Desire + Capital Volume III: Labor

Imagery of Karl Marx
Thursday 16 Mar 2023, 11:00 - Friday 17 Mar 2023, 16:30
Spoken Language
Ticket information

For an oversight of the programme, please see this page!

Add to calendar
People sitting together and having a discussion
Startup Stock Photos

Desire + Capital rides again on March 16-17. For Volume 3, we’re focusing on Labor. As your coworkers, we look forward to seeing you there to reflect on our common condition with lectures and masterclasses from Ursula Huws, Stevphen Shukaitis, and our own Nicholas Vrousalis, a borrel, and interesting discussions.

If you want to listen to what you’re getting into, check out the new trailer for our episode on debt with David van Putten below. Or if by any chance you haven't listened to our first episode on money, check it out by clicking on this link! 

Listen to the teaser of the new episode!

Programme 16.03

  • 11:00 Lecture: Stephen Shukaitis
  • 12:30 Lunch (Erasmus Paviljoen)
  • 14:00 Lecture: Nicholas Vrousailis
  • 15:30 Coffee Break 
  • 16:00 Lecture: Ursula Huws
  • 17:00 Borrel (Erasmus Paviljoen) 

Location: Langeveld 0.18

Programme 17.03

  • 13:00 Masterclass: Ursula Huws*
  • 14:30 Coffee Break
  • 15:00 Masterclass: Stevphen Shukaitis*
  • 16:30 Wrap-Up

Location: Polak 2.16
* Please e-mail to sign up for the Masterclass and receive the text. 

About Vol. 3: Labor

There’s a commodity we all sell. A commodity so foundational that it enables the production of all other commodities, necessitates money as the general equivalent, and drives the circulation of both: labor. Yet, at the same time, capital appropriates labor to divide us between those who sell their labor and those who own the means of production, and therefore purchase it. So, why do we sell our labor? Aloe Blacc already understood this, we all need a dollar.1 By changing our relationship to labor, capital intervenes on the dynamic material and social force that drives the entire system. Labor shapes our most intimate conceptions of what our lives should and could be.

A fulfilling life becomes dependent on the specific production of value tied to capitalism and the various Protestantisms accompanying it. We might think ourselves complicit, given the relative ease with which we can talk about labor from the university halls, but nonetheless, it is only by understanding its centrality to social, cultural, and political life that the initial components of Marx’s schema come into focus — and the possibility to go beyond it. Labor binds us together before it binds us to capital’s ends: the production of (surplus) value, subsuming all under the almighty dollar.

Ursula Huws is Professor Emeritus of Labour and Globalisation at the University of Hertfordshire and author of Labour in the Global Digital Economy (2014), Labour in Contemporary Capitalism: What’s Next? (2019), and most recently, Reinventing the Welfare State (2020).

Stevphen Shukaitis is Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, Centre for Work and Organization, a member of the Autonomedia Editorial Collective, and author of The Composition of Movements to Come (2015), Combination Acts (2019), and Riotous Epistemology (2019).

Nicholas Vrousalis is Associate Professor of Practical Philosophy at Erasmus School of Philosophy and author of The Political Philosophy of G.A. Cohen (2015) and Exploitation as Domination (2022).

More information

This working group is part of the project “Articulations of Desire,” generously funded by the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship program. As such, this working group benefits from the Commission’s gracious funding for infrastructural and event support.

Related content
Poster Desire and Capital II

Desire + Capital, Volume II: The Commodity

On Monday December 5th, the second volume of the lecture series Desire + Capital will take place. From money, the god of commodities, we move to the commodity

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes