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“Whose Ideas?: Capital, Labour and the Battle for the Workplace”


The conference organizing committee invites submissions for participation in the 2nd annual conference of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies, to be held June 4-5, 2015 at the University of Ottawa. The committee welcomes proposals for single papers, multiple paper panels, roundtables and/or workshops. The participation of researchers in union and community settings is encouraged.

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences theme, “Capital Ideas”, challenges our intellectual community to think about the relationship between labour and capital today and the role played by ideas and ideologies in contemporary class struggles. Some of the questions that will be tackled during the conference include:

  • What are the ideas of capital about work and labour, and how are they affecting work?
  • How are capital’s ideas internalized by workers and their organizations?
  • How do workers challenge the ideas of capital and generate alternative ideas about work, labour, and social and economic life?

Potential paper and panels topics linked to our main theme include:

  • The production and circulation of neoliberal ideas about work and labour
  • The ideas that underpin workplace and labour market restructuring: lean production, “flexibility”, and New Public Management
  • The gendered and racialized nature of capitalist ideas of work and labour
  • Representations of work, workers and unions in popular culture
  • Sources of alternative ideas: labour education, alternative media, labour strategy
  • New conceptions of working-class community, organization and solidarity

Participants need not limit themselves to the above list. We welcome proposals on all topics that highlight the past, present and future of work and labour studies and seek a final conference programme reflective of the broadest range of methodological, theoretical and disciplinary approaches.

New Voices in Work 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 (see below).

Conference Fees: Please note that an additional Congress registration fee will apply

For CAWLS Members:
Permanent or full-time faculty – $50
Union and community members – $25
Students, the un(der)employed – Free

For Non-Members:
Permanent or full-time faculty – $100
Union and community members – $50
Students, the un(der)employed – $25

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: Please send electronic copies of 250-word proposals to the conference organizing committee c/o Dr. Thomas Collombat, Conference Chair, Department of Social Sciences, Université du Québec en Outaouais, [email protected] 

NEW DEADLINE: All proposals are due by January 15th, 2015

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