Deadline: February 1, 2021
Please send abstracts of less than 500 words and a short bio, including a list of your main
publications (max 250 words) by February 1, 2021. Abstracts will be selected by February
15, 2021 and researchers will be asked to present a short paper (max 2.000 words) and
discuss it online with the working group during April and early May 2021.
The working group “Im/mobilizations of the workforce” is part of the EU COST Action WORCK (Worlds of related coercion in work) and is seeking contributions for its activity and a book project. This call is both addressed to participate in the working group, and to contribute to an edited volume provisionally titled On the Move: Historical Perspectives on Coercion, Labour, and Im/mobility. We are currently in conversation to publish it in De Gruyter’s series Work in Global and Historical Perspectives.
With this call, we aim to bring together historians working on a variety of regions and periods to provide fresh perspectives on the study of im/mobilizations. The focus is on thematic research that engages with a broad range of workers’ experiences of mobility and immobility and the interactive processes of labour mobility and immobilization, which enables us to grasp the historical trajectories of labour relations.
This book project is situated at the crossroads of different paths of investigation and overlapping research questions. The debate on the mobility turn of the early 2000s placed the movement of people within the broader flow of goods, objects, capital and information. More recent analyses have put the emphasis on the relationship between movement and stasis, emphasising the power relationships that legitimise or prevent the mobility and immobility of people. Historical research on labour migration at a global level is extensive and has proved to be one of the most prolific fields of study, analysing the movements of workers and the related systems of control.
Our aim is to deconstruct and rearticulate the polarization between mobility and immobilization,and to analyse the complex relationship between the political economy of coerced labour and the mobility (or lack thereof) of the labour force. This will allow us to renew our approach to labour coercion in relation to mobility, and to define a common framework for investigating the multiple forms of labour im/mobilization at a global level and across times. In this guise, the contributions will not only consider broad regions and periods in order to allow a temporal and spatial extension of the framework. They will also engage with the many actors at play who have contributed to the establishment of, and resistance to, differing forms of im/mobilizations: political formations of various kind, institutions, entrepreneurs, control agencies and officials, trade unions, social movements, workers, employers, recruiters, among others. More widely, this book project will build up original knowledge on labour regimes of m/mobilization as constituent parts of the political economy through history.
We are looking for proposals on the relation between mobility and immobility without any limitation of region or historical period, as they are aimed at expanding horizons in terms of content, time and space. Also, contributions about all kinds of labour relations are welcome. Among many topics, some possible cross-cutting themes are:
- Historical case studies in which mobility and immobility are considered as a process, and are entangled and coextensive of the same regime
- The circuits of labour that may be connected and disconnected into the same regime of im/mobility
- The political economy of im/mobility and its relation with class formation
- The impact of im/mobility on the historical development of labour regimes
- The effects of labour mobility on the economy or the management of the labour force
- The logic of strategies and systems enacted by states, elites, and employers to establish and control the movement of labor
- The practices and understandings of im/mobility developed by workers in response to coercion, including cooperation and kinship networks, negotiations and adaptation
- The role of violence, punitive relocations and forced displacements in labour mobilization
- The various forms of control of im/mobility as surveillance technologies, juridical structure, armed control, punishment, and all mechanism of bordering, filtering and selection
- The strategies of resistance and struggles promoted by workers within/against the circuits of labour and processes of immobilization.
- The ways in which workers’ im/mobility has been managed and surveilled, as well as stopped and restrained, in relation to inequalities rooted in gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, citizenship and colonialism.
Please send abstracts of less than 500 words and a short bio, including a list of your main publications (max 250 words) to Vilhelm Vilhelmsson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 1, 2021. The proposal should include name, surname, current affiliation and contact details of the proponent. Abstracts will be selected by February 15, 2021 and researchers will be asked to present a short paper (max 2.000 words) and discuss it online with the working group during April and early May 2021. All participants are encouraged to join the discussion of papers.
For further information about the book project or WORCK activities, please contact the coordinators of WORCK’s working group “Im/mobilizations of the workforce”: Vilhelm Vilhelmsson (email@example.com), Biljana Stojić (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Müge Telci Özbek (email@example.com).
You can find the CfPP as a PDF-File here.