FUL’s free work


Digital labour in the academic context: Challenges for academic staff associations


The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) represents 65,000 teachers, researchers, librarians and other academic professionals at 122 colleges and universities across Canada. CAUT defends academic freedom, assists its members with collective bargaining and grievance handling and advocates on a range of public policy matters related to post-secondary education and the broader struggle for social justice.

Information workers in the academy: The case of librarians and archivists at the University of Western Ontario

In 2004 I joined the highly lauded profession of academic librarianship with a newly minted Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in hand and a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. My inaugural appointment at one of the Canada’s largest, most well regarded research institutions was quite simply a perfect fit for me, and I was very excited to begin my career.

The singularity of intellectual property

According to futurist Ray Kurzweil, we are fast approaching ‘The Singularity’, or a point at which the rapid acceleration of technological capabilities will reach a point beyond human comprehension. The subsequent rise of machine intelligence will far surpass our capabilities, rendering corporeal beings nearly unnecessary. It is predicted that the leading edge of this singularity will occur approximately by the year 2035.

What about citizens?

It has been an honor to participate in this conference. I hesitate to use the word ‘contribute’, but it’s been a pleasure to be here.

The topic of our final panel is ‘Looking Ahead’. My principal concern is the future of unions in the digital industry. The good news is we have something of a head start. Along with airlines, media/entertainment is the most heavily unionized private-sector industry in the United States. However, as with the airlines, our employers are huge and rapidly getting huger.

The impact of digital technology on media workers: Life has completely changed

This conference was a tremendous and long-overdue opportunity to unite knowledge workers of all kinds. Media workers and university professors and other culture workers need to work together because no one else can or will do what is needed. There is no white knight on the horizon, no one waiting to ride in and solve the many issues of media transformation, value for content or the infinite work expectations created by digital technology.

This is an on-the-ground review of what has taken place in the so-called ‘digital revolution’ in my industry, the media industry.

Organizing obstructions to manage organizations creatively: Reflecting 'The Five Obstructions'

According to Schlegel critique ought to transgress the received Kantian notion of critique. Instead of judging the work of art condescendingly, assessing its pros and cons, telling it what to do and not to do, confining it within certain limits, the true work of the critic consists in helping the work of art realize itself, in helping it become even more 'transparent', in assisting it to transgress itself in order to become more fully what it already strives to be. (Sverre Raffnsøe, 2010, personal correspondence)

Tripping up the perfect

In mid-2008 the editor of Peder Holm-Pedersen brought together film director and author Jørgen Leth and Sverre Raffnsøe, Professor of Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School and head of the research program Management of Self-Management, to talk about rules, freedom and productivity in art and the modern workplace. We reprint a translated version of the conversation in this issue.

'The Five Obstructions': Experiencing the human side of enterprise

Today, too, I experienced something

I hope to understand in a few days

Leth: The Perfect Human and The Five Obstructions


Released in 2003 by internationally renowned Danish directors Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth, The Five Obstructions is a short film, 88 minutes long. As will be evident in this section of the special issue, however, this ‘minor’ work is also a unique, dense, multi-layered, and intriguing piece of art, with a wide range of implications.


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