The Labor of Race in the Age of Inequality

Join us this coming Tuesday, May 2, at 4 pm in the EMU Miller Room for the year’s final meeting of the UO Labor Research Colloquium.

Faculty members Joe Lowndes (Political Science) and Daniel HoSang (Political Science/Ethnic Studies) will present a talk on “The Labor of Race in the Age of Inequality.”  The ongoing attacks on public sector workers and their unions have emphasized a recurring charge of parasitism and dependency—insisting that government employees are the non-productive “takers” feeding off the labor of others.  This talk explores the origins and circulation of these claims, considering the unanticipated ways that race and racism undergird such attacks even when they are made against a predominantly white workforce. Their work examines diverse sites of such representations—political cartoons, popular television shows, and political speeches—as well as the counter discourses that unions have mobilized in response. Ultimately, they point to the ways that the very discourse and language of producerism—a resonant and important strain of labor politics in the United States historically—can only serve to undermine and foreclose possibilities for organized labor today.

It’s hard to imagine a more important or timely topic, or two people better qualified to make sense of it.

The Labor Research Colloquium is designed for UO faculty and graduate students but is open to the public.  Please feel free to share this announcement with any members of the UO or Eugene community who you think might be interested in the topic.

We look forward to seeing you May 2 at 4 pm in the EMU Miller Room.