Professor Kuzuoğlu works and teaches on modern Chinese and global history. He is particularly interested in the history of non-Western information and communication technologies––from printing devices to artificial intelligence––as they relate to social and political imaginations.
Uluğ Kuzuoğlu’s book, Codes of Modernity: Chinese Scripts in the Global Information Age (under contract with Columbia UP), explores the history of Chinese script reforms––the effort to alphabetize and/or simplify the script–– from the 1890s to the 1980s. In contrast to earlier scholarship that explored the subject as an outcome of Chinese language reforms, Codes of Modernity situates the century of script innovation within an emergent information age, precipitated by the rise of telegraphic networks, printing technologies, and bureaucratic exigencies for information management. Tracing the links between Chinese intellectuals, American behavioral scientists, Soviet psycho-technicians, and Central Asian revolutionaries, his work demonstrates how Chinese scripts crystallized at the ideological and technological crossroads of information politics.
Apart from his humanistic inquiries into information technologies, Kuzuoğlu also uses information technologies to inquire into the humanities. He is especially drawn to the emergent world of virtual and augmented reality. As a proficient user of Unity and C#, he is broadly interested in combining AR/VR with historical knowledge, such as 3D reconstructions, mobile apps, virtual museums, and historical games. He is currently developing a mobile app called “Asia in St. Louis,” which will offer St. Louisans a medium to interact with the Asian and Asian American past of the city, from its unsolved murders to forgotten architectures.
Kuzuoğlu’s publications have appeared in edited volumes and scholarly journals, such as Journal of Asian Studies, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture (MCLC), Twentieth-Century China, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Information & Culture, and Cryptologia. He is currently working on a new project on cybernetic thought and economic reforms in China.