ahorbinski: A snakes & ladders board.  (struggle & stagger)
Bibliographic Data: Nakamura, Lisa. Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Main Argument: In this work, Namakura "locate[s] the Internet as a privileged and extremely rich site for the creation and distribution of hegemonic and counter hegemonic visual images of radicalized bodies" (13). Moreover, now that the internet's audiences are much more diverse, "women and people of color are both subjects and objects of interactivity; they participate in digital racial formation via acts of technological appropriation, yet are subjected to it as well" (16). Nakamura argues that this process, and the mediation of these identities, is "regulated and conditioned by the types of interfaces used to classify, frame, and link them" (27); "the premise of this book is that women and racial and ethnic minorities create visual cultures on the popular Internet that speak to and against existing graphical environments and interfaces online" (172).

Historiographical Engagement: Wendy Chun, Alexander Galloway, Henry Jenkins, many others

Visual cultures of the Internet )

Critical assessment: This is another great new media book that I wish hadn't been written ten years or more ago; although it was published in 2006, most of the material is from 2003-05, and it shows, not in that what Nakamura says here is wrong, but in that I really would like to know what she thinks of the developments in race, Web 2.0, interactivity, and all the other subjects she discusses here in the decade since. I've heard her speak, and she's a great scholar as well as a very nice person, and I really just want more of her thoughts than this book, fixed in time and print as it is, can provide.

Further reading: Windtalkers; Gibson, Neuromancer; Blade Runner; Dirty Pretty Things; Galloway, The Exploit; Tina Takemoto; Hayles, How We Became Posthuman

Meta notes: "It's all connected."

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Andrea J. Horbinski

May 2016

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