[Asis-l] Call for papers: Digital Labour Conference

Ajit Pyati akpyati at gmail.com
Sun Oct 26 15:31:24 EDT 2008


Please kindly post the following message to the listserv.  Thanks for your

Ajit Pyati


*Call for Papers *

Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens.

A conference hosted by the Digital Labour Group (DLG), Faculty of
Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, October 16-18,
2009, London, Ontario, Canada.

'Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens' addresses the implications of
digital labour as they are emerging in practice, politics, policy, and
theoretical enquiry. As workers, as authors, and as citizens, we are
increasingly summoned and disciplined by new digital technologies that
define the workplace and produce ever more complex regimes of surveillance
and control. At the same time, new possibilities for agency and new spaces
for collectivity are borne from these multiplying digital innovations. This
conference aims to explore this social dialectic, with a specific focus on
new forms of labour.

The changing conditions of digital capitalism often blur distinctions
between workers, authors and citizens more often than they clarify them.
Digital workers, for example, are often authors of content for the
increasingly convergent and synergistic end markets of entertainment
capitalism – but authors whose rights as such have been thoroughly
alienated. Citizens are often compelled to construct their identities in
such a way as to produce the flexible and entrepreneurial selves demanded by
the heavily consumer-oriented 'experience and attention economies' of
digitalized post-Fordism.

How might we come to understand the breakdown of distinctions between labour
and creativity, work and authorship, value and productive excess in the new
digital economy? What is labour in an era where participation in the
cultural industries is the preferred conduit to autonomy and
self-valorization? What struggles do entertainment workers, information
workers, and workers in an increasingly digitalized manufacturing sector
share in common? What might recent theorizing on the infinitely malleable
'post-Fordist image worker' tell us about the nature of affective ties to
states and other political formations in the twenty-first century?

Policy makers, along with workers and union activists from the
entertainment, information and manufacturing sectors will assist academic
specialists in assessing these and other crucial questions.

Papers, reading no more than 20 minutes in length, that address any of the
above matters, or cognate ones, are now being solicited. Please submit your
brief abstract by February 1, 2009, to Jonathan Burston at jburston at uwo.ca.
An editorial board will examine all submissions and issue acceptances no
later than March 15, 2009.

Thank you for circulating this call to any researchers at your institution,
or elsewhere, who may be interested.

The Digital Labour Conference Organizing Committee at the Faculty of
Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario:

Jonathan Burston, Edward Comor, James Compton, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Alison
Hearn, Ajit Pyati, Sandra Smeltzer, Matt Stahl, Sam Trosow

Ajit K. Pyati, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario
London, ON, Canada
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