping of related work.

If you are interested in joining the email list for the club, you can contact Sachita Nishal (nishal [at] with a short self-introduction.

Please note that the group is typically made up of PhD students. However, if you are an undergraduate student, non-PhD graduate student, or independent learner who will commit to the entire reading schedule, please reach out to one of the current organizers.

Current organizers: Sachita Nishal (nishal [at] and Matthew Gaughan (gaughan [at]

Previous organizers: Emily Wang, Jack Bandy, Sohyeon Hwang, Priyanka Nanayakkara

Fall 2024

The fall 2024 book will be announced soon!

Past Reads

Spring 2024, The Eye of the Master: A Social History of Artificial Intelligence by Matteo Pasquinelli

Fall 2023 & Winter 2024, Crip Temporalities by Ellen Samuels and Elizabeth Freeman; Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences by Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star 

Spring 2023, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson

Winter 2023, Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest by Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum

Fall 2022, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Spring 2022, Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India by Lilly Irani

Winter 2022, Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance by Moya Bailey

Fall 2021, Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds by Arturo Escobar

Winter 2021, Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter by Charlton D. McIlwain.

Winter 2021Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change by Victor Papanek

Fall 2020, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need by Sasha Costanza-Chock

Summer 2020, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin

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