2024 Dallas Smythe Memorial Lecture

March 28, 2024

This event is presented by SFU's School of Communication and SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement with support from SFU's David Lam Centre.

The Dallas Smythe Memorial Lecture has honored critical scholars in the field of political economy of communications since 1993. Organized by SFU’s School of Communication, the lecture brings together faculty, students and the broader community to honour the work and research of Dallas Smythe, who taught at SFU from 1976 until he passed away in 1992.

This year's event features Harvard University Department of Sociology professor Ya-Wen Lei. Her talk is titled “The Gilded Cage: Technology, Development, and State Capitalism in China”, where Lei will trace the contours of this techno-developmental regime and its resulting form of techno-state capitalism, telling the stories of those whose lives have been transformed—for better and worse—by China’s rapid rise to economic and technological dominance.


Ya-Wen Lei is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. She is also affiliated with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. She is the author of The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China (Princeton University Press, 2018) and The Gilded Cage: Techno-State Capitalism in China (Princeton University Press, 2023). She has published in Annual Review of Sociology, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Law and Society Review, Work, Employment and Society, Political Communication, and The China Quarterly.