Review for Week 5

“Race and/as Technology or How to do Things With Race”, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, from the book Race After the Internet edited by Lisa Nakamura and Peter Chow-White

Race as technology? I have never thought of that. According to this article, “race as technology” now focuses how of race, not what of race, and doing race, not knowing race.

“Most importantly, understanding race and/as technology enables us to frame the discussion around ethics rather than ontology, on modes of recognition and relation, rather than being” (39).

“In the United States, racist theories maintained the contradiction at the heart of the nation’s founding, that of all men being created equal and black slaves counting as three-fifths human” (40).
=> People are opportunists.

Henry Louis Gates Jr argues that using language more carefully can fix racism problem. The author insists, “the best way to combat racism is to offer more realistic portrayals of ‘raced others’ and to produce media critiques that expose the fallacies of racial thinking” (42).
I really agree with this idea although I’m not sure if it’s the best way. I also want to produce this kind of media critiques.

“if online communications threaten to submerge users in representation – if they threaten to turn users into media spectacles – high-tech Orientalism allows people to turn a blind eye to their own vulnerability and to enjoy themselves while doing so, to enjoy one’s emasculation” (51).

“the best way to fight racism might not be to deny the existence of race, but to make race do different things” (57). Although I agree with this idea that denying the existence of race is not the solution of racism, I find this author’s suggestion is a bit too vague. Also, although the author insists, “In order to reformulate race, we need also to reframe nature and culture, privacy and publicity, self and collective, media and society,” I wonder how we need to “reframe” and if we really need to ”frame” everything (57).



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