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Bridging Divides: Conflict & Cooperation

University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
June 2-4, 2020
As part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

The conference organizing committee invites submissions for participation in the 7th 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.

Both confrontation and cooperation have always been key to advancing and protecting working-class interests. The 2020 CAWLS conference is an opportunity to engage conversations and share ideas about the interplay between conflict and cooperation in bridging divisions at the workplace, in our communities, and in the economy and in society more generally. Questions relevant to these conversations include: How do we best address the need to confront colonialism and racism in the workplace and in society? What does reconciliation mean for workers and their organizations? How can we best address differences while preserving class unity? What role does international labour solidarity play in building bridges?

Participants are not required to limit themselves to the above list of questions. We welcome proposals on all topics that highlight the importance of bridging divisions that focus on the past, present, and future of work and labour studies. 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.
  • Anti-Black racism in workplaces and unions
  • 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, 2020.

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, 2019. Please note that even if a panel proposal is accepted, each paper will be evaluated individually by the programme committee.

All paper proposals are due by January 31, 2020

For more information go to

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