Nivetha Karthikeyan

Nivetha Karthikeyan's picture
Graduate School Student
Niv studies the history of computing and its influences on race, migration, and state power in the twentieth century. Her work is centered in the United States and its ties to South Asia and the broader global South through transnational exchanges of knowledge and labor. She is widely interested in the ways that “tech” (as industry, imagination, and social and scientific phenomenon) has constructed and stratified categories of the Human — including how postwar computer scientists drew on older eugenics logics to build (racialized) models of minds and bodies that has since formed the basis of modern-day artificial intelligence. She is currently working on a project on the globalization of clinical trials, beginning in the 1990s, and its resulting postcolonial extractions and migrations of data.
Niv earned a B.S. in Computer Science and History from Caltech in 2020. Her undergraduate thesis traced changing and increasingly racialized categories of “technical skill” in twentieth century US immigration law, and included both Mexican braceros and South Asian tech workers as historical actors. Prior to arriving at Yale, Niv worked in immigrants’ rights at the ACLU and in community memory-work at the South Asian American Digital Archive. Her work as an academic remains rooted in her commitments to community.