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Technological Inhumanities and Imaginaries

Curated by Jennifer Pranolo. Presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.


Asians and Asian-ness have long circulated in literature, cinema, and pop culture as figures of science fiction threat and fantasy—what Michelle N. Huang has identified as the “inhuman figures” of robots, clones, and aliens. Beyond these techno-orientalist stereotypes and tropes, however, lies the shadow of social and economic forces that have materialized the injustice of such racialized logics, as well as artistic investigations that play with critical transformations of its coded imaginary.  

This panel will put into conversation three scholars—Huan He, Whit Pow, and Jennifer Pranolo—whose research and teaching on the history, practice, and aesthetics of computational media extends the critique of representation that would spectacularly equate Asians/Asian-ness with a technological inhumanity. In distinct but reciprocal ways, their work complicates the blank interfaces of technology while asking how those technologies have been used to mediate modes and strategies of escape—through alternate narratives, archives, and forms—from seemingly inescapable regimes of representation. 


NYU campus access guidelines: This is an in-person event, open to the public. Registration is required. Non-NYU guests may be asked to present a government-issued photo ID. NYU guests must present their NYU ID.

Accessibility note: This venue has an elevator and is accessible for wheelchair users. There are single-stall, all gender restrooms available. If you have any access needs, please email apa.rsvp@nyu.edu.

Huan He is an assistant professor of English at Vanderbilt University and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan. His research engages Asian/American literature and culture, digital studies, and critical game studies. His book project, The Racial Interface, examines digital capitalism through Asian American literature, art, and media. His research appears in Configurations, College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies, Media-N, Just Tech, and a new anthology on Asian American game studies. He is also an author of a forthcoming co-written monograph titled Technoskepticism: Between Possibility and Refusal. His poetry has been published in Poetry, Sewanee Review, A Public Space, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

Whit Pow is an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Their book project, People Orientations: Toward a Transgender Video Game and Software History, looks at the intersection of trans medical history, surveillance, and policy with computer and video game history. Their work has been published in and is forthcoming from Camera Obscura, Feminist Media Histories, ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories, the art magazine Outland, and on the Social Science Research Council’s Just Tech platform, among others. Pow is a recipient of the NYU Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship.

Jennifer Pranolo is an interdisciplinary media scholar based in New York. She is an assistant professor in Film and Screen Studies at Pace University, an A/P/A Institute at NYU Visiting Scholar, a visiting critic at the Yale School of Art, and serves on the editorial board of RESOLUTION, a magazine on the impact of digital images. Her current research explores the history and aesthetics of simulation alongside the emergence of the figure of the user in contemporary art and computational culture. Her writings on film, photography, and new media have appeared in Screen, Film Quarterly, the edited volume Screen Space Reconfigured, and elsewhere.

Image: Emissaries, MoMA PS1, 2017. Photos by Studio LHOOQ, Pablo Enriquez, Ian Cheng.

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: 20 Cooper Square, 3rd floor
Add to Calendar 04/10/2024 06:00 PM 04/10/2024 08:00 PM America/New_York Technological Inhumanities and Imaginaries More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/technological-inhumanities-and-imaginaries/