Why is it hard to talk about labor in digital scholarship?
From Lisa Otty
Why is it hard to talk about labor in digital scholarship? It is challenging, which is why there are frequent discussions of invisible labor, and why scholars are working to extend concepts like Arlie Hochschild’s idea of emotional labor into other workplaces like libraries; and why there are metaphors like “technical debt” to describe unplanned labor resulting from institutional technology choices. And efforts like these to articulate labor may or may not be applied in actual labor contexts.
A simple answer might be that there’s never as much money or time as we would like to have for the labor that needs doing. But this explanation suppresses further inquiry as pointless because the problem of labor is insurmountable. In this talk, Paige will examine assumptions that are baked in to the ways we frame labor and collaboration -- assumptions that often go unnoticed -- and consider how greater awareness of these assumptions might change the way we talk about labor, and make better dialogue about labor possible .
Paige Morgan is the Digital Publishing and Copyright Librarian and Head of Digital Scholarship and Publishing Services at the University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press.
Chaired by Melissa Terras, Director of the Centre for Data, Culture & Society.
First broadcast on Wednesday 24 February, 2021.