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LiterASIAN 2020 - Race, Writing, and Virtual Worlds

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Race, Writing, and Virtual Worlds: how can we counter anti-Asian racism in a virtual world?

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Race, Writing, and Virtual Worlds: how can we counter anti-Asian racism in a virtual world

In a world edging ever closer to singularity, technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, cloud computing, and machine learning often overshadow inherent prejudices of these human creations at the risk of extending imperial tendencies. Two Asian Canadian scholars whose work focuses on literature, gender, and technology will share their latest research on the "virtual Asianness," techno-orientalism, and the racial otherness as a byproduct of the gaming industry. Join us for this engaging discussion in a virtual environment on the topic of race, technology and virtuality -- and on what it means to write on these themes.

Kawika Guillermo / Chris Patterson, Assistant Professor in the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia, and author of All Flowers Bloom

Danielle Wong, Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia

Kawika Guillermo is the author of Stamped: an anti-travel novel, All Flowers Bloom, and many short stories. He has lived in Portland, Las Vegas, Seattle, Gimhae South Korea, Nanjing China, Hong Kong, and currently resides in Vancouver, Canada. Kawika Guillermo is the pseudonym for Christopher B. Patterson, who is an Assistant Professor in the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia. Chris’ research focuses on transpacific discourses of literature, games, and films through the lens of empire studies, queer theory and creative writing. His first academic book, Transitive Cultures: Anglophone Literature of the Transpacific (Rutgers University Press, 2018), examines Southeast Asian diasporic novels focusing on queer migrants, those who resist ethnic stereotypes, and those who feel few ties to their ostensible homelands. His second academic book, Open World Empire: Race, Erotics, and the Global Rise of Video Games (New York University Press, 2020), sees video games as an artistic expression of global empire by playing them erotically and as Asiatic commodities.

Danielle Wong is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining UBC’s English Department, she was a postdoctoral associate in the Asian American Studies Program at Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests focus on historical and contemporary relationships between race, Empire, and “new” technologies. Her current book project examines Asian North American new media productions and performances, and traces a genealogy of “virtual Asianness” by analyzing how Asian North American racialization has, and continues to be, interwoven with shifting concepts of mediation and virtuality. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Asian Canadian and Migration Studies Program at UBC.

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