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Towards a new anthropology of work futures [Future Anthropologies Network (FAN)] 
Debora Lanzeni (Monash University)
Victoria Stead (Deakin University)
Martin Berg (Malmö University)
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Sarah Pink (Monash University)
Minna Ruckenstein
Seth M. Holmes (University of Barcelona, ICREA, UC Berkeley)
Friday 26 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel aims to shape an agenda for an Anthropology of Work Futures, encompassing shifts in AI, automation and robotisation, as well as enduringly manual forms of work. We invite contributions exploring transforming imaginaries, practices, power relations and methodologies of future work.

Long Abstract:

The panel explores anthropological approaches to, and perspectives on, transformations to work, and invites participants to join us in shaping an agenda for an Anthropology of Work Futures.

Transformation of work lies at the centre of our social and political present, with the future horizons of these transformations the focus of contestation, speculation and imagination. A growing interest in work futures coincides with a wider rise of ‘futures anthropology’, with futures an increasingly central concern for anthropologists. New conceptual and methodological tools, approaches and modes of researching work futures are emerging, and more are needed. In response to this task, this panel examines: how utopian and dystopian imaginaries are produced through, and mobilised in pursuit of diverse work futures; the implications of shifts in emerging technologies, affective states, and flows of capital; and the intersections of imagined work futures with messy, diverse, everyday spaces of practice and experience. We examine the intersections of digital and technologically innovative forms of work with enduringly manual and embodied work experiences, and the distributions of futurity and power in working lives.

Methodologically, we ask: how can anthropology effectively attend to both the material and imaginative dimensions of work in the present and in possible futures? What new ways of knowing and engaging with the futures of work are developing in the work of contemporary anthropologists?

We invite empirical, theoretical and methodological perspectives, on topics including (but not limited to) AI and automation, digitalisation and robotisation of work, as well as non-technological possible work futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 26 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Friday 26 July, 2024, -