Feminist Geography Conference, August 4-6, 2018, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Pre-IGU & CAG Conference), abstracts by Tuesday, 24 November 2017.
Organizers : Emily Reid-Musson (University of Waterloo), Daniel Cockayne
(University of Waterloo), Lia Frederiksen (University of Toronto), Nancy Worth (University of Waterloo)
In the decade since the onset of the global financial crisis, a wave of rapid automation touted as the “fourth industrial revolution” (Schwab, 2016) is occurring in the midst of a global migration crisis and rising right-wing nationalism. Among many other political and economic struggles, these processes prompt troubling questions about the reorganization of work, workers’ lives, and labour markets. The purpose of this session is to facilitate interventions from feminist economic geography to consider the so-called ‘future of work’ that is being consolidated in the present moment. The session’s focus draws inspiration from Linda McDowell’s arguments that economic theories of epochal change rest on a false and unstable premise that economic and labour market changes are gender-neutral (McDowell & Dyson, 2011 ; McDowell, 1991, 2015). We particularly welcome papers that explore the ‘future of work’ in ways that interrogate omissions and elisions in feminist economic geography debates. We aim to convene a session of feminist economic geography research and commentary addressing some of the following questions :
What struggles, spaces, and subjects have been critically neglected in scholarly debates about the ‘future of work’, and in economic geography more broadly (Bonds, 2013) ?
What theoretical and conceptual insights can feminist economic geography contribute to interrogating these exclusions (Werner et al., 2017) ?
How are the subjects of the ‘future of work’ celebrated, maligned, feared, or constructed through their ‘difference’ ?
How do these subjects reshape the spaces, policies, and politics of work as economic and political agents
How are social and labour movements responding to critical challenges that confront workers in the present moment of crisis and transformation ?
How is the ‘future of work’ framed, in particular as a dystopia or utopia (Bissell & Del Casino, 2017) ?
What continuities and changes in re/productive labour are entailed in ‘the future of work’ ? In what ways, and with what effects, are processes of race, gender, sexuality, and dis/ability systemically embedded in the social organization of this work ?
We encourage submissions that cut across the widest range of possible themes, regions, theoretical positions, and methodologies. Topics might include :
Innovation, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, tech
Digital, on-demand, and other forms of precarious and informal ‘sharing economy’ work
Human/nonhuman/machine interfaces, assemblages, and relations
Re/productive labour divisions, relations, and platforms
Migrant work arrangements, within and outside of detention and immigration systems
Unfree, carceral, or forced labour
Unions, labour movements, social movements and the ‘future of work’
Environmental, ecological, and climate justice-labour alliances or tensions
Job classification issues and struggles
The politics of social and labour policy and regulation
Please send a paper title and 250-word abstract to ereidmus...[at]uwaterloo.ca
Bissell, D., & Del Casino, V. J. (2017). Whither labor geography and the rise of the robots ? Social & Cultural Geography, 18(3), 435–442. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2016.1273380
Bonds, A. (2013). Racing Economic Geography : The place of race in Economic Geography. Geography Compass, 76(10). https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12049
McDowell, L. (1991). Life without father and Ford : the new gender order of post-Fordism. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 16(4), 400–419.
McDowell, L. (2015). The lives of others : Body work, the production of difference and labor geographies. Economic Geography, 91(1), 1–23.
McDowell, L., & Dyson, J. (2011). The other side of the knowledge economy : “Reproductive” employment and affective labours in Oxford. Environment and Planning A, 43, 2186–2202. https://doi.org/10.1068/a43591
Schwab, K. (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution : What it means and how to respond. World Economic Forum, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.286
Werner, M., Strauss, K., Parker, B., Orzeck, R., Derickson, K., & Bonds, A. (2017). Feminist political economy in geography : Why now, what is different, and what for ? Geoforum, 79, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.11.013