Labour Geography II, Session 1: Theorizing labor, questioning the future of work

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Plaza Court 1, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Organizers: David Jordhus-Lier, Steven Tufts, Suzanne Mills
Chairs: Kendra Strauss

Call for Submissions

If you are interested in presenting a paper, please email a title and 200 word abstract to or by 30 October 2019.

This session is being organized alongside "Doing labour geography in the Global South: theories, methods, ontologies", organized by Madhumita Datta and Debolina Majumder. We are doing our best to ensure that the sessions are not scheduled concurrently and do not conflict.


Organizers: Steven Tufts (York University), Suzanne Mills (McMaster University), Kendra Strauss (Simon Fraser University), Michelle Buckley (University of Toronto) and David Jordhus-Lier (University of Oslo)

The aim of this session is to present and explore recent contributions to the theorization of labor in human geography. Over the course of the last twenty years, geographic research on work experiences, labor market restructuring and workers' collective action has helped us better understand the agency of working people in global landscapes of capitalism. This has included an interrogation of the concept of agency itself, including in the context of heightened xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia, and in relation to conjunctural social, economic and ecological crises.

By inviting submissions that apply theoretical rigor to empirical investigations of working life and its politics, we aim to take stock of how human geography theorizes labor and labor agency, as well as exploring emergent phenomena that might challenge this conceptual development, including:
- automation, digitalized workplaces and online worker politics
- feminist approaches to empowerment in the workplace
- greening work and the role of organized labour under a climate crisis
- labor mobilization and the far-right
- labour and racial(ized) capitalism
- labour, work and social reproduction
- organized labor and transit futures
- platform workers and organizing
- political ecologies and more-than-human labour
- the politics of labor migrants and labor migration
- urban politics and labour
- precarity and low-wage work
- local and regional differences in labour struggles and their articulations


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Beth Gutelius*, University of Illinois At Chicago, Producing Technological Change in the U.S. Warehousing Sector 15 1:45 PM
Presenter Kyle Loewen*, , Becoming Employees: Race and Skill in the Degradation of Delivery Driving 15 2:00 PM
Presenter Conchúr Ó Maonaigh*, Maynooth University, Disputing disruption: Taxi drivers and the frontlines of industrial restructuring in the smart city. 15 2:15 PM
Presenter Nancy Ettlinger*, Ohio State University, The Digital Freelancer's Dilemma 15 2:30 PM
Presenter Spencer Cox*, University of Minnesota, Amazon and the Private Green New Deal? 15 2:45 PM

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