Workshop The Precariat in Art and Culture - 20-21 September 2018


20-21 September 2018 at the University of Southern Denmark
Organized by Professor, Peter Simonsen and Assistant Professor, Emily Hogg
Sponsored by Rita Felski’s Niels Bohr Professorship, Uses of Literature: The Social Dimensions of Literature

Confirmed keynote participants:
Katarina Pewny, Ghent University
Alissa Karl, Brockport SUNY
Liam Connell, University of Brighton
Walt Hunter, Clemson College
Benjamin Kohlmann, University of Freiburg
Paul Marx, SDU

In addition shorter papers will be presented by members of Uses of Art and Literature, SDU and members of Nordic Network for Working Class Literature.

Idea and focus
This workshop will focus on the precariat, art and culture. Our aim is to explore and imagine the multiple uses of cultural and artistic forms in relation to experiences of precarity, and to think critically about the role of art and culture in debates over the value, significance and novelty of the concept of the precariat. Do cultural and artistic texts depict, resist, or illuminate precarity – or something else? If the precariat is emerging as a new social class, as Guy Standing and others have argued, what kind of identity can we begin to see the contours of in contemporary artistic work and in the culture at large? What effect might representations of precarity have on the emergence of the precariat as a social class? Key topics to be discussed include the distinctiveness of the approaches to the precariat taken by poetry, narrative fiction and theatre/performance, building an account of the precariat which is attentive to geopolitical variations and to differences based on gender, race, sexuality, age and disability, and precarity’s affective dimensions, especially its potential to forge new forms of solidarity which transcend older class distinctions.

Method and format
Our aim is that the workshop will be a welcoming and stimulating environment for collaborative thought and the development of ideas. A significant amount of time during the workshop will be devoted to informal discussion amongst participants, with the intention of facilitating the discovery of new points of intellectual connection. We welcome new work and work-in-progress, and we hope that the relatively small number of participants will enable a supportive and constructive exchange of views, provide a fruitful forum for the
elaboration of new ideas and allow all participants to reflect on their own approaches through interaction with each other. We intend to use the discussions at the event to work towards a published volume, to which participants are warmly encouraged to contribute.

For enquiries please contact Project Coordinator Pernille Hasselsteen:

The Niels Bohr Professorship "Uses of Literature. The Social Dimensions of Literature" is established on the basis of grants from the Danish National Research Foundation