When: Thursday, June 8, 2023 - Friday, June 9, 2023, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PMWhere: Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS
"Not just human life, but earthly life, is at stake in the contestation of work” (Daggett 2019: 196)
What should ‘work’ look like on a burning planet? Recent calls for ‘green jobs’ and a ‘green new deal’ suggest that the global crises of underemployment and ecological collapse can be addressed concurrently. Such calls have been critiqued from labourist perspectives for failing to transform exploitative modes of production and generate sufficient ‘decent work’.
However, these critiques rarely confront the fundamental unsustainability of work-centred society and the need for a radical reimagining of the relationship between production, consumption, labour and ecology. Building on the recent provocations of Daggett (2019) and Hoffman & Frayne (2023), this workshop seeks to explore the ecological potential of postwork theory and praxis. Bringing together scholars from diverse geographical and epistemological locations, we aim to critically examine the social and ecological utility of different forms of work, redistribution and uncommodified activity; from ‘green jobs’ to ecological care and idleness.
Specifically, we invite contributions that seek to respond to the following questions:
Cara Daggett (Virginia Tech), David Frayne (University of Cambridge), Maja Hoffmann (Vienna University), Maro Pantazidou (University of York), Mary Lawhon (University of Edinburgh), Mareile Pfannebecker, J.A. Smith (Royal Holloway), Mathias Levi Toft Kristiansen (MIT), Jakub Kowalewski (Birkbeck), Julia Corwin (LSE), Demet Dinler (University of Sussex), Ursula Balderson (Leeds University), Hannah Fair (University of Oxford), Matt McMullen, Liz Fouksman (Kings College), Will Stronge (Autonomy)
Bhattacharyya, Gargi. (2018) Rethinking Racial Capitalism: Questions of Reproduction and Survival, London: Rowman & Littlefield
Daggett, Cara. (2019) The Birth of Energy: Fossil Fuels, Thermodynamics, and the Politics of Work. Durham: Duke University Press
Hoffmann, Maja & David Frayne (2023) Ecological Postwork Theory. In C. Overdevest (Ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Sociology. Edward Elgar Publishing
Lowhan, Mary & Tyler McCrearey (2023) Enough! A Modest Political Ecology for an Uncertain World, New York: Columbia University Press
Obeng-Odoom, Franklin (2021) The Commons in an Age of Uncertainty: Decolonizing Nature, Economy, and Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Weeks, Kathi. (2011) The Problem With Work. Durham: Duke University Press
Please contact Will Monteith (email@example.com) for further information about the event.
This workshop is a part of the IHSS Re-thinking Work Research Programme.