On Work: Changing Relations of Value and Labor

Poster for On Work Symposium

Exhibit and Symposium at Peter J. Shields Library
Spring - Summer Quarters, 2013

In conjunction with the UC Humanities Research Institute's three-year multi-campus initiative, "Changing Conceptions of Work in the Humanities," the University Library has organized a Bibliographic Exhibition and Symposium to address how technology, globalization and gender relations influence the way labor and value are constructed today.

See: "On Work" at http://people.lib.ucdavis.edu/~davidm/onwork.html


Peter J. Shields Library
University of California, Davis
2nd Floor Instruction Room
Friday, April 19, 2013

Flexible Work: Exploitation and Pleasure in Direct Sales

Sandy Gómez
PhD. Candidate in Cultural Studies

Sandy Gómez's research on Spanish-speaking Latinas working in direct sales reveals the hidden value of work and questions how conceived ideas around "flexible" work are interconnected with gender, race/ethnicity, class, language, and heteronormative family units for marginalized women in the U.S.

Beyond Jobs: Space-Time and Labor in the Information Economy

Chris Benner
Faculty, Human and Community Development / Geography Graduate Group, Chair


Chris Benner examines the transformation of work in the information age, questioning how increasing demands for flexible labor and tenuous forms employment change career development and labor dynamics. Chris Benner will discuss some of the activities of his UC Humanities working group on work.

The Double Necessity of Work: A Paradox Re-examined

Scott Cutler Shershow
Faculty, English / Critical theory


Scott Cutler Shershow, author of The Work and the Gift (University of Chicago, 2005) revisits the question: Does one work to live or, instead, live to work? Drawing on cultural representations of work and play, as well as industriousness and laziness, Shershow unfolds the centrality of this question in contemporary political and moral life.

Moderated by Michael Winter, Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian

Exhibition On Work

This Symposium is complemented with a Bibliographic Exhibition both online and on display in the lobby of the Peter J. Shields Library.

The bibliographic exhibition, which will be on display from April through August, 2013 is organized around three important contemporary questions:

  1. How is work and its power relations altered by the processes of globalization and changing technologies, including the concepts of the new economy, flexibility and precarious labor where questions concerning the relation between paid and unpaid work.
  2. How do the changing relations of work support or disrupt dominant relations of gender and domesticity in various communities, ethnicities, status groups, and social classes?
  3. What are the philosophical and moral dimensions of work, including work's relation to necessity, which has historically been embroiled in the conceptions of fulfillment and alienation.

This exhibition is complemented by a comprehensive study guide assembled by Winter and Michalski to take the reader through some of the antecedent scholarship foregrounding today ’s contemporary concerns, including readings which stretch back to Aristotle, the thinkers of the European Enlightenment, and the post-war/1968 critical thought which animates much of today ’s contemporary theories of work.

Visit "On Work" at http://ow.ly/je7c7 for more information.

Contact: David Michalski