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Accepted Paper:

A spatial analysis of anticipation: Affective labour, gender, and precarity management in India  
Leya Mathew (Ahmedabad University)

Paper short abstract:

Analysing the spatial distribution of affective labour at an undergraduate professional college in India, this paper draws attention to the gendered work undertaken in times of relative precarity to produce and participate in future-oriented spaces.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores the spatial dimensions of youth aspiration and affective labour in the context of educational precaritisation in India. Till recently, an undergraduate pharmacy education was perceived as a ticket to secure jobs in the Indian pharma industry or in North American clinical pharmacy. With economic reforms in India restructuring the domestic pharma industry and education reforms in North America reworking the rules of equivalency for foreign graduates, diverse vectors have converged to precaritise pharma education. This paper explores the gendered affective labour undertaken by youth at a pharma college in Western India as they take responsibility for the capitalist depression of professional work into cheap labour. Rather than expecting something to happen, anticipation is a much more active looking forward and enacting of futures that prepares the groundwork for that future to occur (Bryant & Knight, 2019). The geography of anticipation (Gupta & Medappa, 2020) at the college was concentrated around a week-long cultural festival. Unlike in earlier decades, when the festival allowed a few to deliver spectacular performances, students had recently redesigned it to allow for mass participation. Classrooms, foyers, corridors, badminton courts and college grounds were re-worked into banal stages as students rehearsed all kinds of speculative selves (Gooptu, 2013). In the process, masti [fun], which in earlier decades was a transgressive masculine entitlement, was regularised and institutionalised. With the pedagogic space of the college aligned with precarious futures, the social production of new space, here, performative stages, became a crucial method for anticipating capitalist precarity.

Panel Irre06b
Refusing to fail: hope/aspiration as labour II
  Session 1 Thursday 1 April, 2021, -