Call for Papers for the Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference, 29 Aug – 1 Sep 2017, London, UK.
Session sponsored by the Economic Geography Research Group.
Labour and life: changing geographies of the workplace
This session will reflect on changes to capitalist work, its spatial constitution, and the consequent relations between labour and life. Classic accounts of the capitalist labour process emphasised disciplinary power, exercised through workplaces bounded in time and space, and producing a degradation of both work and workers (Braverman 1974; Wright 2006). Today, organisational theorists emphasise a capitalist ‘biocracy’ in which a range of life abilities are ‘put to work’ through the blurring of boundaries between work and non-work spaces, times and identities (Fleming 2014; Gregg 2011). Far from heralding a new halcyon era of creative labour, for some these developments have gone hand in hand with growing precarity, intensified labour exploitation and a suffocating ideology of work.
These arguments over changing relations between labour and life need critical engagement. In particular, geographical scholarship usefully resists all-encompassing accounts of changing capitalist work cultures, instead focusing on how the organisation and experience of work are shaped by particular and varying workplace geographies. The geographies of workplaces have been a recurrent but underexplored aspect of labour geographies (e.g. Castree 2007; Crang 1994; Henry & Massey 1995; Kanngieser 2013; McDowell 2009; McMorran 2012; Stein 1995). This session will foreground current scholarship in this area. The intention is for two ‘modules’ with four presentations in each. Potential foci for contributions include:
• The theorisation of workplace geographies;
• Workplaces as sites of discipline and / or biopower;
• Workplaces as sites of pleasure and vitality;
• Digital socio-materialities and the re-making of workplace geographies;
• Workplace architectures and affective atmospheres;
• Labour resistance and the politics of ‘anti-work’;
• Gendered geographies of the workplace;
• Creative methods for researching working life.
Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words to Philip Crang, via email at email@example.com, by 7 February 2017. We will endeavour to contact all abstract authors with a response by 13 February.
Adam Badger, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip Crang, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. Email: email@example.com (corresponding convenor)
Katy Lawn, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org