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In June 2023, my collaborators at the DISCO Network and I gathered in rural Pennsylvania to write what would become Technoskepticism: Between Possibility and Refusal (forthcoming from Stanford University Press in 2025). This more experimental mode of collaborative writing pushed the boundaries of what scholarship in the humanities can look like. It allowed us to create something together that we never would have on our own. 

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From Munchausen by Tiktok to wellness apps to online communities to AI, the DISCO Network explores the possibilities that technoskepticism can create.

This is a book about possibility and refusal in relation to new technologies. Though refusal is an especially powerful mode—particularly for those who have historically not been given the option to say no—people of color and disabled people have long navigated the space between saying yes and saying no to the newest technologies. Technoskepticism relates some of these stories to reveal the possibilities skepticism can create.

The case for technoskepticism unfolds across three sections: the first focused on disability, the creative use of wellness apps, and the desire for diagnosis; the second on digital nostalgia and home for Black and Asian users who produced communities online before home pages gave way to profiles; and the third focused on the violence inherent in A.I.-generated Black bodies and the possibilities for Black style in the age of A.I. Acknowledging how the urge to refuse new technologies emerges from specific racialized histories, the authors also emphasize how care can look like an exuberant embrace of the new.

About the author

The DISCO Network is an intergenerational collective of researchers, artists, technologists, policymakers, and practitioners working together to challenge digital social and racial inequalities. Participants include David Adelman, André Brock, Aaron Dial, Stephanie Dinkins, Rayvon Fouché, Huan He, Jeff Nagy, Lisa Nakamura, Catherine Knight Steele, Rianna Walcott, Kevin Winstead, Remi Yergeau, and Lida Zeitlin-Wu.

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