[csaa-forum] Brophy/'Cognitive capitalism, call centre labour, and worker inquiry'/Usyd/Wed 18 May, 4pm-5.30pm

Gerard Goggin gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au
Tue May 3 13:59:17 CST 2011

Media at Sydney presents

ŒLanguage put to work: Cognitive capitalism, call centre labour, and worker
Enda Brophy (Simon Fraser University)

4pm-5.30pm, Wed 18 May 2011
New Law Seminar Room 028, University of Sydney (Camperdown campus; see map:


In the 1970s, Canadian political economist of communication Dallas Smythe
suggested that labour was a ³blindspot² for communication studies. Since
then, the digital economy has been the scene of growing convergence between
labour and communication. This process has been depicted in celebratory
fashion by liberal-democratic theories of the empowered knowledge worker,
and as the deskilling and subjugation of workers by Marxist labour process
theorists. Seeking to move beyond these traditions, this presentation
introduces an international inquiry into call centre work, one of the 21st
century¹s fastest-growing forms of employment. Inspired by the Italian
theoretical and political tradition of autonomist marxism, or
post-operaismo, this research has approached call centre work from the
perspective of the conflict and collective organization it is producing.
Drawing on case studies in Ireland, Canada, Italy, and New Zealand, the
presentation considers the new subjectivities and new forms of resistance
that are emerging as language, communication and culture are put to work on
the digital assembly line.
About the presenter:

Enda Brophy is Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Simon
Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. His areas of research interest are
the political economy of communication, autonomist marxism, precarious
employment and collective organising in the media and telecommunications
industries, and call centre studies. He has translated two books by Italian
scholars: for Giovanna Dalla Costa, The Work of Love: Unpaid Housework,
Poverty and Sexual Violence at the Dawn of the 21st Century, published by
Autonomedia in 2009; for Gigi Roggero, The Production of Living Knowledge:
Crisis of the University and Transformation of Labor in Europe and North
America, forthcoming from Temple University Press. He is currently preparing
a manuscript on labour resistance in the call centre.

Media @ Sydney is presented by the Department of Media and Communications,
University of Sydney: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/home/.

For further information, contact Gerard Goggin: gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au

Gerard Goggin
Professor of Media and Communications
Department of Media and Communications
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Sydney
e: gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au
p: +61 2 9114 1218
m: +61 428 66 88 24
w: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/staff/ggoggin

Level 2, room 206
Holme Building (A09a)
Footbridge terrace entrance
University of Sydney NSW 2006

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