2021 Pop-Up Institute: Beyond the Future of Work: New Paradigms for Addressing Global Inequality

The “future of work” currently preoccupies many scholars, policy institutions, and nongovernmental and international organizations. Much of the discussion revolves around technology, driven by fears of mass job displacement caused by rapid advancements in automation. This new Pop-up Institute posits that the dominant institutional and political discourses on the future of work—with their overwhelming focus on what they see as threats to wage labor, primarily in the context of manufacturing—fail to capture the historical and ongoing racialized, gendered, and (neo)colonial patterns of accumulation and reproduction of power and wealth. The COVID-19 pandemic is rendering these fault lines even more apparent, illuminating the vulnerabilities of workers on the margins of—if essential to—global capitalism.The 2021 Pop-Up Institute will study the past, present, and future of work in a global frame, by synthesizing the methods and intellectual traditions of racial capitalism, world system-theory, and distributional analysis. It will focus on the lived experiences in both the global South and North of those rendered most precarious by work and its imagined futures. The institute brings together a wide range of disciplines and forms of expression to reconsider extant framings and accounts of the future of work in a time of pandemic.

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Principal Investigators

  • Karen EngleKaren Engle, JDMinerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law; Co-Director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, School of Law
  • Neville HoadNeville Hoad, PhDAssociate Professor of English, College of Liberal Arts; Co-Director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, School of Law

Participating Researchers

  • Bedour AlagraaBedour Alagraa, PhDAssistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Kamran Asdar AliKamran Asdar Ali, PhDProfessor of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts
  • Nicole BurrowesNicole Burrowes, PhDAssistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Bob BurseyBob BurseyExecutive Director, Texas Performing Arts
  • Mechele DickersonMechele Dickerson, JDArthur L. Moller Chair in Bankruptcy Law and Practice; University Distinguished Teaching Professor, School of Law
  • James GalbraithJames Galbraith, PhDLloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations & Professor of Government, LBJ School of Public Affairs; Professor of Government, College of Liberal Arts
  • Lorraine LeuLorraine Leu, PhDAssociate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, College of Liberal Arts
  • Anne LewisAnne Lewis, BFAAssociate Professor of Practice, Department of Radio-Television-Film, Moody College of Communication
  • Minkah MakalaniMinkah Makalani, PhDAssociate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies; Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Moore RobinRobin Moore, PhDProfessor of Ethnomusicology, Butler School of Music, College of Fine Arts
  • Alejandro MorenoAlejandro Moreno, MBBS, MPHAssistant Dean and Director of Medical Education; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Dell Medical School
  • Snehal PatelSnehal Patel, MDAssistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Dell Medical School
  • Sharmila RudrappaSharmila Rudrappa, PhDProfessor of Sociology; Director of South Asia Institute, College of Liberal Arts
  • Sonia SeemanSonia Seeman, PhDAssociate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Butler School of Music, College of Fine Arts
  • Pavithra VasudevanPavithra Vasudevan, PhDAssistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Mishal KhanMishal Khan, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow, Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice