Ruha Benjamin

Sociologist

Role: Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University

Location: Princeton, NJ

Pronouns: she/her

Race/Ethnicity:

Education: B.A. Sociology and Anthropology, Spelman College; M.A. and PhD in Sociology, UC Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics and Harvard University’s Science, Technology, and Society Program.

About Ruha's Work: Ruha Benjamin is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine, race and citizenship, knowledge and power. Ruha is also the founding director of the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, and a Faculty Associate in the Center for Information Technology Policy, Program on History of Science, Center for Health and Wellbeing, Program on Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Department of Sociology. She serves on the Executive Committees for the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and Center for Digital Humanities.

Watch & Discuss

Ruha Benjamin, associate professor of African American studies at Princeton University, discusses her book “Race After Technology,” which explains the biases and social context in how technology is developed, and offers tools for analysis and change.

  • What are some of the ways that bias might get infused into technology and how can they be counteracted?

  • Ruha’s work takes a critical look at how technology can be used as a tool to both widen oppression as well as alleviate historic barriers. What are some ways that technology is being used to alleviate historic barriers?


Extension Activities

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. Here are some links to explore for continued analysis.