Both ‘work’ and ‘job’ are key words today. Neither had its prominence three hundred years ago. Both are still untranslatable from European languages into many others. Most languages never have one single word to designate all activities that are considered useful. Some languages happen to have a word for activities demanding pay. This word usually … Continue reading The Book I’m Currently Writing, Take 3
In this post, I want to turn from the idea of home as a refuge from the public to consider the centrality of the ‘household’ to work, perhaps as the first tentative step towards a ‘history of the present’ of work. Remember the aim of a history of the present is not to look for … Continue reading The Fall of the ‘Household’
In my readings on the history of work thus far, I’ve come across a fairly stable trend in how thinkers about work think about work. At the beginning of the 21st century we have two broad and entangled ways of understanding what work is. Firstly, to put none too fine a point on it, work … Continue reading A Working Definition of Work
In the second year of my PhD one of the reviewers at my annual review queried the metastasizing scope of my thesis. As it started to slip from a transnational history of Australian protest into a sort of weird agglomeration of case studies touching on everything from 19th Century vaccinations in Britain to the Boer … Continue reading Is a History of Work a History of Everything?
Two years ago, I left my academic career and got a ‘real job’. That transition has been difficult in a number of ways. Increasingly, the shift from a career I deeply loved and identified strongly with to one that I'm grateful to have but that feels like work has left me with one insistent question. Why … Continue reading An Introduction of Sorts