Darren Byler (Post-doctoral Researcher, Center For Asian Studies, University Of Colorado, Boulder)
Discussants: Jayeeta Sharma, Associate Professor, History and Global Asia Studies, University of Toronto, Scarborough Vincent Wong, William C. Graham Research Associate at the International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
A new system of control, made up of a multi-billion dollar industry of computer-vision technologies, militarized policing, and the mass mobilization of civil servants and private industrialists, is attempting to transform Uyghur and Kazakh native societies in Northwest China. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this talk describes the history which produced these forms of surveillance and demonstrates the quotidian experience of their effects on Turkic Muslim social institutions. It argues that this system of "reeducation" is, in fact, a social engineering system that works in concert with a Chinese form of illiberal capitalism to produce forms of family separation and economic production. As it is implemented, it has the effect of partitioning and radically disempowering women and men who are already marginalized within national and international systems.