New York Times Columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom to Speak on Race, Technology and Higher Education at UMass Amherst on March 29 | UMass Amherst


Tressie McMillan Cottom

2020 MacArthur Fellow and New York Times columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom will give a talk on race, technology and higher education on Wednesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. in the UMass Amherst Student Union Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.

Cottom is associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and senior faculty researcher in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life. She is known as a trenchant cultural critic, celebrated sociologist and award-winning writer whose work has earned national and international recognition for the urgency and depth of its incisive critical analysis of technology, higher education, class, race and gender. Her most recent accolades include being named the 2023 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize by Brandeis University for her “critical perspective and analysis of some of the greatest social challenges we face today.”

Cottom has published on a wide array of topics, including the prestige economy, the education “gospel,” tensions concerning racial identity in higher education, and digital sociology. Her 2019 collection, “THICK: And Other Essays,” was a National Book Award finalist.


Dominique Baker

Dominique Baker

In her UMass Amherst appearance, Cottom will examine the intersection of race, technology and higher education in conversation with Dominique Baker, an associate professor of education policy in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University.

Baker’s research has been published in a variety of journals and she has testified on race, racism and student loans before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Policy. Her work and expertise have been highlighted by numerous publications, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

This event is co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst College of Education, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Isenberg School of Management and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Registration for this free event is encouraged, but not required, and can be found at

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