Care of the Other: Caretaking Work, Queer Kinship, and Mutual Embodiment
Professor Elizabeth Freeman (UC Davis)
This talk explores caretaking as a form of work on the self, but not the moral sort that allows for greater self-knowledge and thus expands the self.Instead, I argue that care work involves allowing the self to be deregulated, bent toward others, feminized and racialized, and in many ways disabled. As a form of un- or undercompensated labor, care work arguably has its roots in slavery as well as in patriarchy: it is the work of white women and people of color. Yet its capacities to link people into new coalitions and identity-formations bridge heterosexual marriage and queer companionship, male and female, parenting and other forms of kinship, voluntary and coerced labor, racializing taxonomies and processes of racialization that flout those taxonomies.
Framing my talk with a consideration of how the United States government is working to re-privatize care work, I will use Edith Wharton’s novella Ethan Frome as a case study for the queerness of caretaking itself — its strange temporalities; its production of non-normatively gendered, racialized, sexualized, and dis/abled bodies; the kinds of alternative kinships it enables; its reimagination of labor relations beyond both the classically Marxist story of social reproduction and the liberal story of self-confirmation and self-extension.
About Elizabeth Freeman
Elizabeth Freeman is a Professor of English at UC Davis, specialising in American literature and gender/sexuality/queer Studies. She has written two books – The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture (Duke UP, 2002), and Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (Duke UP, 2010) along with articles in numerous scholarly journals.
She was also the editor of a special issue of GLQ, 'Queer Temporalities' (2007). She now serves as Editor of GLQ with Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, Marcia Ochoa (UC Santa Cruz).
A Fraudulent History of Black Manhattan: The Hustlers and the Hustled
Professor Shane White (University of Sydney)
New York has always been a city tinged with fraud. From Boss Tweed and Bernie Madoff through to the myriad cons and scams – many small, some not so small – committed everyday on the streets, fraud is more than just part of the fabric of city life, potentially it is a key to understanding its history. The cons that worked, the spiels that convinced New Yorkers and strangers simply to hand over their money, lay bare more of New York’s past than any dry telling of the doings of city mayors. My interest here is in the role of fraud and confidence tricks in the life of Black Manhattan, the way New York blacks have hustled and been hustled. My conceit is that such a fraudulent history, as well as being fascinating in its own right, can reveal much that is unknown, and perhaps even true, about New York City itself.
There have been two Golden Ages of the black confidence trick in New York City. The first, following on from the end of slavery in New York State in 1827, lasted for a little more than a decade in the 1830s and 1840s, and the second, fractionally longer and almost a century later, took place in the 1920s and 1930s. Not coincidentally, both were periods of dramatic and abrupt change in African American life, transitional times when new things disrupted older more settled ways. Also not coincidentally, in both periods city streets were alive with African Americans living off their mother wit. Some were hustlers and con artists of the highest order and this talk is about a couple of them.
About Shane White
As student, postgrad, member of staff and eventually the august Challis Professor of History, I have been in the History Department at the University of Sydney since I was seventeen years old. As you can see from the accompanying photograph that was some time ago.
I write African American history and much of it is about New York City. I have authored or co-authored a number of books including Stylin’ (1998), The Sounds of Slavery (2005) and Playing the Numbers (2010). I am also part of the Harlem team that put together the website Digital Harlem.
My most recent book, Prince of Darkness (2015) has been optioned by Hollywood (though I confidently expect nothing to happen and ain’t quitting my day job quite yet). I have been collecting material about black con men and women for three decades – they have long fascinated me.
Plenary Session: America and the World: US Foreign Policy in the Trump Era
- Associate Professor Brendan O’Connor (United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney), 'What is Trump foreign policy ideology?'
- Dr Kumuda Simpson (LaTrobe University), ‘America and the Middle East in the Trump era’
- Professor Ian Tyrrell (UNSW and United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney), ‘American Exceptionalism in the Time of Trump’
About Brendon O’Connor
Brendon O'Connor is an Associate Professor in American Politics at the University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Georgetown University in 2006, a Visiting Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC in 2008 and 2015, and life member of Clare Hall at University of Cambridge.
Brendon is the editor of seven books on anti-Americanism and has also published articles and books on American welfare policy, presidential politics, US foreign policy, and Australian–American relations. He is a regular commentator in the Australian media on American politics and foreign policy.
About Kumuda Simpson
Dr Kumuda Simpson is a lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and Philosophy at La Trobe University. She received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2012 and has taught at several Australian universities. Her research interests include climate change and security, nuclear proliferation and energy security, arms control, Middle Eastern Politics, and American politics. She has published on a range of issues including gun control in America and regional security issues in the Middle East.
Her recent book is titled America’s Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran. She is currently working on a book looking at the security implications of global climate change. She is a regular commentator on ABC Radio and local radio stations, and a regular columnist for The Conversation.
About Ian Tyrrell
Ian Tyrrell is Emeritus Professor of History at UNSW. Many of his books and essays have pioneered transnational approaches to United States history, including 'American Exceptionalism in an Age of International History' (American Historical Review 1991); Woman’s World/Woman’s Empire, True Gardens of the Gods, Transnational Nation, and Reforming the World. His latest book is Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt’s America.
A former ANZASA President and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Ian was awarded a Commonwealth of Australia Centenary Medal in 2003, and has been a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris; and Joyce Appleby (Visiting) Professor of United States History at the University of California, Los Angeles, Fall 2009. He served as the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History in the University of Oxford for 2010–11; and was appointed a Professorial Fellow of the Queen’s College, Oxford.
Postgraduate/ECR Session: How To Maximise the Impact and Engagement of Your Research
This panel will address the changing research landscape in which Impact and Engagement are becoming increasingly significant for academic researchers. What do these terms mean for you as a Higher Research Degree or Early Career researcher?
- Professor Michael Ondaatje (ACU)
- Dr Tamson Pietsch (UTS)
About Michael Ondaatje
Michael Ondaatje is National Head of the School of Arts and Professor of History at ACU. Ondaatje is the author of the prize-winning book, Black Conservative Intellectuals in Modern America, and in 2012 was awarded the Max Crawford Medal, ‘Australia’s most prestigious award for achievement and promise in the humanities’. He has been a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, and in 2013 was selected by the US Embassy in Australia for the International Visitor Leadership Program, the premier professional exchange program of the US government.
Ondaatje is also the winner of a number of national teaching awards, including an OLT Award for Teaching Excellence and an OLT Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, and is a regular political commentator in the media – on television, radio and in print. His writing has appeared in newspapers such as The Independent (UK), Sydney Morning Herald, and Australian Financial Review, and in other publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education (US), Newsweek (Japan) and ABC Religion and Ethics.
About Tamson Pietsch
Tamson Pietsch is Senior Lecturer in Social & Political Sciences and Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Public History at UTS where she also holds an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship. Her research focuses on the history of empire and the global politics of knowledge in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tamson is the author of Empire of Scholars: universities networks and the British academic world, 1850–1939 (Manchester, 2013) and the co-editor of The Transnational Politics of Higher Education (Routledge, 2016). She is currently writing a book about the 1926 world-cruise of the 'Floating University' as well as leading a project on expertise in interwar Australia.Tamson blogs at capandgown.wordpress.com and tweets at @cap_and_gown.
Page last updated: 2017-06-28
Short url: http://www.acu.edu.au/1190281