This workshop will perceive automation as a “socio-technical system” in the effort to understand how technology not only shapes society but is in turn molded by the prevailing structures of economic and political power (Jasanoff 2004; Marcuse 1941; Nobel 1979). Through a historical review of the dialectical relations that operate between technological innovations and social change, we will conceptualize worker-centered technologies that aspire to a socially sustainable model of development.

Date: May 11, 2018
Venue: Room 5504, Lift 25/26, Academic Building, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


CRF Project “Making Modernity in East Asia: Technologies of Everyday Life, 19th – 21st Centuries” (RGC CRF The University of Hong Kong C7011-16G), Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


9:10 am – 9:30 am Welcoming Remarks
Naubahar Sharif (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and V. V. Krishna (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
9:45 am – 1:00 pm Panel 1: Industrial Automation and Technological Modernity
Chair: Venni Krishna
  Luke Heemsberger (Deakin University), Angela Daly (Queensland University of Technology), and Jiajie Lu (Queensland University of Technology)
Manufacturing 3D Printed Futures: Comparative Backcasting of the Political Economies of Additive Manufacturing in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Singapore.

  Naubahar Sharif and Huang Yu (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Replacing Humans with Robots: Technological Change, Value Chain Upgrading, and Workers’ Reaction in Dongguan, China

  Boy Lüthje (Sun Yat-sen University)
Platform Capitalism “Made in China”? Intelligent Manufacturing and the Restructuring of Work

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Panel 2: Smart Economy and Social Technology
Chair: Naubahar Sharif
  Gayathri Haridas and Thijs Willems (Singapore University of Technology and Design)
The Future of Manufacturing Work in Smart Singapore: Imaginations, Realities, and (Dis)continuous Inequalities

  Saori Shibata (Leiden University)
Autonomy or Fictitious Freedom: Strategies of Hegemony in Japan’s Gig Economy

4:45 pm – 6:15 pm Planning for the special issue

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