Safiya Umoja Noble

Safiya Umoja Noble (@safiyanoble) is an associate professor at UCLA in the Department of Information Studies and African American Studies. She is a partner in Stratelligence, a firm that specializes in research on information and data science challenges, and is a co-founder of the Information Ethics & Equity Institute, which provides training for organizations committed to transforming their information management practices toward more just, and equitable outcomes. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award.

Noble’s academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology design. Her monograph on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines is entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (forthcoming, NYU Press). She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of two books: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online (Peter Lang, Digital Formations, 2016), and Emotions, Technology & Design (Elsevier, 2015). Safiya holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno with an emphasis on African American/Ethnic Studies.

Her research and scholarly interests include:

  • Racial and gender bias in algorithms
  • Technological redlining
  • Artificial intelligence and human rights
  • Socio-cultural, economic and ethical implications of information in society
  • Digital technology and Internet policy development
  • Privacy and racial surveillance
  • Critical information studies
Selected Publications:
  1. Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. New York: New York University Press.
  2. Noble, S. U. (2016). A future for intersectional black feminist technology studies. Scholar & Feminist Online. (13.3-14.1), 1-8.
  3. Noble, S. U., & Roberts, S. T. (2016). Through Google colored glass(es): Emotion, class and wearables as commodity and control. In S. U. Noble & S. Tettegah (Eds.), Emotions, technology and design (pp. 187-212). London: Academic Press.
  4. Noble, S. U. (2014). Teaching Trayvon: Race, media, and the politics of spectacle. The Black Scholar, 44(1), 12-29.
  5. Noble, S. U. (2013). Google search: Hyper-visibility as a means of rendering black women and girls invisible. InVisible Culture, 19.
  6. Noble, S. U. (2012). Missed connections: What search engines say about women. Bitch Magazine, 12(4), 37-41.