Jie Shen is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) at the University of Amsterdam. Her supervisors are prof. dr. Thomas Poell and dr. Joost de Bloois. Her PhD project examines the development of smart cities in contemporary China. The aim is to move beyond Western universalism, and gain insight into the Chinese perspective on the smart city. Pursuing this aim, Shen, on the one hand, explores the historical ideas, discourses, and imaginaries that inform smart city initiatives. On the other hand, she studies how different societal actors—companies, local governments, scientists, and citizens—are involved in current smart city developments in China.
Before embarking on her doctoral research, she had participated in several international research projects. As a Remote Associate Research Fellow (2020) of "The Terraforming" project, led by Prof. Benjamin Bratton, she published an essay examining whether various automation systems in China may enhance the resilience of Chinese society in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, she delved into the intricate interplay between human cognition and affection with digital technologies. Specifically, she analysed how social media triggers users' digital addiction. And in her MA thesis, she studied the concept of "technique" within theoretical debates.