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CARGC Colloquium: Seyram Avle, “China, Africa, and the Shifting Worlds of Tech Labor”
October 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Situated within Africa-China relations, this talk will present ongoing research on how technology work and labor figure into shifting geo- and techno- politics around Chinese power. Specifically, I will show how select networks of African and Chinese tech workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and students collaborate to intervene in and reshape market and labor practices of Chinese big tech alongside embedded Euro-American techno empires. I will argue that within such pockets of collaboration are emergent practices that challenge dominant discourses on not just what constitutes technological labor and expertise but also what they can accomplish for socio-economic aspirations and south-south solidarity.
Seyram Avle is Assistant Professor of Global Digital Media in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on digital technology cultures and innovation across parts of Africa, China, and the United States. This work primarily takes a critical approach towards understanding how digital technologies are made and used, as well as their implications for issues of labor, identity, and futures. Dr. Avle’s research is interdisciplinary and has been published in venues across Communication Studies, Human-Computer Interaction, and Science & Technology Studies. Her work has received funding from the National Science Foundation and ProQuest, among others.