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Indiana University

Programs & Events

Illinois/Indiana Programs

IL/IN Summer Seminar
Interpreting Technology and Race in East Asia
May 14-15, 2009

Sponsored by the Illinois/Indiana East Asia National Resource Center Consortium, the annual IL/IN Summer Seminar is designed to give graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the Midwest the opportunity to study intensively with some of IL/IN's leading scholars and to create continuing networks for collaboration and exchange.

Seminar Description
Historically, technology has had a national character, but with the growth of international and transnational exchanges, technological interactions have multiplied greatly in the recent past. This seminar will examine the ways technology, in its multiple manifestations, influences and is influenced by cultural identity and social interactions in East Asia. As studies of race and its technological inflections further our collective knowledge and understanding of the human condition, the seminar will use the lens of race to explore historical, contemporary, and emerging interpretations of the connections between technology and human existence.

The seminar will begin by examining the multiple articulations of techno-orientalism as a way to think through the rise of Asian technological innovation and Information Capitalism. Beginning with the Morley and Robins text Spaces of Identity, we will critically examine techno-orientalism and delve into the evolving relational tensions between representations of “Orient” and “Occident.” While studying race and technology in East Asia, it is critical to be mindful of the reductionist racial and technological generalizations that get woven into representative narratives, so this will be our next topic. The overall goal of the seminar is to establish an expansive enterprise, to add to already existing critical tools of technology studies those of racial, ethnic, global, and transnational studies, to produce more broadly textured analyses of the relationships between technology, society, and culture in East Asia.

Rayvon Fouché, Associate Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
David Hakken, Professor of Informatics, Indiana University
Lisa Nakamura, Professor, Asian American Studies and Institute of Communication Research and Media Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Format & Texts
The seminar will run from the morning of Thursday, May 14th to the afternoon of Friday, May 15th and will include lectures, a roundtable, and discussion. Participants will receive reading materials and a syllabus six weeks in advance.

The seminar is open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students (current juniors and seniors) at colleges and universities in the Midwest.