The Next Conversation: “Should We Love Our Work?”


Event Date: Tuesday, May 23, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Admission is free. Tell your friends.

Location: Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle


The Summary

This time, we’re asking questions about the nature of work, and especially: “Should we love our work?” Read on below for details.

The Guests

Michael Hardt, professor of literature and Italian at Duke University

Kathi Weeks, professor in the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University

The Story in Detail

This time we’re partnering with Red May, a month-long vacation from capitalism. It’s both a celebration of the color red, and through a series of lectures, discussions, and film showings, an opportunity to “assume for the month that the market is not the solution to the problems that the market creates.”

We’ll be talking with Michael Hardt and Kathi Weeks. Both are professors at Duke University, and incidentally, both received their Master’s and Ph.D degrees from the University of Washington.

Hardt is best known for authoring, with Italian Marxist sociologist and political philosopher Antonio Negri, the landmark book Empire in 2000. In 2011, Weeks published an exploration of the nature of work: The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries.

Longtime followers of the conversation series may recall that in 2003 we explored some of the ideas in Empire in a conversation with Charles Mudede, Nicholas Veroli, Mary Ann Peters, and Carol Brown. We’re excited to have Michael Hardt and Kathi Weeks on hand for this one.

For this conversation, we’ll be delving into the question of what is means to love one’s work. In the words of Red May organizer Philip Wohlstetter, “What kind of work do you do? Do you love it? Should you? Should what you love be harnessed to the rhythm of work? Where does the imperative to love work come from? Should we be doing less work? More? Should we even use the word ‘should’ when talking about work?”

Come talk about it.

And for those who want to do some preliminary reading, you can take a look at online copies of The Problem with Work and Empire. Or buy them at your local bookstore.

This conversation is the last before we break for the summer; we’ll be back in the fall.

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