School of History and Philosophy of Science
[The University of Sydney]

Fairchildren and factory girls: gender, family, and space in the Singapore 
electronics industry
Professor Hallam Stevens (JCU)

Dates: Monday, 1/5/2023
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: F23, Michael Spence Building, Level 5, Room 501
How to register: Free, no registration required
Zoom Link:<>

Abstract: We are now in the midst of what has been called a global "chip war" 
with China, the United States, and Taiwan considered to be the major players. 
This situation is the result of the globalization within the semiconductor 
industry that began in the 1960s. Southeast Asia was a major site for such 
outsourcing by US firms such as Fairchild Semiconductor, Hewlett Packard, and 
General Electric. This paper examines some of the local effects of the 
electronics and semiconductor industries in Singapore. In particular, it 
examines the effects of these industries on gender norms and family life in the 
newly independent city state. By examining the forms of labour and patterns of 
development associated with early semiconductor outsourcing, the paper aims to 
shed light on the long-term cultural and geopolitical effects of globalization 
within the chip industry.

Bio: I am an historian of science and technology specializing in the history of 
the life sciences and the history of information technology. My first book, 
Life out of sequence: a data driven history of bioinformatics (Chicago, 2013), 
examined the transformational role of computers and databases in recent 
biology. I am also the author of Biotechnology and society: an introduction 
(Chicago, 2016) and the co-editor (with Sarah Richardson) of Postgenomics: 
Perspectives on Biology After the Genome (Duke, 2015).

My work crosses between history and anthropology and more recently I have 
written about the political and social impacts of artificial intelligence, big 
data, and surveillance technologies, particularly in an Asian context. I am 
currently completing a book about the rise of the life sciences in China.

Link to Zoom<>


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