Via Kate Hardy
Disrupting technology: contextualising continuity and change in technology, work and employment
16-17th January, Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change, University of Leeds
Recent scholarship on the relationship between technology and work has often tended to accentuate new technologies’ supposed transformative effects. Conferences on work and employment often feature streams dedicated solely to new technologies – such as platforms or AI – segregated from other streams where technology is mentioned very little. This both narrows our understandings of what constitutes ‘technology’ and contributes to the renewed growth of technological determinism, both in its utopian or dystopian variants- from Fully Automated Luxury Communism” on one hand to a nightmare of total surveillance on the other. Such debates are often speculative and can serve to obscure how actually existing employment relations are being shaped by new technologies.
The Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC) at Leeds University Business School is pleased to announce a call for papers for a two day event in January 2020 relating to these questions.
This workshop calls for more careful, empirically grounded, theorisations of technology, its novelty and its impact on work and employment relations. We ask that contributions recognise the influence of conflicted interests and actions by managers, workers, the state and other social actors on the patterns, processes and outcomes of technological innovation. By devoting more attention to contextualising and historicising the relationship between technology and work, we ask contributors to develop more critical accounts of the extent of transformation and disruption, vis-à-vis entrenchment or continuity of existing social relations and employment relationships. Beyond the technology itself, what is genuinely novel and transformative about automation, AI or ‘platformisation’, which more mundane technologies might we be missing from the analysis?
We welcome contributions of themes including:
- The state, regulation and new technology
- Historical research on the introduction of new technologies of work
- Management, resistance, organization, and technology
- Occupations, skills, professions, and technology
- Inequalities (race, gender, (dis)ability) and technology
- Methods for studying work and technology – towards a research agenda
Registration will be £100 for full academic staff and £50 for PhD students, with an optional £25 for the conference meal.
Please submit abstracts to c(dot)r(dot)umney(at)leeds(dot)ac(dot)uk or i(dot)bessa(at)leeds(dot)ac(dot)uk with a deadline of 10th October. Registration links will be available from October.
This video of a panel session at HKW entitled “Speaking to Racial Conditions Today” is well-worth watching.
Follow this link (the video is not available for embedding here).
Inputs, discussions, Mar 15, 2018. With Zimitri Erasmus, Maya Indira Ganesh, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, David Theo Goldberg, Serhat Karakayali, Shahram Khosravi, Françoise Vergès
English original version
This looks interesting. Read the full call here.
On 16-18 May 2019, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), in partnership with the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Department of English at the University of Victoria (UVic), will be guests on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the h?n?q??min??m?-speaking Musqueam (x?m??k??y??m) people, facilitating a conference about decolonizing technologies and reprogramming education.
Deadline for proposals is Monday 15 October 2018.
Submit a proposal. Please note: This link will take you to a new website (HASTAC’s installation of ConfTool), where you will create a new user account to submit your proposal. Proposals may be submitted in English, French, or Spanish.
The conference will hold up and support Indigenous scholars and knowledges, centering work by Indigenous women and women of colour. It will engage how technologies are, can be, and have been decolonized. How, for instance, are extraction technologies repurposed for resurgence? Or, echoing Ellen Cushman, how do we decolonize digital archives? Equally important, how do decolonial and anti-colonial practices shape technologies and education? How, following Kimberlé Crenshaw, are such practices intersectional? How do they correspond with what Grace Dillon calls Indigenous Futurisms? And how do they foster what Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang describe as an ethic of incommensurability, unsettling not only assumptions of innocence but also discourses of reconciliation?
With these investments, HASTAC 2019: “Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education” invites submissions addressing topics such as:
- Indigenous new media and infrastructures,
- Self-determination and data sovereignty, accountability, and consent,
- Racist data and biased algorithms,
- Land-based pedagogy and practices,
- Art, history, and theory as decolonial or anti-colonial practices,
- Decolonizing the classroom or university,
- Decolonial or anti-colonial approaches involving intersectional feminist, trans-feminist, critical race, and queer research methods,
- The roles of technologies and education in the reclamation of language, land, and water,
- Decolonial or anti-colonial approaches to technologies and education around the world,
- Everyday and radical resistance to dispossession, extraction, and appropriation,
- Decolonial or anti-colonial design, engineering, and computing,
- Alternatives to settler heteropatriarchy and institutionalized ableism in education,
- Unsettling or defying settler geopolitics and frontiers,
- Trans-Indigenous activism, networks, and knowledges, and
- Indigenous resurgence through technologies and education.
