Fall 2021 Speaker Series
Our Fall 2021 Colloquium, “Inequality, Labor, and Human Rights: The Future of Work in the Age of the Pandemic” features five distinguished scholars from law, sociology, geography, and political theory will explore a variety of sites to consider how the valuation of productive labor allocates resources in ways that maintain and reproduce historical patterns of racialized and gendered domination, subordination, and accumulation. Together, the speakers will introduce new possibilities for thinking beyond productive value and formal work to generate more equitable imaginaries of work and livelihood.
This multidisciplinary speaker series explored a range of geographies and types of work in the context of racialized global capitalism – from women’s unpaid domestic work in India and prison labor in the United States to the warehouse work that is key to many global supply chains. Speakers and respondents included economists, legal scholars, historians, sociologists, and geographers who interpret large-scale macroeconomic trends, conduct archival research, trace the distributive and racialized effects of often backgrounded legal rules, and use creative ethnographic methods.
Co-sponsored by the Rapoport Center, the Dell Medical School, the Opportunity Forum, and the Workers Defense Project, this Jan 20201 roundtable brought together academics, local political representatives, labor organizers, and researchers to discuss the Center’s 2020 report on the legal and political drivers behind the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on low-income Latinx construction workers in the Austin area. The event also featured responses to the report, with a focus on Austin’s accelerating urban growth and its impact on social determinants of health and worker organizing. Speakers at this event included Gregorio Casar, Austin City Council Member and Emily Timm, Co-founder and Co-executive Director, Workers Defense Project.
The play, written by Khristián Méndez Aguirrem used interviews with workers impacted by the pandemic, viral videos, official declarations, and the character of a tiger to explore some of the impacts of COVID-19. The talkback included responses by Anne Lewis and Álvaro Restrepo, Co-Founder, El Colegio Del Cuerpo, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.