Crossroads 2018 has an exciting line up

Plenary Session: Work/Post-work

Chair: Christopher Connery

Neferti X. M. Tadiar
Asad Haider

Conceived and Introduced by:
CONNERY Christopher,Visiting Professor of CS, SU/Professor of University of California at Santa-Cruz

Plenary Session Abstract

The question of work was a major preoccupation of 19th century European philosophy from Hegel to Marx. According to Engels, it was the workers’ movement, based on a privileging of industrial manufacturing labor, that carried that legacy forward, albeit in the realm of political and revolutionary practice. Philosophical and theoretical inquiry into the nature of work declined, as the new disciplines of economics and sociology took over the intellectual work on work. Over the past fifty years, on a global scale this time, discussions about the nature and future of work have acquired new political, cultural, and theoretical urgency. Notions such as affective labor, immaterial labor, precarious labor, and surplus population have arisen in an era when the centrality of manufacturing labor—as locus for politics and as work’s vanguard form—is held to be in decline, albeit unevenly across the globe. In some circles, the spectre of a coming “post-work society” is the catalyst for new subjectivities and new forms of politics. This panel carries on the work of thinking about work in our present period, and about the political possibilities that are opened up or foreclosed by the recent revival of thinking about work and its futures.