I will present a paper at the 7th Annual Ethnography Symposium, University of Liverpool, 29th-31st August 2012. Below title and abstract. (This is part of my research on the Dr Chau Chak Wing project of UTS Business School, click here for more info). To download the presentation, click here.
“The global, the local and the production of territory. Or: How a Business School creates (new?) organizational patterns to answer to (old?) neoliberal crisis”
This paper poses a central question: how do “local” territories emerge in the globalized world in time of crisis, and how in particular does this relate to the process of change undertaken by many Business School around the world? In order to answer, the paper re-works canonical understandings of globalization and presents the outcome of a seven month ethnographic fieldwork, which focuses on the process of change currently undertaken by UTS’ Business School. The outcomes of this research are essentially three. Firstly, it provides a fluid and topologically tuned understanding of how territories are produced in the current global economy. Secondly, it unfolds the process of change undertaken by the School, revealing both its rationale and most nuanced dynamics. Thirdly, the paper identifies three movements in the production of territory: aligning, translating and opening. The three forms the “ATOm” schematization proposed at the end of the work, which offers the analytical standpoint from which it is possible to critique the neoliberal rationale underpinning Business Schools’ changes.
Globalization, Territory, Business School, Assemblage, Neoliberalism, ATOm
Photo source: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1018/1124577633_3cdb131392.jpg
A new article on the Journal of Political Power. If you would like to read it, please send me an email here.
Cunha, P.M., Rego, A., Clegg, S. and Lancione, M. (2012), Organizing a utopian State of Exception: The case of the S-21 extermination camp, Phnom Penh, The Journal of Political Power, 5:2, p. 279-299
Organization theory, Clegg pointed out, has failed to address the role of organi- zations in some of the crimes of/against humanity, suggesting that more atten- tion should be given to the case of total institutions. With this paper we respond to Clegg’s invitation and study the S-21 extermination camp, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We do so by engaging with the work of the Italian philosopher Gior- gio Agamben, with the aim of investigating the organizational patterns that con- stitute the camp as a ‘State of Exception’. Doing so shows us how organizations can become malign forces for evil. We explore the implications of this case for more general ‘Kafkaesque organization’, that sometimes reproduce, in more benign forms, many of the practices found at S-21.
Keywords: total institutions; evil organizations; Cambodia; Khmer Rouge; S-21; Kafkaesque organizing; state of exception; bios; zoe; bare life
4 July, 2012 – 7 July, 2012 @ Aalto University & Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland – EGOS 2012, Design?!
I will present a paper (written with Stewart Clegg):
“The chronotopes of change: Actor-networks in a changing Business School”
This paper investigates the process through which the UTS Business School is re-shaping its identity through a process that includes, but is not limited to, the building of a new facility designed by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry (the Dr Chau Chak Wing building), as well as a major revision of the teaching programs. By investigating this project in an Actor-Network Theory fashion, and introducing the notion of chronotope, the paper answers three central questions related to the notion of change: How does organizational change happen in the daily life of a project? What gives unity to a chain of small relational changes? How can processual change possibly be managed? Theoretically, the paper argues that change emerges in the micro-dynamics of organizing, fragments that are sticked together by macro-dominant narratives, in a constant process of translations that occur between human and non-human actants. Moreover, the paper concludes by advancing a particular take on the management of change, which can be pursued only through a constant micro-politics of network maintenance and enactment.
More on my research on the Dr Chau Chak Wing project, here.
Tuesday, 8 May, 2012 – @ UTS, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Building (DAB)
I will talk about:
“The more-than-human city of the homeless subject”
The seminar will offer an introduction to a topological understanding of urban space, from both the theoretical and methodological points of view. The first part will be dedicated to introducing post-structuralist takes on space, briefly presenting relevant extracts from works by Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari. After a brief introduction on how this theoretical framework proves instrumental in the understanding of the contemporary urban, the presentation will then tackle a central question: how is human subjectivity produced in a more-than-human environment? To offer some answers, an account relating to the lives of homeless people in Turin, Italy will be presented. Highlighting the role of objects and codes in the making of homeless people’s subjectivity, the presentation will conclude with a methodological reflection.
More on my research on homelessness, here.
Rimettere mano alla propria tesi di dottorato. Rendersi conto di quanti km sono passati. Ricordarsi gli odori della mensa, della strada. Delle persone con cui ho fumato alla stazione, sotto i portici, al parco. Di quel caffè con Daniel, Piazza Solferino. Della fabbrica. Le immagini della mensa e l’odore di latte caldo e di piscio, i tavolini piccoli, gli uomini con le giacche larghe. Carte per terra. Bidoni dell’immondizia. Il freddo di Torino, il Palazzo d’Inverno, la Pellerina e i container, i bicchieri col te’ caldo che scioglie la plastica. Un momento, solo un momento di distrazione nel ridere di fronte all’arco grande della stazione perché un culo così proprio non l’avevamo mai visto, noi, e poi i parcheggi abusivi, i cartoni, e le mani che ti guardano peggio degli occhi, le mani. Il male ai gomiti per scrivere la tesi in un appartamento con i soffitti alti: il coltellino, l’incazzatura di C., i curriculum corretti. Volantini con su scritto: si eseguono lavori di muratura a basso costo. Dopo un lungo weekend in questo ufficio in Oceania minore – cercare di dare un altro senso a tutte quelle parole.
Quella tesi, per quel che vale, e’ disponibile a tutti (qui trovate l’abstract, e contattandomi potete leggerne una copia). Tutto il resto è solo il tempo sfuggito di mano, uno spazio che non controlla le lancette perché non sa cosa sono.
ps: The abstract of PhD thesis on homelessness, is here (if you want to read the full work, contact me).
The 14th Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies Conference
Nov 29-Dec 1, 2011 School of Management, Massey University Auckland, New Zealand
Practicing space, organizing the future
Relying on the latest geographical strands on spatial theory, this paper argues that “organization” is a spatio-temporal matter that emerges from the practices through which contexts are built, performed and enacted. Introducing a Lefevbrian-based understanding of social space (Lefebvre, 1991; Soja, 1996), and integrating it with a more-than-human account of relationality (Whatmore, 1999), this work proposes an account of space as a relational more-than-human product that cannot be neither fully controlled nor entirely predictable in its outcomes. Starting from these premises, the question of how we might organize things in space, in order to achieve certain future outcomes, is presented in all its ambiguity. Is it possible to organize space assuming that space is in continuous, unpredictable, motion? Can the future space being imagined and controlled? Is it possible to dissociate organizational aims from the spatial situatedness of the organizer him/her-self?
More on my research on space, here.