[iDC] International conversations
mel.gregg at usyd.edu.au
Tue Nov 17 07:58:58 UTC 2009
Also in the spirit of extending some of the conference conversations, I
noticed a desire in the closing discussion to hear and foster more
international work about labour theory and practice. I realized
afterwards it might have been useful to share information about another
conference I am helping organize in June next year in Hong Kong, with
the Association for Cultural Studies.
Crossroads in Cultural Studies 2010 will feature a number of plenary
speakers with labour as their focus, including Sandro Mezzadra, Andrew
Ross, Katherine Gibson and Pun Ngai (who wrote "Made in China: Women
Factory Workers in a Global Workplace"). See outlines of their talks
On the digital dimension, I am also chairing a "spotlight session"
featuring new research into labour and work which includes Jack Linchuan
Qiu. Jack's amazing research on grey collar workers and the information
"have-less" in urban China is published in Working-Class Network Society
- a book that also develops the distinction between "programmable" and
"self-programmable" labour that I mentioned a few times at the
conference. This seems to me one particularly useful way to appreciate
the hierarchies that exist in digital labour when considered across
regions (as an Australian, for instance, I find terms like "global
South" always have jarring and complicated effects).
Jack's latest research is conducting interviews in the workers'
hospitals for iPhone factories, quantifying the injuries to hands,
fingers etc. Obviously this puts a whole new spin on digital labour...
Anyway, the Hong Kong conference would be another opportunity to get
together in between the New School meet-ups to advance our common
interests. So, I hope some of you will consider coming along (proposals
close at the end of December).
Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who made this week's conference such a
unique and memorable event, especially Trebor and the team of faculty
and students who were such generous hosts.
Dr Melissa Gregg
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Quadrangle Building A14
University of Sydney NSW 2006
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