Color Monitors: The Black Face of Technology in America / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.47
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (31) from $2.47   
  • New (10) from $5.10   
  • Used (21) from $2.47   

Overview

Color Monitors looks at a particular subset of imagined computer use, focusing on scenarios that demand from the person at the keyboard an intimate technical knowledge. My research has uncovered a peculiar pattern: race comes into sharp relief when computer use is depicted as difficult labor requiring special expertise. Time and again, in such scenarios, the helpful person of color is there to take the call-to provide technical support, to deal with the machines. In interpreting such images, Color Monitors analyzes the computer-fearing strain in American whiteness, an aspect of white identity that defines itself against information technology and the racial other imagined to love it and excel at it.-Martin Kevorkian

Following up on Ralph Ellison's intimation that blacks serve as "the machines inside the machine," Color Monitors examines the designation of black bodies as natural machines for the information age. Martin Kevorkian shows how African Americans are consistently depicted as highly skilled, intelligent, and technologically savvy as they work to solve complex computer problems in popular movies, corporate advertising, and contemporary fiction. But is this progress? Or do such seemingly positive depictions have more disturbing implications? Kevorkian provocatively asserts that whites' historical "fear of a black planet" has in the age of microprocessing converged with a new fear of computers and the possibility that digital imperatives will engulf human creativity.

Analyzing escapist fantasies from Mission: Impossible to Minority Report, Kevorkian argues that the placement of a black man in front of a computer screen doubly reassures audiences: he is nonthreatening, safely occupied-even imprisoned-by the very machine he attempts to control, an occupation that simultaneously frees the action heroes from any electronic headaches. The study concludes with some alternatives to this scheme, looking to a network of recent authors, with shared affinities for Ellison and Pynchon, willing to think inside the black box of technology.

Connecting race, technology, and American empire, Color Monitors will attract attention from scholars working in emerging areas of race theory, African American studies, film studies, cultural studies, and technology and communication studies.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Martin Kevorkian argues, with wit and variety, that technology has become a preferred cultural tactic for containing blackness. Kevorkian's insight that the same dynamic that made slavery foundational to the American national project is also at work now in the technological formations of empire is astonishing."—Joseph Tabbi, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Color Monitors provides a much-needed survey of racialized representations vis-à-vis technology in contemporary mainstream American culture. Martin Kevorkian navigates among film, advertisements, and narrative fiction in a writing style that is eminently readable without eschewing complexity."—Alexander Weheliye, Northwestern University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801472787
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Computers with color monitors 11
2 Lost worlds 35
3 Integrated circuits 74
4 Techno-black like me 115
5 Thinking inside the black box 140
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)