Data Justice 2018: Call for Papers

An international conference exploring research on, and practices of, social justice in an age of datafication.

Date: 21-22 May 2018
Location: Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
Host: Data Justice Lab, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

The collection and processing of massive amounts of data has become an increasingly contentious issue. Our financial transactions, communications, movements, relationships, all now generate data that are used to profile and sort groups and individuals. With the platformisation of digital media alongside governmental and corporate uses of citizen data, developments in AI, the Internet of Things, smart homes and smart cities, the systematic collection and analysis of massive data sets across our social life is being normalised and entrenched – what has been described as the ‘datafication’ of society.

With the emergence of this data paradigm comes a new set of power dynamics requiring investigation and critique. Whilst promises of value-neutral information and possibilities for prediction are said to advance better responses to a range of social problems, they may also have serious implications for social and economic inclusion, autonomy, basic freedoms, and established notions of ethics, trust, accountability, governance and citizenship.

What are the implications for social justice? How do we understand social justice in an age of datafication? In what way do initiatives around the globe address questions of data in relation to inequality, discrimination, power and control? What is the role of policy reform, technological design and activism? How do we understand and practice ‘data justice’? How does data justice relate to other justice concerns?

This conference will examine the intricate relationship between datafication and social justice by highlighting the politics and impacts of data-driven processes and exploring different responses. Hosted by the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC), it will bring together international scholars, practitioners, and activists to engage with data from a social justice perspective. Confirmed speakers include:

Anita Gurumurthy (IT for Change, India)
David Lyon (Queen’s University, Canada)
Evelyn Ruppert (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
Rob Kitchin (Maynooth University, Ireland)
Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT Center for Civic Media, US)
Seeta Peña Gangadharan (London School of Economics, UK)
Solon Barocas (Cornell University, US and FAT/ML)

The conference will combine academic papers with hands-on workshops relating to methods of investigation, policy and design. We welcome submissions of abstracts for both types of sessions.

Themes of the conference include (but are not limited to):

  • Social justice and data
  • Data governance
  • Data discrimination
  • Data colonialism
  • Data sovereignty
  • Digital labour
  • Prediction and Preemption
  • Data scores and dashboards
  • Data ethics
  • Data policy and reform
  • Social justice-informed design
  • Uses of data by social justice groups
  • Data activism and advocacy

Submission of abstracts for this conference is now closed.


Cardiff is a 2-hour train journey West of London and Heathrow airport. The closest airports are Cardiff and Bristol.

‘Data Justice’ will take place shortly before the ICA 2018 conference in Prague, 24-28 May. Flights to Prague take 2 hours from Heathrow.

Conference fee:
Full fee: £75 (early bird, 31st of January, 2018) / £100 (full rate)
Reduced student fee: £50 (early bird, 31st of January, 2018) / £75 (full rate)


All participants must register by 28th of February, 2018

Conference organizing committee: Lina Dencik, Arne Hintz, Joanna Redden (Data Justice Lab, Cardiff University, UK)

For information about the Data Justice Lab, see:

Contact for further information