“Racial discourse has always been polyvalently mobile and capable of thriving in the face of uncertainty. Race as biology and race as culture are similarly mobile and flexible technologies. Focusing on race as a technology, as mediation, thus allows us to see the continuing function of race, regardless of its ‘essence.’ It also highlights the fact that race has never been simply biological or cultural, but rather a means by which both are established and negotiated.”
— Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, “Race and/as Technology or How to Do Things to Race” (2009)
As Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argued in 2009, we can more productively engage with the idea of race by approaching it not only as an object, out there to be examined by our cultural or scientific lenses, but as a technology, a technique, a doing instead of a being. So in what ways do our technological devices, ideas, platforms, and leisurely pursuits bring this doing into focus? How can we recognize the ways race gets done by the technologies around us? And how do we choose the ways we engage with, confront, or consume these technologies of race in our everyday lives?
Questions of race surround us all, as racial questions were revealed, emphasized, or raised anew amidst the global pandemic. As such, this symposium asks us to reflect on the ways technologies can affect the ways we see, understand, and perpetuate differences in the world consciously or unconsciously.
While this year’s symposium will be different from previous iterations due to the public health concerns associated with COVID-19, we are still looking forward to some important and thought-provoking discussions in and around the way technologies and identities intersect and shape each other, from talks by our distinguished keynote speakers, to workshops with CRDM graduate students and a LEGO-side chat with our program director and an alumnus, we hope you will join us this year for a sensational digital event.