International Language Education Events & Activities

Seminar
DingTalk and Digital Workplace Surveillance in Times of COVID-19

Abstract The lockdown imposed across China as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the notion of the workplace as workers are forced to stay at home and complete their tasks remotely. Tech work, seems especially suited during this disruptive transition as much of existing labor practices are already digitally-mediated via software and platforms. Drawing from an autoethnographic and ethnographic account of my own experiences working in the tech industry in China during COVID-19, this project examines the imbrication of software and productivity tools into one’s working routines that coincided with the increasing use of digital surveillance as part of China’s COVID-19 lockdown. Specifically I am looking at the popular productivity software DingTalk that tech workers must interface in their everyday working lives. DingTalk, a product of the Chinese tech titan Alibaba, uses a mix of geolocation and time-stamping to track when and where workers should be working despite being relegated to telecommuting from home. This digitally-mediated workplace conforms to what Mark Andrejevic considers as the notion of the “digital enclosure” where all interactions with software become incorporated as forms of labor that can be monitored and commodified. In doing so I want to dissect the various institutional and infrastructural limits imposed on productive tech labor via digital software that opens for new ways of thinking about worker agency and means of resistance. I argue that while software-mediated workplaces imposed new risks and precarity in regard to surveillance and exploitation, there are also distinct strategies and tactics employed by workers to circumvent and undermine such intrusive modes of digital oppression. Bio Yizhou (Joe) Xu is a PhD candidate in Media & Cultural Studies at UW–Madison's Department of Communication Arts. His research interest deals with the mobile tech industry in China, particularly at the intersections of platforms, labor, and state policy. Prior to the UW–Madison, he was a documentarian and broadcast journalist based in Beijing working for news agencies including CBS News, NPR, and Swiss TV. He has published in journals such as Social Media + Society, Journal of Cultural Economy, and Communication and the Public.

Speaker(s)
Yizhou (Joe) XU
PhD Candidate, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Date
October 19, 2021 (Tuesday)
Time
12:00 noon - 1:15 pm
Venue
Online Via Zoom
Language
English

Music Performance
HKUST Musical! 2021 - Wonderful Town (Friday- Saturday 17-18 Sep 2021)

Featuring HKUST students, staff, and alumni Presented by the School of Humanities and Social Science, the HKUST Musical! is one of the most important events for passionate music and drama lovers in the HKUST community. Every year HKUST produces one Broadway musical through the concerted effort of HKUST students, staff and alumni, strengthening the bonds between members of the HKUST Community through the transformative power of the creative arts. Date and time: 17.09.2021 (Fri) – 8 PM 18.09.2021 (Sat) – 2PM & 8PM Venue: The Box, Freespace, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District Language: English with Chinese subtitles Tickets: $250 / 200*^ Online Booking: www.westkowloon.hk Telephone Booking: +852 2200 0022 For details: https://musical.hkust.edu.hk/ *Tickets available from 21 August 2021 via online and telephone booking as well as at the Xiqu Centre and Freespace Ticket Office, also available from 22 August 2021 at selected Tom Lee Outlets (Shatin and Yuen Long) & The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. There are no handling fees for all the said ticketing channels.  ^ Half-price tickets available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and a minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. 50% OFF - limited time only!   Get 50% off on tickets by using promo code “MUSICAL50”, offer ends on 6 Sep 2021. About “Wonderful Town” Produced by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology   Book by Joseph Fields, Jerome Chodorov Based on "My Sister Eileen" by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov and the stories by Ruth McKenny  Music by Leonard Bernstein   Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green     Artistic Team: Director / Choreographer: Mandy Petty Music Director: Isaac Droscha Ruth Sherwood: Samantha Lam, Victoria Deng, Anjali Kanthan Eileen Sherwood: Belinda Carverhill, Grace Luk, Chui Maan Wang, Eva Bob Baker: Ian Chong, Aragorn de la Cruz Wreck: Lorenzo Wan, Alvin Chow Synopsis  Winner of numerous Tony Awards and featuring thrilling musical numbers by composer Leonard Bernstein (Westside Story), this is the New York musical. In the summer of 1935, two sisters from rural America head to the big apple to take a shot at their dreams. Ruth, a talented writer, and Eileen, an actress, quickly find out that life in the big city isn’t what they imagined. No money, a suspicious looking basement apartment in Greenwich Village, and taking whatever jobs they must to make ends meet, they chase their dreams, meet strange and interesting neighbors, and eventually fall in love. Enquiries: Ms Angi Law: hkustsm@ust.hk / 34692204

Date
September 17, 2021 (Friday) - September 18, 2021 (Saturday)
Time
2PM & 8PM
Venue
The Box, Freespace, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Organizer
the School of Humanities and Social Science, the HKUST

MPhil Thesis Presentation
Gathering "Manna" for Exodus: The War Production Board and State-Building Endeavor of the Nationalist Government, 1944-1945 (Tuesday 17 Aug 2021)

Abstract: This thesis revisits the intersection between war and the Nationalist government’s state-building efforts in the mid-1940s through the War Production Board (WPB). As a trans-war agency, the War Production Board was established in November 1944 following the arrival of the American Production Mission. Its termination was officially announced by the Nationalist government in November 1945 after the Second World War. Despite its original preoccupation, the War Production Board gradually deviated its focus from increasing wartime production and ended up serving as a channel for the Nationalists to strive for more wartime resources and continuous postwar support from the Allies. This indicates the intricate overlapping and a sense of continuity between the regime’s wartime struggles for survival and postwar rehabilitation scheme. By demonstrating new aspects of the War Production Board, the study argues that the Nationalists’ attempted quick-fix to strengthen state capacity through expanding bureaucratic control and leveraging foreign aid compromised its legitimacy both in the eyes of local societies and international contemporaries as an emerging postwar political entity in the chaotic aftermath of the war.

Speaker(s)
Ms. Yuying SHEN
Date
August 17, 2021 (Tuesday)
Time
10:00am
Venue
The presentation will be conducted via ZOOM
Language
English
Remarks
(Meeting ID: 913 7782 6369 ; Passcode: 032854 )