Forthcoming Publication “Coercion and Wage Labour: Exploring Labour Relations Through History and Art” (Editors: Anamarija Batista, Corinna Peres & Viola Müller)

Coercion in work is a universal human experience that can be found in manifold forms of labour relations, both contemporary and historical. The analysis of coercive mechanisms in labour relations draws on various disciplinary approaches, mediums and tools.

We are currently in the process of developing the forthcoming publication “Coercion and Wage Labour: Exploring Labour Relations Through History and Art” that is associated with the research network “Worlds of Related Coercions in Work” (COST Action WORCK). The publication addresses the relation between wage labour organisation and coercive production in multiple geographical regions and historical contexts. It explicitly challenges the conceptualisation of wage labour as a form of free labour. Beyond the binary of free and remunerated vs. unfree and non-remunerated labour, it analyses moments and logics of coercion within labour relations mediated by remuneration (of all kinds) and/or contracts (of all kinds).

The publication will include three elements: academic contributions by anthropologists and historians, illustrations directly related to the academic contributions and contributions from the fields of art theory and artistic research.

Our aim is to narrate stories of work and coercion through different interrelated mediums – such as text, sound and image – in order to reflect on how stories about the past are conceptualised, created and communicated.

For the forthcoming publication, we invite art scholars and researchers from the artistic field to submit proposals that address historical and contemporary forms of coercion in remunerated labour relations, both on a content and theoretical level. We especially invite colleagues working on topics such as family coercion, child labour, and colonial settings. In general, contributions may address (but are not limited to) the following themes in relation to narrating stories of coercion and work:

  • Ambiguities of wage labour and coercion in ancient/medieval/modern and/or contemporary times
  • Binding the workforce: remuneration tactics and governmental initiatives
  • Manipulating labour relations: mechanisms of remuneration, debt, and punishment
  • Confronting coercion: labourers’ reaction at the workplace
  • Narrating the past in an interdisciplinary way (knowledge production)
  • Theoretical reflections on a multimedia historiography of wage labour

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words and a biography of 100 words (in English) to by 31 October 2021.

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