Being in/ at Work: Repositioning Knowledge about Work, Disability, Chronicity

Jul 25 – Jul 28, 2023 

Pan­el at the DGSKA (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kul­tur­an­thro­polo­gie) con­fer­ence in Munich

Just a short reminder of our pan­el on work and disability/chronicity at next year’s DGSKA (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kul­tur­an­thro­polo­gie) con­fer­ence in Munich (25–28 July 2023). We hope to cre­ate a plat­form for schol­ars inter­est­ed in how people’s being at/in work relate to expe­ri­ences of dis­abil­i­ty and chronic­i­ty, in par­tic­u­lar in (but not restrict­ed to) con­texts of the Glob­al South. Your con­tri­bu­tions to the pan­el will hope­ful­ly lead to a spe­cial issue that taps into this (neglect­ed) field.

Sub­mis­sions (max. 200 words) should go to The Call for Paper runs until 15 Decem­ber 2022. Please con­sid­er sub­mit­ting an abstract and cir­cu­late widely.

Being in/ at Work: Repo­si­tion­ing Knowl­edge about Work, Dis­abil­i­ty, Chronic­i­ty (Work­shop)

Dis­abil­i­ty and chronic­i­ty are terms that seek to cap­ture bioso­cial expe­ri­ences that inter­sect with, and affect, how peo­ple engage in work, labor or employ­ment. This pan­el is focused on how peo­ple nav­i­gate dis­abling, debil­i­tat­ing and/or are enabling expe­ri­ences in and through work, and how these expe­ri­ences are shaped by the social local­i­ties from which they emerge. We place empha­sis on how work becomes sig­nif­i­cant for peo­ple whose bod­i­ly con­di­tions or appear­ances are pro­duced as ‘oth­er’ in respec­tive soci­eties, or who expe­ri­ence pain or chron­ic ill­ness that delim­it (but maybe also reshape or expand) their pos­si­bil­i­ties to con­tribute to com­mu­ni­ties and oth­er social arrange­ments. Depart­ing from the focus on work-relat­ed exclu­sion put for­ward in pre­vi­ous inquiries in anthro­pol­o­gy and relat­ed dis­ci­plines, we attend to pos­i­tive rela­tions between occu­pa­tion­al iden­ti­ties and work embod­i­ments on the one hand, and expe­ri­ences of dis­abil­i­ty and chronic­i­ty on the oth­er. Explor­ing new angles on the inter­play between ‘being dis­abled’ and ‘being in/at work’, we ask whether and how work ‘works’ as a form to aban­don or to prob­lema­tize con­struc­tions of dis­abil­i­ty. The work­shop will bring togeth­er schol­ars who address one or more of the fol­low­ing concerns:

Co-Con­sti­tu­tion: How are forms of dis­abil­i­ty and/or chronic­i­ty defined in con­nec­tion to notions and ideas of work? And vice ver­sa, how do dis­abil­i­ty and chronic­i­ty shape extant forms of labor?

Mean­ing-Mak­ing: How do peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ty and/or chron­ic con­di­tions in dif­fer­ent local­i­ties around the globe per­form and talk about their work?

Cri­tique: How can embed­ded under­stand­ings of dis­abil­i­ty, chronic­i­ty and work be brought to estrange the work­ings of admin­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures, ide­olo­gies and polit­i­cal arrangements?

Reflec­tion and Auto-Ethnog­ra­phy: To what degree is the labor of anthro­pol­o­gists shaped by ableist con­cep­tions? Which poten­tial does dis­abil­i­ty hold to explore exclu­sion­ary dimen­sions of anthro­po­log­i­cal work?

Best, Ste­fanie Mauksch
Insti­tut für Ethnologie
Fakultät für Geschichte, Kun­st und Regionalwissenschaften
Uni­ver­sität Leipzig
+49 341 97 37 227