The Smith Center for the Arts film club hosted a virtual screening of its latest selection, American Factory, with a discussion moderated by HWS President Joyce P. Jacobsen on Thursday, July 23.
The film, which was screened beginning at 7 p.m., follows the reopening of an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio after its purchase by a Chinese billionaire. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.
Prior to the screening, Rebecca Burditt, Assistant Professor of Media and Society and a board member at the Smith, said, “We’re very excited that President Jacobsen will be leading our post-screening discussion of American Factory. With her expertise in feminist and labor economics as well as her global research focus, she will offer special insight into this award-winning documentary. We’re looking forward to learning from her and being able to engage in conversation about such a pressing topic.”
An expert on labor economics, particularly the economics of gender, Jacobsen is the author of scores of journal articles and book chapters exploring sex segregation, migration and the effects of labor force intermittency on women’s earnings, among other topics, as well as the economics of wine and other collectibles. Her books include The Economics of Gender, Queer Economics: A Reader (co-edited with Adam Zeller) and Labor Markets and Employment Relationships (with Gilbert L. Skillman).
The Smith Film Club is a free, virtual club dedicated to watching and discussing movies available on Netflix.
American Factory was screened via Netflix Party and the post-film discussion took place via Zoom.