Geert Lovink on Wed, 16 Mar 2011 16:20:49 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Moral Economies of Creative Labour - A two day conference (Leeds/UK)

Moral Economies of Creative Labour - A two day conference

Organisers: MIRC/Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds & Sociology/CRESC, The Open University
Date: Thursday 7th-Friday 8th July 2011

Venue: Institute of Communications 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 – the exploitation of ‘precarious’ workers, the self-exploitation that results from internalizing mechanisms of control, and 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?

Keynote speakers:

• Susan Christopherson (author of Remaking Regional Economies (with Jennifer Clark) and numerous publications on creative economies); • Russell Keat (author of the classic text Cultural Goods and the Limits of the Market); • Andrew Sayer (author of, amongst other books, the forthcoming Why Things Matter to People: Social Science, Values and Ethical Life and co-editor of Culture and Economy after the Cultural Turn).

Other speakers include: Mark Banks, David Hesmondhalgh, Helen Kennedy, David Lee and Jason Toynbee. 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 at 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 and for programme updates and further details.

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