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Sweatshop City

Laura Y. Liu

Laura Y. Liu is Associate Professor of Global Studies and Geography at The New School. Her ongoing research project, Sweatshop City, examines the urban geography of migration, industry, and neighborhood change in New York City. The contemporary global city, she argues, is a “sweatshop city,” dominated by a spatial hierarchy of work that is unevenly visible and intentionally obscures relations of power and accountability. Based on ethnographic fieldwork on immigrant community organizing at workers’ centers in New York, Liu’s research demonstrates the extent to which sweatshop labor – hyper-exploitative work performed in highly segmented and segregated labor markets embedded within structures of subcontracting – remains a constitutive feature of the city’s economy.

GIDEST is a Mellon-funded research institute based at The New School that incubates transdisciplinary research at the intersection of social theory, art, and design. As well as our faculty, artist-in-residence, and doctoral fellows’ programs, we run a series of biweekly public seminars that feature both prominent and emerging scholars and practitioners. Our seminars are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated materials. For more information, please visit http://gidest.org.

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