2014-2015 Weekly Convocations

The weekly convocation series is a shared campus experience that brings students, faculty, and staff together for one hour for a lecture or presentation from specialists in a variety of disciplines.  The goal of the convocation series is to stimulate thought and conversation on a wide range of subjects. Convocations are open to the public and free of charge.

Oct 26

Convocation: Sherry Turkle

Expert on the subjective side of human relationships with technology.

Friday, October 26th, 2012
10:50 – 11:50 am / Skinner Chapel
Sherry Turkle Convocation

Sherry Turkle is a Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Her research and writing focuses on the "subjective side" of people's relationships with technology, especially computers. She is an expert on mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics.  Profiles of Turkle have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine.  She has been named "woman of the year" by Ms. Magazine and among the "forty under forty" who are changing the nation by Esquire Magazine.  She is a featured media commentator on the social and psychological effects of technology for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, the BBC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline, Frontline, 20/20, and The Colbert Report.  In addition to serving as the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, Turkle is also the founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.  She received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.  Turkle uses the metaphor of “necessary conversations” to describe where technology has brought us and to the questions we now must confront, such as:  What does it mean to have a liberal arts education and how much of it can take place online? What is the difference between conversation and connection, and is technology eroding bonds of community? What is democracy without privacy?  What is personhood, and can we have meaningful conversations with machines?  We have a tendency to avoid these questions; we flee from conversation about them, part of a more general flight from conversation. But these conversations need to be embraced and we need a new vocabulary for embracing them.  The title of her presentation is “Necessary Conversations: Technology as an Evocative Object.”

Sponsored by College Relations. Contact: Kerry Raadt, College Relations, x4308