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The University of Texas at Austin

Gender, Race and Technology

The University of Texas at Austin via Kadenze


What are the issues affecting women and minorities in the creative and technological fields? What are some of the ways to solve them? Why is diversity important? These are some of the questions we will address in this class. The format of our sessions will vary between presentations by the instructor and interviews with guests. We will be looking at case studies, examining our own attitudes and biases, and coming up with solutions. We will have nationally and internationally renowned guests from various fields at the intersection of art and technology. This is a great opportunity to find out more about fields within and beyond your interests and to study the current practices employed by leaders from various creative and technological fields.


  • Interviews: Addressing Discrimination
    • This session will feature interviews with renowned Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal who tackles socio-political issues through high profile, technologically-driven art projects that employ robotics, the internet, and photographic mobile mapping; Jennifer Bullard, a 19-year video game industry veteran, who has worked on titles large and small such as classic favorites Heroes of Might & Magic III - IV and expanding the Sims II franchise; and Dr. Kristin McGarity, the founding director of the Music Technology program at Montana State University who built a new major for aspiring composers and sound engineers.
  • Interviews: Employing Diversity
    • This session includes interviews with with Doreen Lorenzo, Director of the Center for Integrated Design at UT Austin and a successful leader of global creative firms; Preston L. James, CEO of, focused on helping innovative entrepreneurs “change the world” by working with them in an advisory, partner, consultant, mentor and/or investor capacity; Curran Nault, Joint Lecturer at University of Texas at Austin, and Founder and Artistic Director of the OUTsider festival, which unites queer artists, audiences and scholars from around the globe to exchange ideas, ignite conversations, and transcend boundaries; and Dr. Mary Fernández, President of MentorNet, a social network for mentoring STEM students.
  • Introduction: The Changing Face of America
    • We will begin by looking at the current and projected demographic changes in the United States. Then, our focus will shift toward biases and stereotypes, why we have them, the effect they have on us and on what we consume though media and portable devices. We will look at various studies examining our racial attitudes and gender stereotypes and ways they could be challenged.
  • Media and Race Stereotypes
    • We will continue to challenge deeply held stereotypes and the effect they have on personnel decisions and work culture. We will look further into gaming and other tech industries, examine the mechanisms behind race and gender gap in tech. At the end, we’ll get a broader view of protected classes and tackle the issue of perceived reverse discrimination.
  • Austin's Tech Sectors and Diversity
    • Is a diverse workforce good for the economy in general and for tech industry specifically? We will examine some case studies and list some strategies for moving forward.


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  • Nathaly Toledo
    I cannot describe how helpful this course was to my career. I am glad they explore many points of view, making us realize when the main problem relayed and its most important factor. As an entrepreneur, woman, young student and Latin American citizen, I have more tools to defend myself from biases and to defend others who might be facing them. This course let me notice something I was not expecting, the fact most people discriminate in a negative way and the importance of identifying when we have those thoughts. Excellent!

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