I Was Still Black When He Gave Me 200k: Transnational Frictions, Class, and the Tech Entrepreneurial Life
Please join us for a workshop discussion of a chapter from Dr. Seyram Avle’s book manuscript tentatively titled Working Out the Dual Sublime: Tech Entrepreneurship in the Era of Global Precarity. Drawing on a decade of research with Ghanaian tech entrepreneurs and their collaborators across Africa, China, Europe, and Silicon Valley, the book unpacks how the unending belief in entrepreneurialism and digital technologies as emancipatory tools of contemporary life sustain multiple labors, future imaginaries, opportunities, and paradoxes of living in uncertain times. The selected chapter focuses on class frictions as tech entrepreneurs try to court global capital and establish national markets. Specifically, through an account of a Ghanaian - British startup that relocates to Ghana, Avle examines the transnational limits of social class in late capitalism and shows how race, geopolitics, and stubborn colonial legacies complicate hopeful solidarities forged around class.
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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.