Race as Technology
Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies

Duke University Press
Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 177 - 207

Race as Technology

Is it possible to think of race as a disinterested object of our delight, as opposed to one that is overinscribed? Can race survive as something other than the remnant of a traumatic history? In this essay, I ask the reader to consider race as technology. This proposition moves race away from the biological and genetic systems that have historically dominated its definition toward questions of technological agency. In this formulation, race exists as if it were on par with a hammer or a mechanical instrument: denatured from its historical roots, race can then be freely engaged as a productive tool.