Kuzuoğlu to study cybernetic theories in China and Taiwan

Uluğ Kuzuoğlu

Uluğ Kuzuoğlu, assistant professor of history, has received the Center for Chinese Studies Research Grant for Foreign Scholars to conduct research in Taiwan for three months in the summer of 2023. Kuzuoğlu will work on research related to his current book project Cybernetic Craftsmen: Computational Politics in the Age of Chinese Reform.

During the turbulent 1970s and 1980s, mainland China transitioned from socialism to capitalism and Taiwan moved from authoritarianism to liberalism. This period was also marked by a major change in computing technology as cybernetic systems were translated into the Chinese language for the first time. Kuzuoğlu will research the translation and implementation of cybernetic theories in China and Taiwan during this transition.

“I aim to understand how and why cybernetics as a universalist method of explaining human-machine relations became a powerful theory to give order to Chinese societies in the 1970s and 1980s,” Kuzuoğlu said. “By understanding the translation process of cybernetics into Chinese, I seek to demonstrate the ideological and social significance of computerization from a global perspective.”