Powering Up / Powering Down 1/30/04-2/1/04
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Anna Everett

“Serious Play: Playing with Race and Gender in Computer Games” (paper)

This talk considers how problematic race and gender discourses from traditional media are increasingly being adapted for and incorporated into computer gaming culture. Among the concerns discussed in this presentation are the necessity to interrogate the marriage of gaming's new art aesthetics to historical practices of high-tech blackface and neo-orientalist logics, the construction of gaming's privileged white male subjects, and girl-geeks in gaming. Images and iconographies of selected computer games that feature gendered and racialized game avatars will be displayed and analyzed in a powerpoint component of the talk.


Anna Everett is an Associate Professor of Film and TV history and theory, and New Media Studies, and the director of the Center for Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has published numerous books and articles, including Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949; The Revolution will be Digitized: Afrocentricity and the Digital Public Sphere, and New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality (co-edited with John Caldwell), “The Other Pleasures: The Narrative Function of Race in the Cinema,” “Lester Walton's Ecriture Noir: Transcoding Cinematic Excess,” and “PC Youth Violence: What's the Internet or Video Gaming Got to do With It?” Dr. Everett has just completed her manuscript: Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace. Dr. Everett is the founding and current editor of Screening Noir, an online and print newsletter of African diasporic film, video, and digital culture. She is very active in the Society for Cinema Studies and Media Studies (SCMS), serving on the editorial of the SCMS Cinema Journal, and as a member of the SCMS Black Caucus, and member of the Information Technology Committee. Additionally, Dr. Everett has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences and organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, Society for Cinema Studies, Screen Conference in the UK, Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, Denver University Law School, and the V-2 New Media Lab in Rotterdam, Holland, Aarhus, Denmark, and Bristol, England. Most recently, Dr. Everett co-organized the 2001 “Race in Digital Space” conference with colleagues at MIT, USC and NYU, and “Race in Digital Space” conference 2.0 at USC.

“Powering Up/Powering Down” is sponsored in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), and the UC San Diego Department of Music in connection with the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Literature at UCSD along with the UC Riverside and Los Angeles campuses.