Saw this via Twitter. Looks good.
How are bodies produced under capitalism?
How, in turn, does capitalism make bodies productive?
How is the body (and knowledge of the body) shaped by demands of production, consumption and exchange, and how can these logics be resisted, challenged and overcome?
These are the questions at the heart of François Guéry and Didier Deleule’s Productive Body. First published in French in 1972, The Productive Body asks how the human body and its labour have been expropriated and re-engineered through successive stages of capitalism. The Productive Body challenges us to rethink the relationships between the biological and the social; the body and the mind; power and knowledge; discipline and control. Finally, it invites us to think about the body as a site of resistance and revolutionary potential.
At this one-day, interdisciplinary conference, we invite scholars and activists to assess the contribution of The Productive Body, and to address its relevance as a theoretical tool for understanding and challenging contemporary ideologies of bodily health, efficiency and productivity.
We invite submissions from scholars, activists and artists for 20-minute papers, or 10-minute provocations on the relationships – past and present – between capitalism, work and the body. Collaborative papers are welcome, and proposals for longer workshops and panel discussions will also be considered. Please contact the organisers if you are unsure. Proposals that explore or are inspired by any of the following areas are welcome:
- Critical responses to Guéry and Deleule – the biological, the social, and the productive
- Materialist vs. discursive approaches to the history of the body
- Conceptualising discipline in Marx and Foucault
- The body as an object of discipline vs. the body as a site of dissent
- The psychology and corporeality of activism, organising and resistance
- Hierarchies of gender and race in the division of labour
- (Re)productive bodies; intimate and emotional labour, sex work, body work
- How are ideas of health and disability shaped by the demands of wage labour?
- How do queer bodies disrupt or challenge logics of productivity? How are queer bodies in turn, commodified or appropriated by capital?
- How do the demands of productivity complicate/interact with the body as a site of intimacy?
- Biopolitics and neoliberalism
- Body-machines – technology and automation; robotics, cybernetics and transhumanism; digital surveillance, ‘lifelogging’ and the ‘quantified self’
- Counterproductive bodies: pre-capitalist, non-capitalist, and post-capitalist bodies
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to email@example.com by 24th August 2018. Submissions are especially encouraged from graduate students, early-career researchers, and groups typically underrepresented in the academy.
Via Tony Sampson. Looks interesting >
This topic has been getting a lot of TV/Press coverage here in the UK.Here’s a video of a symposium discussing artistic resistance, critical theory strategies to ‘internet addiction’ and the book Are We All Addicts Now? Convened at Central St Martins, London on 7th Nov 2017. Introduced by Ruth Catlow with talks by Katriona Beales, Feral Practice, Emily Rosamond and myself…
@KatrionaBeales @FeralPractice @TonyDSpamson @EmilyRosamond &
If you happen to be in Exeter on Friday 11th May then I urge you to attend this really interesting talk by Prof. Charis Thompson (UC Berkeley), organised by Sociology & Philosophy at Exeter. Here’s the info:
|A Department of Sociology & Philosophy lecture
||11 May 2018
||14:00 to 15:15
Charis Thompson is Chancellor’s Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies and the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, UC Berkeley, and Professor, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics. She is the author of Making Parents; The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies (MIT Press 2007), which won the Rachel Carson Prize from the Society of the Social Studies of Science, and of Good Science: The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research (MIT Press 2013). Her book in progress, Getting Ahead, revisits classic questions on the relation between science and democracy in an age of populism and inequality, focusing particularly on genome editing and AI.
She served on the Nuffield Council Working Group on Genome Editing, and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Technology Council on Technology, Values and Policy. Thompson is a recipient of UC Berkeley’s Social Science Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the National Science and Technology University of Norway for work on science and society.
SPA PGR Conference Committee
Via Tony Sampson. Freely available digital publication, follow the link…
Very pleased to be part of this great series…
Introduction by Rizosfera
Digital Neuroland. An interview with Tony D. Sampson by Rizosfera
Contagion Theory Beyond the Microbe
‘Tarde as Media Theorist’: an interview with Tony D. Sampson by Jussi Parikka
Crowd, Power and Post-democracy in 21st Century by Obsolete Capitalism
Crowds vs publics, Ukraine vs Russia, the Gaza crisis, the contagion theory and netica – a dialogue with Tony D. Sampson by Rares Iordache
Via Phoebe Moore. Looks good >>
Humans and machines at work: monitoring, surveillance and automation in contemporary capitalism edited by Phoebe V. Moore, Martin Upchurch and Xanthe Whittaker.
