[UPDATE] "Labor Beyond Economy," April 4-7 2013 - deadline extended to November 15, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association
contact email: 
clare.callahan@duke.edu

Hannah Arendt argued that labor is anti-political because its collective nature precludes the possibility of individual consciousness and because it is performed in the name of the economy of the household. Similarly, scholarship on labor and class has been accused in the past of being too invested in the problem of economic distribution to the detriment of identity and political recognition.

More recently, however, scholars of labor studies have called for the practice of a “politics of work,” approaching the problem of work in terms of the citizen-subject it produces. Indeed, working-class and proletarian novels often represent the threat that certain forms of labor pose to one’s subjectivity and individual consciousness, but they do so alongside of the struggle of the laborer to resist that dispossession. The emergence today of the precariat and a “new working-class,” like the emergence of feminism, has induced us to rethink what labor produces aside from goods, which is to say, subjects, singularities, commons, etc.

This seminar will inquire if and how we can understand work as public and/or political. What is the extra-economic role of work? How would a politics of work account for a larger social totality? Taking into account affective or “invisible” labor and postwork imaginaries, where do theories of labor and the subject (gendered, classed, raced and religious) intersect? Through what processes does labor produce different kinds of space? And how might the global paradigm support or undercut the imagining of a politics of work?

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by November 15, 2012 by following this link: http://acla.org/submit/index.php. You can then select "Labor Beyond Economy" as the session to which you wish to submit.

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
eighteenth_century
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
modernist studies
poetry
travel_writing
twentieth_century_and_beyond