Deadline: February 15, 2021

Sites and intersections of labor im/mobility
24-25 June 2021
Research meeting at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)

The research meeting Sites and intersections of labor im/mobility is jointly organized by members of SISLav – Italian Society of Labor History, the COST Action project WORCK – Worlds of related coercions in work and MOHU – Mobility&Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Padua. It will bring together the researchers who animate WORCK working groups “(Im)mobilization of the workforce” and “Sites and fields of coercion” with SISLav working group “Free and unfree labor”. The meeting is also aimed at expanding the participation to our network, so that in addition to presenting research papers, time will be allocated to roundtables for discussing further common projects and future activities.

We invite abstracts for papers that enrich the conversation about labor mobility and the related forms of coercion. In particular, we are interested in contributions that aim to link the sites and fields of coercion to paths of im/mobility. The tension between coercion and autonomy opens us to a multitude of workers’ strategies and attitudes towards labor that implies forms both of mobilization and of immobilization. We solicit contributions that embrace the perspective of workers to understand how differences in status, regulations, conditions may turn the coercion suffered into autonomy and vice versa. In this regard, the use of right may be a means to escape from a site of coercion through mobility or, on the contrary, to get better working conditions in a field.

With the term ‘rights’ we do not refer only to labor law, but to all juridical means such as passports, work contracts, marriage and good health certifications, regulations, etc. These juridical tools were employed to coerce and control workers, as much as they were devices employed by workers to fly from service and avoid the various mechanisms of coercion. Combining the study of the sites of coercion/autonomy – like households, plantations, mines, and fields – with changes in labour relations through paths of im/mobility raises a broad range of questions and issues.

Among the many topics we welcome, papers may address the following research questions:

  • How does mobility become a line of flight from sites/fields of coercion, or serve to lock people into new forms of coercive relations?
  • Which are the formal/legal frameworks that regulate labor im/mobility within specific sites or fields of coercion?
  • How do the logics of deployment and of coercion overlap and mutually reinforce one another?

Please send abstracts of less than 500 words and a short bio (max 200 words) to or by February 15, 2021. The proposal should include name, surname, current affiliation and contact details of the proponent. Abstracts will be selected by March 15, 2021 and researchers will be asked to send a short paper (max 2.000 words) or a full paper (max 8.000 words) by May 30, 2021.

For further information about the Research Meeting Sites and intersections of labor im/mobility contact the organizers:


  • Claudia Bernardi, Giulia Bonazza

Scientific Committee:

  • Claudia Bernardi, Marco Bertilorenzi, Giulia Bonazza, Andrea Caracausi, Christian G. De Vito, Nicola Pizzolato, Amal Shahid, Biljana Stojic, Müge Telci Özbek, Vilhelm Vilhelmsson

Organized by SISLav research group “Free and unfree labor”;
Worlds of related coercions WORCK working groups “Im/mobilizations of workforce” and “Sites and fields of coercion”;
MOHU-Mobility&Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies University of Padua

Hosted by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) 

You can find the Call as a PDF-File here.