The School of Journalism and Communication welcomes Dr. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun on September 16 at 6:30 pm to deliver the 12th Annual Attallah  Lecture. Chun is Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University.  

The Attallah Lecture is named in honour of Dr. Paul Attallah (1954-2009) who was one of Canada’s leading scholars of mass communication. It is the marquee annual event of the Communication and Media Studies program. Attallah was an expert in television studies with a particular interest in the relationship between broadcasters, publics, and audiences. He was an associate professor at Carleton University, where he also served for many years as associate director in the School of Journalism and Communication.   

Wendy Chun is a leading international expert in studies of digital media, algorithmic control, and the politics of mis/disinformation. In her lecture, she will explore how polarization is a goal—not an error—within current practices of predictive data analysis and machine learning, showing how these methods encode segregation, eugenics, and identity politics through their default assumptions and conditions. Chun will discuss the concept of correlation, which grounds big data’s predictive potential and stems from twentieth-century eugenic attempts to “breed” a better future. Her lecture will also examine how recommender systems foster angry clusters of sameness through homophily, highlighting ways in which users are “trained” to become authentically predictable through a political technology of recognition. It is these predictive programs, she argues, that seek to shape the future by making disruption impossible. 

The 2021 Attallah Lecture is free and open to the public, however advanced registration is required. Please visit the  Events Page  on our website to RSVP to the event. A ZOOM link will be provided upon registration.  


Monday, September 13, 2021 in
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