About the Talk
Our data-driven age sees the rise of instruments that extract human emotion and affect for profit and manipulation. The “Like” button and sentiment analysis, albeit with different mechanisms and implementations, are considered such instances. To rethink their implications, Wu advocates for an alternative approach — that is, to examine them as technologies of infrastructure that make public participation appear. In this theoretical lens, how do affective technologies play into broader political struggles? Wu addresses this question with a revisionist history of the ascendance of “positive energy” (zhengnengliang) in China since 2012.
About the Speaker
Angela Xiao Wu is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is writing a book that examines how public culture takes shape when systems thinking informs its conception and governance.
This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at Penn.