[iDC] Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

Trebor Scholz trebor at thing.net
Tue Apr 18 09:30:11 EDT 2006

Discussions about race in the university all too often assume inherent
racialized research interests. African American scholars  are frequently
expected to have an Afro-centric subject position,  a set of
fascinations that directly corresponds to Africa. 

In U.S. academia Chinese Americans are all too often thought of as 
experts on Chinese art. How about a Chinese scholar whose intellectual
passion is German folk dance? What about an African American who
finds herself drawn to Japanese music?

At new media events the near absence of minorities is often defended
with a small number of visible minority artist theorists in the field.
Such a lazy attitude that simply refuses to look harder, is inexcusable.
A lack of curatorial effort is many times also reflected in the
under-representation of women in new media conferences and media art
exhibitions. Some slow progress needs to be acknowledged (see below).  

Another often stated argument is that of quality. ³We only care about
quality and competence-- we don¹t concern ourselves with racial
backgrounds.² In a deeply pluralistic cultural context it would be naive
to think that our socialization is devoid of racial, ethnic, or
class-related notions and prejudices.  Equally, we cannot be fully aware
of this conditioning. Notions of quality and accomplishment are not
formed in a social vacuum. None of this is surprising or new. None of
this suggests any moral high ground. However, these questions have to be
posed over and over again.
It¹d be great if people on this list could expand on the following

Nils Zurawski, excerpt from: Virtual Ethnicity. Studies on Identity,
Culture and the Internet.

Where am I and who are 'we'?: Self-representation and the intersection
of gender and ethnicity on the Web by Linda Leung

The writings of Lisa Nakamura including:
Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet 	

Where are the African Women bloggers?

Race in Cyberspace Exhibition

Gender, Race and Ethnicity in Media

Provocative discussion starters:

Black People love us

Racial Profiling on Google

Blackness for Sale on ebay


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