The series, edited by labor expert Winifred Poster, explores how digital capacities and infrastructure affect how we work
The MIT Press is pleased to announce the launch of Labor and Technology, a book series that brings a new perspective to scholarly and public discussions about the digital capacities and infrastructures that are affecting how we work. The series is edited by labor expert and author Winifred Poster.
“We’re thrilled to inaugurate this series and encourage a fuller account of trends in labor and technology. By emphasizing lenses of transnationalism, feminism, and antiracism, this series aims to fill gaps in the scholarly and public discussions about the digital capacities and infrastructures that are affecting how we work,” says Poster. “Labor and Technology promotes critical analysis of dynamics like digitization, automation, artificial intelligence, platforms, mobile computing, surveillance, the gig economy, precarity, carework, crowdsourcing, outsourcing, and much more. It brings a deep and contextual analysis to accounts of new and unrecognized forms of labor.”
With four books already in the works, the titles and authors published in this series will address a wide array of issues that are largely unexplored elsewhere:
- Who are the workers being left out of the story of modern forms of labor?
- How is labor fundamentally connected to other systems of inequality, like race, class, gender, and sexuality?
- How are technologies of labor rooted in political economies, legal systems, state regulations, and social ideologies?
- What is happening in labor and technology in the majority world, beyond the global north? How are workers responding to these changes?
- How are diverse groups shaping technology from the ground up, with grassroots initiatives?
“We’re hoping that Labor and Technology will provide momentum for scholarship in this area by giving a voice to specialists who are studying these topics first-hand; by creating a space for a more nuanced, multi-dimensional, and research-informed conversation; by providing an anchor for future debates; and by tying together discussions that have been sprinkled across a myriad of disciplines to create a cohesive site for analyses of the digitization of work,” says Poster.
This spring, the MIT Press will launch the series with the publication of three books:
- Worn Out: How Retailers Surveil and Exploit Workers in the Digital Age and How Workers Are Fighting Back by Madison Van Oort (on-sale now) is an immersive, first-hand account of retail worker surveillance and resistance in the digital age;
- Sofya Aptekar’s Green Card Soldier: Between Model Immigrant and Security Threat (on-sale May 2, 2023) provides an in-depth and troubling look at a little-known group of immigrants—noncitizen soldiers who enlist in the US military; and
- Margaret Jack’s Media Ruins: Cambodian Postwar Media Reconstruction and the Geopolitics of Technology (on-sale May 16, 2023) explores how a generation of tech-savvy young Cambodians is restoring historical media artifacts from before the war—and, in the process, helping to repair the Khmer Rouge’s cultural destruction.
To learn more about Labor and Technology series, please visit https://mitpress.mit.edu/series/labor-and-technology/.
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The MIT Press