CfP: Working all night: modernity, night shifts and the temporal organization of labour across political and economic regimes

Call for papers, deadline 8 April 2019

The night, starting after dusk and progressing into the dark and early hours, has always and almost universally, across cultures and societies, represented a special, ‘liminal’ or ‘out of the ordinary’ temporal zone with its own meanings, possibilities and dangers, having specific political, cultural, religious and social implications. It is only since the modern era that the night has become increasingly ‘normalised’, disenchanted and colonised, for example in terms of production processes and services extending into the night. In this workshop we want to explore the emergence and proliferation of the ‘night shift’ across political and economic regimes. Although 24/7 industrial production is often seen as a consequence of capitalist expansion (Crary 2013), both spatially and geographically or in terms of temporal reach, we want to extend the analysis by including other political and economic regimes in which night shift work emerged such as in socialism and fascism. Even if initially driven by capitalist expansion, other economic and political regimes adopted and regulated the ‘night shift’, for various political, economic or ideological reasons, hence normalising it as part of an alternative modernity. In this workshop we want to start exploring a field that has been largely ignored in labour history, looking comparatively, and through time, how the different political and economic actors, agencies and stakeholders in these different regimes (such as state officials, politicians, industrialists, experts, workers, trade unions, labour organisations, etc) conceptualised and intervened in the discussions around the ‘night shift’. 
Issues we would like contributors to address in the workshop are: How did the temporal organization of labour and the night shift evolve in different places and different times? How has the night shift been perceived and ‘lived’ by workers who have engaged in this activity? Who are, and were, the workers involved in night work? To what extent has the ‘night shift’ been carried out by specific groups and/or categories (such as unskilled workers, women, migrants, etc). To what extent has the night shift been seen as compatible or clashing with with key social, human and labour rights? How has night work been legitimized, contested, and negotiated by different stakeholders at all levels of the economic hierarchy? And, what are the threats to well-being of night workers due to lack of regulations to night work (in global cities)?

The workshop is organised by Lucie Duskova, M.A. (Charles University), Prof. Dr. Ger Duijzings (University of Regensburg), and Dr. Julius-Cezar MacQuarie (Centre for Policy Studies, Central European University).

Travel and accommodation costs covered by organisers.

The organizers plan to publish an edited volume, or alternatively one or two special issues of a refereed and indexed journal (in both cases, posted at the Web of Sciences), with papers presented at the workshop.

Organisers plan to organise the Nightlaboratory Satellite event.

Workshop language: English.

Abstracts of max 300 words with short bio to be sent by 8 April.
Address for sending the abstracts and short bio:
Acceptance notification 22 April. 
Draft papers to be submitted by 15 October 2019. 
Workshop dates: 14 – 16 November 2019.

Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague (Key note lecture) 
Prostor 39 (former polygraph factory) workshop

Key note speaker: 
Prof. Dr. Hannah Ahlheim, Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen.
(Prof. Dr. Sarah Sharma, Associate Professor, Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, University of Toronto.) To be confirmed.