CFP: London Conference in Critical Thought 2023

Submission deadline: March 13, 2023

Conference date(s):
June 30, 2023 - July 1, 2023

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

School of Social Sciences and Professions, London Metropolitan University
London, United Kingdom

Topic areas



30 June (Friday) to 1 July (Saturday) 2023  

Call for Presentations Deadline for submission of abstracts is 13 March 2023 (Monday) (GMT)


The Call for Presentations is now open for the 10th annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT), hosted and supported by the School of Social Sciences and Professions at London Metropolitan University. The LCCT is an annual interdisciplinary conference that provides a forum for emergent critical scholarship, broadly construed. The event is always free for all to attend and follows a non-hierarchical model that seeks to foster opportunities for intellectual critical exchanges where all are treated equally regardless of affiliation or seniority. For more information on other streams and for the full CFP, visit:  

One of the streams for this year's LCCT is "Rethinking Work and Career: Resisting the Neoliberal Order," organised by Ricky Gee (Nottingham Trent University), Ranier Abengana (University College Dublin), and Louise Oldridge (Nottingham Trent University).  

Since modernity, work, in general, has been understood as a fundamental human activity geared toward the realisation of our ‘worthiness’ (O’Connor, 2018). Over time, only select activities count as actual ‘work.’ Paid employment, for example, tends to be viewed as work of value while uncompensated work is largely undervalued (Taylor, 2004). The drive to pursue activities that matter creates an ‘achievement society’ in which people become projects, tirelessly working on themselves to thrive in a capitalocentric, neoliberal society, veering toward ‘voluntary self-exploitation’ (Han, 2017). The impetus for the centrality of work in careerism is the ideology of 'progress', signified by accumulative responsibility, status, and rewards (Hall and Mirvis, 1995; Gee, 2022). Progress as a central driver of the colonial/capitalist project, privileges patriarchy, whiteness and rationality via a Eurocentric lens, formulating an unjust globally structured labour market that exponentially exploits migrant, women and racialised workers (Andrews, 2021).   

Some critics have pointed out that mental health disorders arising from careerism and the centrality of work have often been regarded as individual problems rather than social and political. (Fisher, 2012). Moreover, the prevalence of problematic and precarious working conditions tends to normalise (self- )exploitation. The inescapability of work in society, the phenomenon of idolising ‘workaholics,’ and the role of passion as a chief motivator, must be considered as the material bases that sustain unjust working conditions (Chung, 2021).   

The (re-)emergence of work-related protests and resignations invites us to rethink the very paradigms of work and career. The abundance of faculty strikes and accounts of academic exodus exposes the working conditions in scholarly institutions which are supposedly more self-reflexive (Trakakis, 2020). The recent exponential support for anti-work (Seyferth, 2019), the great resignation, and quiet quitting (Lord, 2022) are also critical responses to unjust working conditions which were amplified during the pandemic. The growth of these movements merits a closer examination of the very working conditions from which they emerged.   

This stream welcomes theoretical, empirical and performative proposals exploring varied perspectives from academics, activists, artists and practitioners to rethink work and career in the neoliberal order, considering opportunities and actions to build solidarity to resist and subvert such an order.

  • How do we conceptualise 'work' and 'career' within and beyond the neoliberal society? 
  • How can we address the structural injustices allowing for uncompensated work (e.g., reproductive labour)? 
  • What are the different intersectional (race, class, gender, disability, etc.,) issues that affect working conditions and create just or unjust working environments? 
  • What are the arguments for and against the refusal of work? 
  • How can various forms of resignations and work-related protests be operative within working environments?  

For queries, please don't hesitate to contact us:

If you would like to participate, please send an abstract for a proposed presentation to [email protected] with the stream title indicated in the subject line. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and must be received by Monday, 13 March 2023 (GMT).

For more information, including guidance on presentation formats and accessibility, please go to:  

Please feel free to circulate to your respective networks.

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