WORCK Conference 1: Reconceptualising Wage Labour

16–19 September 2020: Virtual Conference hosted by the CEU Budapest, Hungary

Hosts: Susan Zimmermann and Isidora Grubacki

Conference Program “Reconceptualising Wage Labour” (pdf) (updated version: 16 Sept.)

Note from 1 September 2020: The Hungarian government has announced to close its national boarders due to the rising numbers of new infections. Therefore, our 1st WORCK Conference needs to be transformed into an online conference (via Zoom). Please see the new program for the event above. If you would like to participate, send an e-mail to christian.devito@gmail.com and receive your personal version of the program with interactive links to the conference sessions.

One of the defining features of global labour history has been the insistence on looking beyond wage labour. Therefore, much scholarship has been directed towards labour understood to be informal or coercive. From this vantage point, historians have argued that in a global and long-term historical perspective wage labour in a stable labour market was rarely the norm. However, in conceptualising wage labour as an exception scholars often maintain an analytical distinction between labour relations understood to be coercive, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, wage labour which is implicitly or explicitly understood to be a form of free labour. This conference aims to move past this binary by exploring the moments and logics of labour coercion within labour relations mediated by remuneration (of all kinds) and/or contracts (of all kinds) including ostensibly free labour. To this end, it also seeks to open up a discussion about whether concepts such as “hired labour” can help historians reconceptualise historical links between wage labour and labour coercion.

In nine sessions, 37 conference speakers from all parts of the world and a round table discussion will address the conference topic from different perspectives.

Call for Papers [pdf]

Conference Poster [pdf]

Deadline for paper proposals: 15 February 2020

Registration deadline: If you would like to participate, send an e-mail to christian.devito@gmail.com and receive your personal version of the program with interactive links to the conference sessions.

Conference Organisation

Virtual Conference

Hosted by Central European University, Budapest (Hungary)