This edited collection is now in production/press (Palgrave, Dynamics of Virtual Work series editors Ursula Huws and Rosalind Gill). This is the results of the symposium I organised for last year’s International Labour Process Conference (ILPC). We are so fortunate to have 9 women and 3 men authors from all over the world including Chinese University Hong Kong, Harvard, WA University St Louis, Milan, Sheffield, Lancaster, King’s College, Greenwich, and Middlesex researchers, two trade unionists from UNI Global Union and Institute for Employment Rights, early career and more advanced contributors.
In the era of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, we increasingly work with machines in both cognitive and manual workplaces. This collection provides a series of accounts of workers’ local experiences that reflect the ubiquity of work’s digitalisation. Precarious gig economy workers ride bikes and drive taxis in China and Britain; domestic workers’ timekeeping and movements are documented; call centre workers in India experience invasive tracking but creative forms of worker subversion are evident; warehouse workers discover that hidden data has been used for layoffs; academic researchers see their labour obscured by a ‘data foam’ that does not benefit us; and journalists suffer the algorithmic curse. These cases are couched in historical accounts of identity and selfhood experiments seen in the Hawthorne experiments and the lineage of automation. This collection will appeal to scholars in the sociology of work and digital labour studies and anyone interested in learning about monitoring and surveillance, automation, the gig economy and quantified self in workplaces.
Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction. Phoebe V. Moore, Martin Upchurch, Xanthe Whittaker
Chapter 2: Digitalisation of work and resistance. Phoebe V. Moore, Pav Akhtar, Martin Upchurch
Chapter 3: Deep automation and the world of work. Martin Upchurch, Phoebe V. Moore
Chapter 4: There is only one thing in life worse than being watched, and that is not being watched: Digital data analytics and the reorganisation of newspaper production. Xanthe Whittaker
Chapter 5: The electronic monitoring of care work – the redefinition of paid working time. Sian Moore and L. J. B. Hayes
Chapter 6: Social recruiting: control and surveillance in a digitised job market. Alessandro Gandini and Ivana Pais
Chapter 7: Close watch of a distant manager: Multisurveillance by transnational clients in Indian call centres. Winifred R. Poster
Chapter 8: Hawthorne’s renewal: Quantified total self. Rebecca Lemov
Chapter 9: ‘Putting it together, that’s what counts’: Data foam, a Snowball and researcher evaluation. Penny C. S. Andrews
Chapter 10: Technologies of control, communication, and calculation: Taxi drivers’ labour in the platform economy. Julie Yujie Chen
Following on from my post about the ways we might think about and research ideas of agency in relation to ‘automation’, it so happens that an accessible and interesting comment piece in the Grauniad by Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger was published last week (not being on Twitter means I miss more of these sorts of things perhaps). Here’s a few of relevant lines (all links are from the original):
Most of the headlines about technology in the workplace relate to robots rendering people unemployed. But what if this threat is distracting us from another of the distorting effects of automation? To what extent are we being turned into workers that resemble robots?
Fears about humans becoming like machines go back longer than you might think. The sort of algorithmic management we see in the modern gig economy … has its roots in a management theory developed by Frederick Taylor in the early 20th century.
Technological innovations have made it increasingly easy for managers to quickly and cheaply collect, process, evaluate and act upon massive amounts of information. In our age of big data, Taylorism has spread far beyond the factory floor. The algorithmic management of the gig economy is like time cards on steroids.
It’s not just the intensity of the monitoring that is different. Surveillance is increasingly hidden. In Taylor’s analogue era, workers were acutely aware when they were being observed by management with stopwatches and notebooks. Today management tools are much less visible.
Taylorism starts from the assumption that employees are innate shirkers. While there will always be some who want to game the system and put in as little effort as possible, there are plenty who don’t. When the guiding assumption of management is that employees won’t be productive unless forced to be by constant observation, it engineers low morale and pushes people to act like resources that need to be micromanaged. Too often, we become what we’re expected to be.
Read the full comment.