On the 13th of October, our PI Julia Laite took part in a day-long symposium, (Im)Mobilties: Intimate labour in a transnational world, organized by Victoria Haskins (Purai -Global Indigenous and Diaspora Research Studies Centre; University of Newcastle), Rosie Cox (Geography, Birkbeck) and Julia Laite (History, Birkbeck).
The symposium aimed to bring together Birkbeck scholars to share insights into the utility of the concept of mobility for transnational themes of race, gender, class and intimate labour (particularly but not exclusively in relation to service and care work). The conversation was interdisciplinary, but also concerned with the methodologies of doing transnational and global research into intimate and domestic labour.
After a challenging conversation about the utility of the concepts of ‘mobility’ and ‘intimacy’ in our research, we heard short papers from Victoria Haskins (Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Fellow; History); Silvia Posocco (Psychosocial Studies); Esther Leslie (English and Humanities); Julia Laite (History, Classics & Archaeology); William Ackah (Geography); Ruth Sheldon (Pyschosocial Studies); Fae Dussart (Geography); and Lynne Segal (Pyschosocial Studies). Our discussions ranged from the different kinds of transnational intimate labour and labour abuses in the past and present; to the intimate, domestic and gendered experiences of migrants; to the politics of care, gentrification, and intimate migration control.
In the comments section below we’ve encouraged symposium presenters and attendees to share their thoughts, questions, and recommended bibliographic resources to continue this conversation online.