Circles of Solidarity: Engaging Conversations About the Future of Workers and their Communities

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia

June 4-6, 2019

As part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

The conference organizing committee invites submissions for participation in the 6th annual conference of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies (CAWLS). The committee welcomes proposals for single papers, thematic streams, multiple paper panels, roundtables, and workshops. The participation of researchers in union and community settings is encouraged.

Workers have always made progress through struggle. But rarely have workers faced as many issues simultaneously as they do today. The 2019 CAWLS conference is an opportunity to engage conversations and share ideas about how to build circles of solidarity to make a better future for all workers. Questions relevant to these conversations include: will young workers be able to find stable employment so they can move to the next stage of their lives? Will recent gains in minimum wages and labour standards be maintained? How will labour laws shift with changing governments, and what is the role of workers and labour organizations within the realm of electoral politics? Will Artificial intelligence and automation manifest in a more inegalitarian and undemocratic society? How will recent immigrants fair in this changing economic landscape? What does reconciliation mean for workers and their organizations? How can workers address growing concerns of racism in our communities?

Participants are not required to limit themselves to the above list of questions. We welcome proposals on all topics that highlight importance of diversity to the past, present, and future of work and labour studies within Canada and beyond. Our goal is to create a final conference programme reflective of the broadest range of methodological, theoretical, and disciplinary themes and approaches, such as:

  • Racialization, nationality, gender, sexuality, class, age, and ability, and their implications for the politics of labour and the future of the labour movement in Canada and elsewhere.
  • The relationship between the labour movement and Indigenous workers and communities.
  • Worker and union engagement with environmental movements and issues.
  • Policy approaches and legislative solutions to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion, and their limits.
  • Precarity, patterns of inequality amongst workers, and the distribution of paid and unpaid work.
  • Migration, work and labour internationalism.
  • Intersectional analysis of work and of labour movements.
  • Anti-racist and decolonizing approaches to labour studies.

New Voices in Work and Labour Studies: New scholars (graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty/researchers in the first five years of their appointment) are encouraged to indicate their status on their proposal in order to be considered for the New Voices in Work and Labour Studies Prize.

Conference Fees

 Permanent or full-time faculty or researchersUnion and community membersStudents, the un(der)employed, and retirees
CAWLS members$75$50$10
Awards Dinner$40$40$40


  • An additional Congress registration fee will also apply.
  • Accepted presenters must be CAWLS members in good standing by April 30, 2019.

Conference Support: Some financial support will be available for travel and accommodation, depending on need and availability of funds, with priority given to graduate student participants. Contributors requesting financial assistance should indicate this when submitting an abstract.

Submission requirements: Proposals should include a 250-word abstract for each panel/paper and a short bio for each presenter. Please email proposals to the conference organizing committee c/o [email protected].

To facilitate new conversations, we encourage people interested in organizing panels, streams, roundtables and workshops to submit a CFP for inclusion in the CAWLS newsletter by December 15, 2018.

All paper proposals are due by January 31, 2019.

For more information go to

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