[Air-L] moral economies of creative labour: two day conference

Helen Kennedy H.Kennedy at leeds.ac.uk
Fri Feb 18 09:13:34 PST 2011

Moral Economies of Creative Labour
A two day conference

Media Industries Research Centre/Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds
Sociology/Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, The Open University

Date: Thursday 7th-Friday 8th July 2011
Venue: Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds

Call for Papers

In analyses of the cultural, media and creative industries, considerable attention has been paid to the negative, unethical or amoral aspects of the labour process  - such as the exploitation of 'precarious' workers, the self-exploitation that results from internalizing mechanisms of control, or the damaging aspects of inequality and individuation at work. While it remains vital to theorise these aspects, a number of scholars have sought to offer contrasting accounts that point to the diverse array of moral and ethical practices evident in cultural/creative labour, with workers appearing to routinely invest their work with social and non-instrumental values, ethics and politics - however 'commercialised', 'networked' and 'immaterial' their workplaces may appear to be. Such scholars draw their energies from accounts of the cultural or moral aspects of economic life (Sayer), the limits of market thinking in the cultural sphere (O'Neill, Keat), autonomist and post-Marxist approaches (Lazzarato, Hardt and Negri) and varied attempts to move beyond the ethical impasse of post-structuralist critique. Yet whether it is possible to identify any substantively 'moral', 'ethical' or critical features of this sector remains contentious. This conference therefore asks: what are the moral or ethical dimensions of creative work? What are the political outcomes of efforts to infuse creative labour with ethical intent or content? How might an ethical politics of creative labour be theorized and organized?  Or, given the propensity of capital to absorb or exploit normative critique, should the prospect of 'ethical' cultural work be regarded as illusory and damaging? 

Speakers include: Russell Keat, Andrew Sayer, David Hesmondhalgh, Helen Kennedy, Mark Banks. 

Papers are invited on the following (or similar) topics: creativity, cultural work and ethics; media work and ethics; ethics and aesthetics; creative/cultural policy, politics and organizing; ethics and exploitation; 'good' and 'bad' work; ethics of caring; emotions and affective creative labour; practices and virtues; the commodification of ethics; the limits of workplace ethics. 

.	Please email abstracts (150 words max for a 20 minute paper) to Liz Pollard e.v.pollard at leeds.ac.uk by Thursday 31st March. 
.	Places are limited and successful acceptance will be confirmed in mid-April. 
.	To register for the conference please also contact Liz Pollard. 
.	Conference fee: £75 (waged) £30 (Postgraduates/unwaged), includes some meals and refreshments. 
.	See http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/ and www.cresc.ac.uk for programme updates and further details.

Dr Helen Kennedy
BA Hons New Media Programme Leader
Principal Investigator, Inclusive New Media Design, http://www.inclusivenewmedia.org/
URL: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/staff/h.kennedy 

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