In looking toward the opening reception for the exhibition Soft Skills, we would like to share some suggested readings, selected by the exhibition's curator Kaegan Sparks. These materials are intended to provide further context for the exhibition and the accompanying series of public programs.
They touch on subjects ranging from reproductive and affective labor to care and ASMR to gendered and racialized forms of work. These readings each deal with labors; performances; and investments of emotion, intellect and bodily expense that are widely unrecognized and / or unvalued as work.
We have included links for all open-source material; PDFs of all other readings can be accessed by searching the terms below in your web browser.
Sara Ahmed, "Smile!," Feminist Killjoys blog, 2017.
Nitin K. Ahuja, "Softer than Softcore," The New Inquiry, 2014.
Tasha Bjelić, "Digital Care," Women & Performance: Ampersand, 2016.
Evelyn Nakano Glenn, "From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial Division of Paid Reproductive Labor," Signs, Volume 18, No. 1, 1992.
Saidiya Hartman, "The Belly of the World: A Note on Black Women’s Labor," Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, 2016.
Arlie Russel Hochschild, The Managed Heart: the Commercialization of Human Feeling, Chapters 1, 3, and 8, University of California Press, 1983.
Shannon Jackson, "Just-in-Time: Performance and the Aesthetics of Precarity," TDR: The Drama Review, Volume 56, No. 4, 2012.
Johanna Oksala, "Affective Labor and Feminist Politics," Signs, Volume 41, No. 2, 2016.
Martha Rosler, "Why Are People Being So Nice," e-flux journal, 2016.
Kathi Weeks, "Life Within and Against Work: Affective Labor, Feminist Critique, and Post-Fordist Politics," ephemera: theory & politics in organization, volume 7, 2007.