Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner - "Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America" - Joseph Calamia

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner

Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner will discuss Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America. They will be joined in conversation by Joseph Calamia.

Presented in partnership with the University of Chicago Press

Virtual event


About the book: It’s hard to imagine a place more central to American mythology today than Silicon Valley. To outsiders, the region glitters with the promise of extraordinary wealth and innovation. But behind this image lies another Silicon Valley, one segregated by race, class, and nationality in complex and contradictory ways. Its beautiful landscape lies atop underground streams of pollutants left behind by decades of technological innovation, and while its billionaires live in compounds, surrounded by redwood trees and security fences, its service workers live in their cars. With arresting photography and intimate stories, Seeing Silicon Valley makes this hidden world visible. Instead of young entrepreneurs striving for efficiency in minimalist corporate campuses, we see portraits of struggle—families displaced by an impossible real estate market, workers striving for a living wage, and communities harmed by environmental degradation. If the fate of Silicon Valley is the fate of America—as so many of its boosters claim—then this book gives us an unvarnished look into the future.

About Mary Beth Meehan: Mary Beth Meehan is a photographer known for her large-scale, community-based portraiture centered around questions of representation, visibility, and social equity in the United States. She lives in New England.

About Fred Turner: Fred Turner is Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University. He is the author of several books, including From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism.

About the interlocutor: Joseph Calamia is a senior editor in the Books Division at the University of Chicago Press, acquiring new titles in the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, digital studies, and environmental studies.

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