The workshop films form the starting point of the second day of the conference: a small selection of specific films, chosen according to thematic and associative terminological fields, provide an opening for each panel and serve as a common knowledge base for presentations and discussions.
This panel will undertake a sorting of the history of ideas, images, and terms around work, with reference to the triangle of property, labor, and capital. At the same time, questions will be raised as to how we can speak about wage labor from a socio-historical and transnational perspective. How can knowledge be distinguished from commodity—or itself be commodified? What ideological parameters are set by the iconographic history of images of labor? Beyond mono-theoretical dominance, how can transhistorical and transcultural observations and approaches be conceived that allow broader analyses of the process of linking labor, human beings, society, and capital?
Dirk Baecker (sociologist, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen), Isabell Lorey (political theorist, European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Berlin), Gertrud Koch (film theorist, Free University of Berlin), Prabhu Mohapatra (economic and social historian, University of Delhi), Peter J. Schwartz (literature and film researcher, Boston University)
Moderator: Roy Grundmann (film theorist, Boston University)
Dirk Baecker is a sociologist and economist, and currently holds the Chair of Cultural Theory and Analysis at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen. He is coeditor of the journal Soziale Systeme: Zeitschrift für soziologische Theorie (since 1995), cofounder of the Management Zentrum Witten for management and consulting education (2000-2011), coeditor of the yearbook Revue für Postheroisches Management (2007-2012), and board member of the journal Cybernetics & Human Knowing. A proponent of sociological system theory, he investigates sociological and cultural theory, economic sociology, organizational research, and management theory.
Roy Grundmann is director of the newly founded undergraduate major in Cinema and Media Studies at Boston University and also directs the university’s Graduate Film and Television Studies division in the Department of Film and Television. Focusing on film at the transition from modernism to postmodernism, he publishes on American and German narrative cinema, international avant-garde film, film theory and cultural theory, gay and lesbian film history, and queer theory. He is the author of Andy Warhol’s Blow Job (2003), editor of the standard work on filmmaker Michael Haneke, A Companion to Michael Haneke (2010), and a coeditor of the four-volume The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film (2012). Grundmann is the curator of several landmark film retrospectives on Andy Warhol, Matthias Müller, and Werner Schroeter, as well as of the first comprehensive retrospective of the films of Michael Haneke. He is a contributing editor of Cineaste magazine. With Gregory Williams, Grundmann directed the conference Labour in a Single Shot in Boston in November 2014.
Gertrud Koch is a professor of film studies in the theater studies department at Berlin’s Free University. She has held fellowships at numerous international research institutions such as the Getty Institute, Los Angeles, Columbia University, New York, University of California, Berkeley, and the postgraduate program “Körper-Inszenierungen” at the Free University. From 2003 to 2014 she coordinated the project On the Significance of Illusion in Film Aesthetics at the Collaborative Research Center 626: Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits, for which she is also the spokeswoman. At the Free University, she is additionally a member of the Center for Advanced Studies “BildEvidenz” and, since 2006, of the Research Training Group “InterArt.”
Isabell Lorey is a political theorist at the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp), a coeditor of transversal texts and the book series “es kommt darauf an.” She teaches political theory, gender studies, and postcolonial theory as a professor of sociology and cultural studies at various European universities. She has published internationally on the precarization of work and life in neoliberalism; current social movements, with a focus on pro-democracy movements since 2011; and critical democracy theory and political immunization. Her recent publications include Figuren des Immunen (2011) and Kognitiver Kapitalimus (2012) with Klaus Neundlinger. Her latest book, Regierung der Prekären (2012), is being published in English in 2015 under the title State of Insecurity. Government of the Precarious.
Prabhu Mohapatra teaches economic and social history in the Department of History at the University of Delhi. He has been a research fellow and visiting professor at Yale University, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, the universities of Cambridge, Amsterdam, and Leiden, and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. His research interests include agricultural history, transnational labor history, the history of labor regulation in South Asia, global migration history, and economic and social history in modern South Asia.
Peter J. Schwartz is an associate professor of German and Comparative Literature at Boston University, where he also teaches courses on film. He is the author of After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime (2010), as well as articles on Goethe and his era, Georg Büchner, Aby M. Warburg, and Michael Haneke. His most recent publication is an iconographic study of the paper money of Communist China and Soviet silent film (2014). He is currently preparing a complete translation of a classic work on genre theory, André Jolles’s Einfache Formen (Simple Forms, 1930).