More than Getting By: Putting Daily Life at the Heart of our Struggles

A Mini-Conference and Conversation

Friday, March 20, 2015

Carleton University

Ottawa, ON

The Institute of Political Economy and the School of Social Work at Carleton University, together with the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies, are pleased to announce a call for papers/presentations as part of a mini-conference and conversation to be held at Carleton University on March 20, 2015. The mini-conference is held in collaboration with, and to honour, Professor Meg Luxton, a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Political Economy.

The conference/conversation will address the following question: What kinds of claims, actions and policy proposals can best address the challenges of income, housing, food and care inequality in contemporary Canada?

Claims, actions and policies relating to income inequality in labour markets and government income support are well-established. Struggles relating to informal care and personal and community well-being are far more fragmented. They are situated in the struggles for adequate housing and food — including finding, paying for, and producing housing and food — as well as the paid and unpaid labour involved in home-making or provisioning and caring. These domains are increasingly affected by issues such as labour migration, precarious employment, household debt, changing intimate relations and other challenges.

The conference organizing committee seeks submissions from activists, advocates, graduate students and engaged scholars to explore how “campaigns for decent living” and other claims that address the conditions of daily life are, or could be, developed across different political and social movements, including labour, feminist, anti-racist, anti-poverty, Indigenous, environmental, living wage, disability and migrant rights. We call for papers/presentations on three themes: housing, food, and paid and unpaid care work.

Potential papers/presentation topics linked to these themes include:

  • Care work under capitalism and other alternatives
  • Housing, transportation, and the work ( paid and unpaid) of sustaining accessible, inclusive communities
  • Food and its connections to food work, both paid and unpaid, as well as health and environment
  • Feminist theories of social reproduction and their application to activism and advocacy
  • Gender, race and class dimensions of housing, food and/or care, including access, work and activism
  • New conceptions of working-class “decent living” organization and solidarity
  • Dilemmas in engaging in activism on decent living while wearing multiple “hats”, by virtue of involvement in an organizational or institutional context that may impinge one’s freedom to act

What can we learn from each other? What claims and campaigns draw support from new and old supporters? What claims have achieved success, and in which ways? Where can policy proposals make a difference? What forms of solidarity are already happening and what other possibilities exist?

ABSRACT SUBMISSION: Please submit a plain language abstract no longer than 150 words together with a brief bio. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Send your abstracts to either Susan Braedley ( [email protected]) or Anna Przednowek ([email protected]) by January 31, 2015. Responses will be provided by February 7, 2015.

Accepted authors should be prepared for an interactive round-table panel format for their presentations. There are no conference fees for this modest event!

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