Re-imagining Class: Working-Class Identity and Intersectionality in Contemporary Culture



OPEK (Vaartkom 4, 3000 Leuven, Belgium)

LGC-fellow Joeri Verbesselt will present a lecture at the symposium "Re-imagining Class: Working-Class Identity and Intersectionality in Contemporary Culture" that will take place both online as in person and is organised by KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts. The symposium “Re-imagining Class” starts with the simple observation that the concept of class has reemerged as a theme in academic discourse as well as in a wide array of cultural forms of expression. On the one hand, its goal is to question the relevance of older notions of class in the light of structural shifts of the labor market, which have also impacted traditional notions of labor, social mobility and identity. On the other hand, the symposium will explore to what extent literature, theater and film reflect (re-)produce or interrogate imaginaries of class, thereby relating it to other identity categories like gender, sexuality and race. 

"If we don’t think precarity and working-class identity beyond the human (Puar, Hribal), we become complicit in the process of precaritization, as we risk breaking off the human from its sustaining conditions (Butler). In his story “The Eyes of the Sky” Tao islander and Pacific Ocean writer Syaman Rapongan exposes the resistance of Indigenous Tao fishermen against the destructive fishing industry from Taiwan main island – Pongso no Tao is ruled by the Settler government of Taiwan. Crafting multispecies storytelling beyond anthropomorphism, Rapongan embodies the aquatic position of a Cilat (‘a large fish’) to imagine the precarious intra-section (a political ontology of being-in-relation, Barad) of this fish species with the seasonal schools of flying fish (indispensable for Tao survival), the Tao fishermen and the Taiwanese fishing industry. This literary example of a ‘becoming-species’ of precarity helps us to understand how we can imagine and politicize the ‘constituting, life-supporting bonds between species’ integral to capitalism (Shukin)." (Joeri Verbesselt)

To attend the presentation you are gladly asked to register.

For the full programme, please consult the "more information".

Lieven Gevaert Centre
KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts
Blijde Inkomststraat 21 pb 3313
B-3000 Leuven

Lieven Gevaert Centre
UC Louvain, Archéologie et d'histoire d'art
FIAL - Place Blaise Pascal 1 bte L3.03.13
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve