Rethinking Labor Migration and Precarity: A Seminar with Guy Standing, Alejandro Grimson, and Biao Xiang, Monday, February 6, 2017, 12:00-2:00pm, Humanities 1, Rm. 210, UC Santa Cruz

December 12, 2016

By , Professor of Literature  

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Manifestación de la Marea Blanca/Health Care Workers' Protest, Madrid, Spain. Photo by Catherine S. Ramírez.

Precarity, the experience of insecurity and constant risk of exclusion, is central to the experience of many labor migrants and citizen-workers in our time. Session II of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar, focuses on precarity, labor migration, and denizenship (the status of being a denizen or inhabitant, as opposed to a full citizen), concepts that highlight the tiered and sometimes overlapping spaces between citizen and non-citizen. In this seminar, Guy Standing, Alejandro Grimson, and Biao Xiang discuss migrants, denizens, and the precariat in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. This seminar, while self-standing and based on pre-circulated readings, is meant in preparation for our symposium, "Labor Mobility and Precarity on a Global Scale," to be held Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 12:00-5:30pm, at the Stevenson Event Center.

Juan Poblete, Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz, will moderate the February 6th seminar with Professors Standing, Grimson, and Xiang. You will receive instructions to access the precirculated readings once you register for this seminar. 


Lunch will be served. Please register for the seminar in advance and receive access to precirculated readings.

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grimson headshotAn expert on south-south migration, Alejandro Grimson is dean of the School of Social Sciences at Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the author of many books, including Relatos de la diferencia y la igualdad: los bolivianos en Buenos Aires (Eudeba, 1999) and Los límites de la cultura: crítica de las teorías de la identidad (Siglo XXI Argentina, 2011), winner of the Latin American Studies Association’s Premio Iberoamericano for best book of the year.

Juan Poblete HeadshotJuan Poblete is Professor of Literature and Co-principal Investigator of Non-citizenship, UC Santa Cruz's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar. His broad and myriad research interests include nineteenth-century Latin American literature, nation and nationalism, and popular culture in the Americas. His most recent publications include Sports and Nationalism in Latin America (with Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste and Robert McKee-Irwin, Palgrave, 2015) and Humor in Latin American Cinema (with Juana Suárez, Palgrave, 2016).

standing headshotGuy StandingProfessor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, is a scholar of labor, globalization, citizenship, and social movements. His most recent books include A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2014) and The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2011). From 1999 until March 2006, he was director of the Socio-Economic Security Programme of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

xiang headshot

Biao Xiang, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, specializes in labor, migration, and social change in Asia. An ethnographer, he has studied migration from rural China to Beijing, migrant Indian information technology engineers in Australia, and unskilled labor migration from China to Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. He is the author of The Intermediary Trap (Princeton University Press, forthcoming), Global Bodyshopping (Princeton University Press, 2007), Transcending Boundaries (Chinese edition by Sanlian Press, 2000; English edition by Brill Academic Publishers, 2005), and the co-editor of Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia (Duke University Press, 2013).



This seminar is co-sponsored by the Chicano Latino Research Center and Institute for Humanities Research, with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.