Hsien-Yao Chee and Leonardo Barbara, undergraduates at Duke Kunshan University, interview Philip Brey, Professor of Philosophy of Technology at the University of Twente, on Artificial Intelligence and Surveillance technologies.
Over the last three decades, China’s rapid urbanization has been facilitated by the unprecedented mobility of rural migrant populations. Today it is estimated that some 240 million migrants have left the countryside to work in China’s cities, though the number is surely much higher. While there are heated debates about how to characterize what some have dubbed “largest human migration in history,” there is general agreement that this mobility has resulted from the increased demand for formal and informal labor in industry, for urban fringe agriculture, and for a range of services (everything from recycling and trash collection, to domestic work for the middle class to road and building construction, hotel work, food delivery services, entertainment and beauty services, sex work, and much more). As scholars on migration have emphasized, this mass human migration has unveiled the fluidity and dynamism of the rural and urban divide, even while the hukou 户口 or “household registration system,” created in the late 1950s, has remained the dominant mode to categorize and count rural and urban populations. Less understood is how rural migration to different kinds of urban spaces has created ambiguous interstitial spaces and networks through which new forms of labor and production of surplus value are emerging. These uneven urban spaces are inextricably linked to transformations in regimes of production and land use, as well as to changes in the organization of kinship and other social relations. Continue reading “Urban Villages in China”
by Sinan Farooqui
Facedown in the sand. The waves crashing relentlessly. The red t-shirt. Small, lifeless. Most of us are familiar with the image of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year old Syrian child whose body washed up in Turkey after the refugee boat he was in capsized. The unforgettable image of Aylan on the beach resulted in a record number of donations to charitable organizations aiding refugees and greater awareness for the crisis at hand. It is this crisis, the notion of death and speculation, and the value of such images which was discussed in the latest in the series of colloquia hosted by the DKU Humanities Research Center. Continue reading “On Speculation: A Seminar with Ranjana Khanna”