Model Machines

A History of the Asian as Automaton

Long T. Bui
Book Cover

PB: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2234-7
Publication: Jun 22

HC: $110.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-2233-0
Publication: Jun 22

Ebook: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2235-4
Publication: Jun 22

305 pages
6 x 9
1 figs., 6 halftones

A study of the stereotype and representation of Asians as robotic machines through history

Description

In the contemporary Western imagination, Asian people are frequently described as automatons, which disavows their humanity. In Model Machines, Long Bui investigates what he calls Asian roboticism or the ways Asians embody the machine and are given robotic characteristics.

Bui offers the first historical overview of the overlapping racialization of Asians and Asian Americans through their conflation with the robot-machine nexus. He puts forth the concept of the “model machine myth,” which holds specific queries about personhood, citizenship, labor, and rights in the transnational making of Asian/America.

The case studies in Model Machines chart the representation of Chinese laborers, Japanese soldiers, Asian sex workers, and other examples to show how Asians are reimagined to be model machines as a product of globalization, racism, and colonialism. Moreover, it offers examples of how artists and everyday people resisted that stereotype to consider different ways of being human. Starting from the early nineteenth century, the book ends in the present with the new millennium, where the resurgence of China presages the “rise of the machines” and all the doomsday scenarios this might spell for global humanity at large.

About the Author(s)

Long T. Bui is an Associate Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine and the author of Returns of War: South Vietnam and the Price of Refugee Memory.


Subjects

In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.