Along with a number of other writers, Kathi Weeks argues that the Marxist category of the lumpenproletariat is once again resonant, not as a form of self-identification, but as a conceptual and historical basis upon which to formulate a critical standpoint and articulate a timely political project.
Join Kathi Weeks—JHI's 2022-2023 Distinguished Visiting Fellow—for this special public lecture.
Kathi Weeks, Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Duke University, is a Marxist feminist political theorist, whose analysis of gender identities and hierarchies foregrounds the gender division of labor as a mechanism that reproduces inequality. Her research re-examines 1970s feminist analyses of waged and unwaged women’s work for insights into how both gendered and class systems of inequality are sustained and how they change over time. She is the author of Constituting Feminist Subjects (Cornell UP, 1998) and The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries (Duke UP, 2011), and a co-editor of The Jameson Reader (Blackwell, 2000).
In her 2011 book she re-examines 1970s Wages for Housework literature as an attempt to make domestic work visible and part of the valorization process, rather than separate from the experience of paid work outside the home. She takes aim at the work ethic that encourages workers to invest their time, energy and identity into work and defends an antiwork politics and postwork imagination.