Key Notes

Dr Justine Pors

Dr Justine Pors

Lost futures reappearing in the office. Ghostly moments in organisations

This talk will explore how it feels to become connected to suppressed pasts and lost futures. I will explore the strange and affectively dense moments that sometimes shake the organisational everyday and cast a shadow of doubt over organisational goals, investments and strategies.

Connecting the ghostly to a collapse of boundaries between the psychological, the social and the political, I argue that ghostly moments offer important insights into the politics of organizing.

Justine Grønbæk Pors works at the intersection of public policy, organisation studies and sociology. She is particularly interested in paradoxes, affect and noise. She has studied ghosts and ghostly matters in strategy implementation, education policy and professional work and made spirited attempts to conjure up ghosts in the lower basement of Copenhagen Business School and at the Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen.

Currently, her research focuses on connections between ghostly matters and questions about power, politics and ethics in organisations. Moreover, she is engaged in a research project that studies the hauntological qualities of scientific knowledge production in an age of biodiversity loss and extinction.

She is an associate professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School and part of the ephemera collective.

Dr Ann Rippin

Dr Ann Rippin

Hestia crafts and ghostly femininity: A warning from history

Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth and home. She is the guardian of the hearth, and of the right ordering of the domestic economy and domestic functioning. The women of the house were generally responsible for the activities associated with her cult. I use Hestia crafts to describe the craft activities that modern women undertake in the home. These include knitting, sewing, cooking, needlepoint, scrapbooking, card making, home dressmaking, and so on. In this paper I will argue that such activities are culturally and commercially encouraged, with once floundering art shops now reinventing themselves as craft material suppliers, new magazines being published and new craft shopping channels appearing on television. All this emphasis on hand work is set in the context of a world in which women no longer need to undertake the tedious work associated with Hestia activities. We can buy ready-meals and bed linen under the same roof in the shopping mall, or have them delivered to the door. These activities are therefore sold to women as sources of pleasure, and there is no doubt that hand work is pleasurable. It is also sold as a form of self-actualisation, as a way of women realising theirpotential, and this is more problematic. I will argue that what is actually happening is that women are being urged to pursue a redundant ghostly femininity which derives largely from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The ghost of the Angel in the House ranges through these activities. I shall illustrate my proposition with examples from popular culture and feminist work on women and handwork such as the iconic Subversive Stitch by Roszika Parker, as well as some of my own scholar-activist handwork.

Ann needs no introduction to many SCOSSers as she is a muchloved former Chair of SCOS, Former Reader at University of Bristol, Research Associate at the University of Bristol and Graduate of the Chicago School of Fusing, and it is special we will get the opportunity to see her present again.