Saturday May 2, 6 pm
Harry Cleaver is a professor emeritus from the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught courses in Marxian economics, the history of economic thought, the political economy of international crisis, and the political economy of education. Cleaver is a renowned theoretician, activist, and founding figure in the autonomist Marxist tradition. In 1979 he published Reading Capital Politically, a detailed reading of the first chapter of Marx’s Capital. In this seminal book, Cleaver demonstrates that Marx meant Capital to be a weapon in the hands of the working class. Cleaver also broadens the class analysis beyond factory workers to include housewives, students, and other unwaged workers. Beginning in 1994, Cleaver was involved in the Zapatista Movement as revolutionaries in Chiapas struggled against the Mexican state for autonomy. Through his research, teaching, and activism, Cleaver has produced a body of work that restores working class autonomy and class struggle as the key determinants of capitalist development.
Ursula Huws is Professor of Labour and Globalisation at the University of Hertfordshire and the director of Analytica Social and Economic Research Ltd in the UK. She is editor of the journal Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation. Huws has been carrying out pioneering research on the economic and social impacts of technological change, the telemediated relocation of employment and the changing international division of labour since the 1970s. She has directed a large number of international research projects in in Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America and Australia and carried out consultancy for government bodies in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. An internationally recognized expert on offshore outsourcing, she has authored many research reports for international and national government bodies as well as writing and editing books and articles aimed at more popular audiences. She is currently Chair of COST Action IS 1202, the Dynamics of Virtual Work. Her latest book, Labor in the Global Digital Economy: the Cybertariat Comes of Age, was published in 2014 by Monthly Review Press.
Nick Dyer-Witheford is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, where he teaches courses on the political economy of information. Dyer-Witheford is a prominent scholar and the author of two books: Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High Technology Capitalism (1999) and Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex (2015). He also co-authored Games of Empire with Greig de Peuter and Digital Play with de Peuter and Stephen Kline. Dyer-Witheford writes in the autonomist Marxist tradition, emphasizing the continued relevance of Marx’s work in the information age. He asserts that the dynamics of contemporary forms of capitalist accumulation arise from conflicts in which people resist domination through resistance, reappropriation, sabotage, and invention. Whether in his analyses of communication networks, video games, or libraries, Dyer-Witheford’s research draws attention to the significance of the interconnections among cycles of global struggles against capitalist domination.
Alison Hearn is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. She has also taught at Simon Fraser University, the University of Toronto, Trent University, and Northeastern University. Along with Liora Salter, Hearn is the co-author of the book Outside the Lines: Issues in Interdisciplinary Research which explores the possibilities of critical thinking and cultural commentary both within and beyond the setting of the university. Her work emphasizes the intersections of media and culture through analyses of visual and tele-visual theory, media art activism, and higher education. She is also a research associate at the Centre for Policy Research in Science and Technology at Simon Fraser University. Hearn is a distinguished scholar of self-branding, reality television, identity, and the reputation economy. She is currently working on a book about reality television entitled Real Incorporated: Explorations in Reality Television and Contemporary Visual Culture.