2021 Workshop: Reimagining Work After 2020

The Workplace Theory & Policy Workshop: Reimagining Work After 2020 brings prominent scholars, policymakers, and activists from a variety of disciplines to YLS to discuss and analyze recent transformations in society—most notably, the COVID pandemic and the uprising against structural, intersectional racism—in relation to work. Together, we will examine how COVID and racial/gender injustice have affected and are affected by employment and other forms of work, and how the current crises present opportunities for change that promise greater social and economic justice, equality, and humanity for all.

The 2021 workshop meets on Mondays from 2:10 to 4 p.m. ET, and is open to the Yale community. For more information, please contact Vicki Schultz, or faculty assistant Kelly Mangs-Hernandez.

Workshop Schedule

February 8

Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College  

Gig economy

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Her most recent book is After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back (U of California Press, September 2020). Her current research topics include the gig economy and the future of work, time use, and the drivers of carbon emissions.   


February 15

Michael Denning, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American Studies, Yale University

Critical labor theory

Michael Denning is the author of Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution (2015); Culture in the Age of Three Worlds (2004); The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century (1997); Mechanic Accents: Dime Novels and Working Class Culture in America (1987); and Cover Stories: Narrative and Ideology in the British Spy Thriller (1987). He is the coordinator of the Working Group on Globalization and Culture; and his courses include “Work and Daily Life in Global Capitalism,” “Recording Vernacular Musics,” and “Marxism and the Social Movements.” His book in progress, The Accumulation of Labor, will discuss how Marx is the Darwin of work and labor, and what that means for thinking about work and labor today.


February 22

David Stein, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, African American Studies, UCLA

Civil rights and full employment

David Stein is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of African American Studies. Previously, he was the Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research focuses on the interconnection between social movements, public policy, and political economy in post-1865 U.S. history. His forthcoming book Fearing Inflation, Inflating Fears: The Civil Rights Struggle for Full Employment and the Rise of the Carceral State, 1929-1986 (University of North Carolina Press) describes the political economy of unemployment and efforts win a federal governmental job guarantee, and how this struggle impacted the ascent of mass incarceration.                      


March 1

Pavlina Tcherneva, Associate Professor of Economics, Bard College           

Federal job guarantee

Pavlina R. Tcherneva is the director of the Economic Democracy Initiative at the Open Society University Network, an associate professor of economics at Bard College, and a research scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, New York. She specializes in modern monetary theory and macroeconomic stabilization policy. She is the author of The Case for a Job Guarantee, one of the Financial Times’ best economics summer books of 2020, and a timely guide to what has been called "the single most crucial aspect of the Green New Deal" in the United States (The Atlantic, 2018).   


March 8

Adia Harvey Wingfield, Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis

COVID, health care, and race

Adia Harvey Wingfield is the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research examines how and why racial and gender inequality persists in professional occupations. In addition to her academic scholarship, Professor Wingfield has written for mainstream outlets including Slate, The Atlantic, Vox, and Harvard Business Review, and is the recipient of the 2018 Public Understanding of Sociology Award from the American Sociological Association. Her most recent book, Flatlining: Race, Work, and Health Care in the New Economy, won the 2019 C. Wright Mills Award.               


March 15

C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research       

COVID and gender

Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies, and research impacting women. As one of the nation’s foremost intersectional researchers and scholars, Dr. Mason has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color, and youth; and racial equity. Dr. Mason is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and has written hundreds of articles on community development, women, poverty, and economic security.


March 22

Heath Fogg Davis, Professor of Political Science and Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Temple University     

LGBTQ workplace inclusion

Heath Fogg Davis is a Professor of Political Science and the Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Temple University. His book Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? questions our need for gender policies, and offers practical strategies to help organizations design and implement policies that are both trans-inclusive and better for all of us. He consults on diversity and inclusion with businesses, schools, and non-profits, and was an appointed member of the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs in Philadelphia. His commentary on transgender and gender non-conforming political and legal issues has appeared in CNN.com, BuzzFeed, Sports Illustrated, the Christian Science Monitor, Vogue, Aeon Magazine, Human Resource Executive, and on MSNBC, NPR, and Sex Out Loud.   


March 29

Maurice Mitchell, National Director, Working Families Party

BLM, electoral politics, and economic justice

Maurice Mitchell is a nationally-recognized social movement strategist, a visionary leader in the Movement for Black Lives, and a community organizer for racial, social, and economic justice. Born and raised in New York to Caribbean working-class parents, Maurice began organizing as a teenager — and never stopped. As a high school student, Maurice served as a student leader for the Long Island Student Coalition for Peace and Justice. At Howard University, after a classmate was killed by police officers, Maurice led organizing efforts against police brutality and for divestment from private prisons. Maurice went on to work as an organizer for the Long Island Progressive Coalition, downstate organizing director for Citizen Action of NY, and Director of the NY State Civic Engagement Table. Two tragedies changed the course of Maurice’s life. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed Maurice’s house in Long Beach, NY and left him living in hotels for months. Eighteen months later, after Mike Brown was killed by police in Missouri, Maurice relocated to Ferguson to support organizations on the ground. Seeing the need for an anchor organization to provide strategic support and guidance to Movement for Black Lives activists across the country, Maurice co- founded and managed Blackbird. Maurice was a key organizer of the Movement for Black Lives convention in Cleveland in 2015. In 2018, Maurice took the helm of the Working Families Party as National Director. He is applying his passion and experience to make WFP the political home for a multi-racial working class movement.


April 5

Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw, Executive Chair and Executive Vice Chair, Alphabet Workers Union        

Big Tech union organizing

Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw are two of the leaders of the recently founded Alphabet Workers Union. Koul, the union’s Executive Chair, is a software engineer at Google, having joined as an Engineering Resident in 2019. Shaw, the union’s Executive Vice Chair, is a software engineer at Google, focused on site reliability.


April 12

Carmen Rojas, President and CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation; former Co-Founder and CEO, The Workers’ Lab          

Worker empowerment

Dr. Carmen Rojas is the president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Prior to joining Marguerite Casey Foundation, Dr. Carmen Rojas was the Co-Founder and former CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and government leaders to create replicable and revenue-generating solutions that improve conditions for low-wage workers. For more than 20 years, Carmen has worked with foundations, financial institutions, and nonprofits to improve the lives of working people across the United States.


April 19

Daniel Aldana Cohen, Professor of Sociology, Director of Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, University of Pennsylvania 

Green New Deal and work

Daniel Aldana Cohen is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, and co-directs the climate + community project. In 2018-19, he was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green Deal (Verso 2019), which received glowing reviews in The New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Science for the People, and elsewhere. He is currently completing a book project called Street Fight: Climate Change and Inequality in the 21st Century City, under contract with Princeton University Press. He works on the politics of climate change, investigating the intersections of climate change, housing, political economy, social movements, and inequalities of race and class in the United States and Brazil.


April 26

Michael Murphy, Founding Principal, MASS Design Group   

Beauty and justice in the built environment

Michael Murphy is the Founding Principal and Executive Director of MASS Design Group, an architecture and design collective that leverages buildings, as well as the design and construction process, to become catalysts for economic growth, social change, and justice. Since MASS's beginnings, their portfolio of work has expanded to over a dozen countries and span the areas of healthcare, education, housing, urban development. MASS’s work has been published in over 900 publications and awarded globally. Most recently, MASS has been recognized as the winners of the national Arts and Letters Award for 2017 and the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. Michael’s 2016 TED talk has reached over a million views, and was awarded the Al Filipov Medal for Peace and Justice in 2017.