The Forbes Corridor Colloquia brings together faculty and graduate students from across various disciplines at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. 

As we consider the short-term and long-term influences of advancing technology on our local and global communities, the niche expertise of our partnering institutions can offer a robust cross-section of research areas, pedagogical ambitions and local connections to buttress how we consider the shape of influences and advances in next-generation technologies.

The Forbes Corridor Colloquia is hosted by Pitt Cyber, the Institute for Writing Excellence in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, and the Sara Fine Institute in the School of Computing and Information.The Forbes Corridor Colloquia will build bridges across domain areas and institutions, where we can discover our common interests locally, as well as invite key thinkers from outside our community to generate new directions for our shared work. 

How It Works

The Forbes Corridor Colloquia is built to offer meaningful academic and applied exchanges between faculty and researchers at Pitt and CMU. Each institution boasts faculty with disciplinary niches that often complement one another and push the next stages of innovation in local, national, and international contexts. 

With opportunities for faculty to meet in a structured format that facilitate the exchange of ideas on ongoing research and pedagogical design, we can identify key areas for collaboration and exchange to the mutual benefit of all parties. Such prospective partnerships can push the sophistication of next-generation technology and strengthen educational approaches related to technology and data.  In addition, we aim to broaden discussions and the development of guidance for future policy to guide responsible and equitable integration of these systems into local and global citizens’ lives. 

The structure of the Colloquia allows individuals to drop in and drop out of the sessions based on interests in the thematic threads. But the high-level themes also suggest a wide inclusionary effort to bring a myriad of faculty, students, and community stakeholders to this group as we collectively consider the scale and impact of advancing technological systems on our academic work and everyday lives. 

See our past events on the topics of Responsibility and Trust from the Spring 2021 semester. 

Goals for the Colloquia

Our goals for the Forbes Corridor Colloquia include supporting:

  • Innovative presentations from local faculty
  • Interactive talks from guest speakers
  • Attendance and participation from faculty, researchers and graduate students from a range of disciplinary practices
  • Meaningful interaction and discussion in each session
  • Prospective collaborations for ongoing or new projects that include the pursuit of sponsorship through grants or institutional curricular design

Upcoming Events

We will initially meet virtually but move to in-person or hybrid sessions as our current circumstances and institutional postures allow in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

February 17 | 4:30 PM - Infrastructure and Identities: The Many Lives of the SSN

Featuring Sarah Igo, Andrew Jackson Professor of History and Dean of Strategic Initiatives for the School of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University

What can the Social Security number tell us about the ways people have across the last century imagined their affiliation to the U.S. state—as well as to their own “personal” data?  In this talk, Sarah Igo charts Americans’ relationship to their 9-digit identifier in order to explore the technologies of citizenship buried in bureaucratic paperwork.

April 14 | 4:00 PM - Data In/securities: Automating intelligence in the U.S. Department of Defense

Featuring Lucy Suchman, Professor Emerita of the Anthropology of Science and Technology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

The current revival of artificial intelligence (AI) includes an upsurge of investment in automating military intelligence on the part of the US Department of Defense. A series of programs within the various branches of the US military share a technopolitical imaginary of fully integrated, comprehensive and real-time ‘situational awareness’ across US theaters of operation. Much less attention is paid, however, to fundamental questions regarding translations from signals and images to understanding and response. This talk will foreground those questions and through them question the premises of trust in data that underwrite the military imaginary.

We invite participants to bring their own understandings of these concepts to the colloquia. For more information, please email