From Publishers Weekly
With chapter subtitles such as "Identity Tourism, Avatars, and Racial Passing in Textual and Graphic Chat Spaces" and "Making Race Happen Online," Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet shows the tenaciousness of race categories in cyberspace, despite the Web's touring as a raceless utopia. Lisa Nakamura, associate professor of English at Sonoma State University, argues that "race, as vexed a term as that has come to be, is an indispensable part of the 'root' that warrants, anchors and conditions the lives of actual users in cyberspace to the world offline," and that only by paying close attention to race's offline vicissitudes will we understand online life.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Defying a generation of scholars who have argued that there's no place for race in cyberspace, Lisa Nakamura sets out to find and analyze the cultural work that race and ethnicity do online. Traveling through a fascinating web of online nodes and offline narratives--advertisements for Microsoft and MCI, MUDs, and commercially-driven Web sites, and cyberpunk films and novels, to name a few--Nakamura deftly and engagingly shows us that race happens, both online and within popular discourses portraying online culture. A tour-de-force that can and should blow the doors of cyberculture studies wide open, Cybertypes is the book we've been waiting for.
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David Silver, University of Washington
Nakamura argues that 'race happens' in cyberspace, and in her book a savvy racial analysis is what's on the menu. With attention to presences, absences, identities, subjectivities, ideologies, and practices in Internet and other cyberspatial zones, Cybertypes shows how 'doing virtuality' is never unmarked. What we get from reading difference with Nakamura is a menu for change, not a recipe for more of the same.
Donna J. Haraway, University of California at Santa Cruz
Cybertypes is a simply fascinating examination of how racial ideas changed in the online environment.
Nakamura strikes a productive balance in tone; her writing is thoughtful yet breezy. It is thorough enough to stand up to the demands of academia, while it resists relying too heavily on the labyrinthine and verbose of critical theory or the obtusely specific jargon of computer technology.
NYFA Quarterly, Spring 2003