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SCA2014: Technique and Formations of Work

To express interest in this panel, please use the comments feature on this page and/or contact Ishani Saraf by January 27th: isaraf [at]

In many treatments, work is associated with making, fabrication, creation and imagination, and also often linked to production and what can be made productive. Here, questions of skills, technique, tools and instruments are often subsumed under treatments of agency, technology, organisation and development. Recent work has intervened in these treatments with a focus on materials and materiality, discussions of the nature of objects and objectification, the vitality of things, practices of transformation and intimate manipulation, and the possible dispersion of work as an agency specific to the human. However, more attention needs to be paid to questions of technique as the mediation of mediation – questions of specific arrangements of tools, instruments, operations and procedures – as themselves assembling and giving form to various powers and activities as forms of work, and the light this may shed on questions of formations of value.

As examples, current papers in consideration are looking at practices of repair, street mechanics, assembly/ disassembly and waste markets, etc.

If you are interested in the panel, please send your abstract and information to Ishani Saraf (isaraf [at] by 27 January.