July 27th, 2013
In his new novel Tomorrow City, Kirk Kjeldsen (Virginia Commonwealth University) tells the story of an ex-con who is trying to reinvent himself in a new place. The backdrop for the story is Shanghai, a city that has perhaps reinvented itself more than any other city in history. Kjeldsen recently moved to Shanghai, a city he describes as “more American than America.” And: Everyone in America—from consumers to businesspeople—should understand what’s happening in China. That’s the message from economist and former Reagan advisor Deborah Hewitt (College of William and Mary). Hewitt says the changes taking place in China will affect the choices Americans make in managing their businesses and households. Later in the show: Filmmaker Sonali Gulati (Virginia Commonwealth University) used to spot telemarketers by the way they mispronounced her Indian name. But when they started to get the name right, she knew something was up. American companies have long outsourced telemarketing and customer service jobs to India where workers compete for jobs at giant call centers. Gulati visited a call center in India and discovered how Indian telemarketers acquire American names and accents, and learn about American movies, music, and TV. Her film Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night is a journey into that world.