SCOS Update February 2018

Dear SCOSsers

February is here and today tiny drifting snowflakes are still passing my window. Is it the long freeze and the start of a new ice age? Likely not, as the snowdrops that I seem to only ever see planted on roundabouts and in old ladies’ gardens are happily enjoying the odd spot of sunshine in between. It seems that while I have been doing my best impersonation of a (hardworking) hibernating hermit hedgehog, however…SCOSsers around the globe have been busy! Today’s email newsletter is bursting with items to excite and affect.

Don’t forget, if you know anyone who might be interested in SCOS and wants to join the membership they just need to get in touch, so do mention us to colleagues and research students.

Item 1 ACSCOS/SCOS Conference  “Wabi-sabi (侘寂): Imperfection, incompleteness and impermanence in Organisational Life” Deadline for abstracts is 28th February

Item 2 CMS 2019 to be hosted by the Open University in collaboration with VIDA

Item 3  Job Opening at Université Saint-Paul, Canada.

Item 4 Job Opening at Essex Business School, UK

Item 5 Culture and Organization SI Carne deadline is coming up in May 2018 so get those pens working if you plan to submit!

Item 6 Free one-day Conference “Witches WAGS and Wideboys” at Essex Business School

Item 7 CfP ‘Affects & Collective Practices of the Undercommons’

Best wishes


Item 1: ACSCOS/SCOS Conference  “Wabi-sabi (侘寂): Imperfection, incompleteness and impermanence in Organisational Life”

Deadline for abstracts is 28th February and please note that there are a variety of PhD and ECR scholarships and bursaries available, including some specifically for Australasian delegates so applications are encouraged.

You can find further information on the conference website at or contact the organisers directly on

Item 2: CMS 2019 to be hosted by the Open University in collaboration with VIDA

ICMS is excited to announce that the Open University led by the Department of People and Organisations and in collaboration with VIDA has been selected, from a shortlist of excellent proposals, to host the 11th International Critical Management Studies conference around the theme of “Precarious Presents, Open Futures”.

In a statement, Peter Bloom, Head of Department for ‘People and Organizations’ at the Open University said:

‘We are enthusiastic in our desire to foster discussions, papers and installations/interventions regarding what it means for societies and organisations to be “open” in the 21st century.  This includes, but it is not limited to how being open  is under attack by renewed discourses of individualized privilege and “closure”, as well as exploring what currently constitutes a radical or even revolutionary form of political, economic, historical, and ethical openness in organisations and management, and the possibilities of what this could look like in the future.

We are thus interested in critical interventions that explore timely and new concepts such as “digital inclusion”, “decolonizing data management”, “trans-human management”, “open sourced organisations”, “virtual progress”, “glocal solidarity”, and “mobile organizing”. These themes all critically interrogate the ways that technologies and emerging forms of organization can subvert established identities,  processes and practices, values/ ideals and open eup space for new and marginalised voices to shape the present and future. Just as importantly, we are committed to “opening up” how a conference is organized and managed – inviting collaborative and creative spaces for constructing knowledge sharing between academics, activists, practitioners, artists, and policy makers.’

CMS 2019 will take place at the Milton Keynes main campus of the Open University. Details including finalised dates and a conference email address and a call for streams, workshops, installations, interventions and other events will follow. In the meantime, please contact if you would like any further information on the CMS 2019 conference.

Item 3 : Job Opening at Université Saint-Paul, Canada.

I am a the director of Saint-Paul University’s new school of social innovation in Ottawa, Canada. We are opening a new position in management of social organization, you can find the description here. Someone with a critical management studies background would fit very well for this position, so I thought it might interest people involved in SCOS.

Simon Tremblay-Pepin

Professeur, Université Saint-Paul

Directeur de l’École d’Innovation sociale


Item 4: Job Opening at Essex Business School, UK

SL/R in HRM at Essex Business School

This is an exciting opportunity to join the newly established Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management (HRM) Group at Essex Business School in the field of Human Resource Management as either a Senior Lecturer or Reader.

If successful, you will be part of a team of more than 14 research active members, consisting of early and established researchers with a global reputation for their work in critical organisation studies, HRM, and equality and diversity.

We are keen to appoint a talented scholar with experience in any area of HRM. We would, however, especially welcome applications from those with expertise in:

International HRM
Strategic HRM
Human Resource Development

For further details please follow the link 

Item 5: CfP Culture and Organization Special Issue “Carne”

CARNE – Flesh and Organization

Call for papers for a special issue of culture and organization

volume 25, issue 4, 2019

“Flesh, we believe – more than bodies – is at stake in our posthuman times, in the sense that it is flesh that is subject to increased control either in the laboratory or the marketplace and is caught up in processes of modification that seek to master and profit from it.” (Diamanti et al., 2009, 4)

This call for papers takes off from the longstanding use of the notion of flesh in academic investigations of the more or less porous boundaries between the self, others and the world around us. Flesh, these works suggest, is ontologically slippery and definitionally elusive. For Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964), flesh reconnects the viewing and the visible, the touching and the touched, the body and the world. Perception itself is a fleshly – auditory, visual, gustatory, haptic, olfactory – activity. Moreover, as Antonio Strati (2007) points out in his discussion of the connections between practice-based learning and ‘sensible knowledge’ in organizations, when we perceive others, we always perceive them as fundamentally corporeal. Equally, the world acts upon our flesh, so that what or whom we touch, see, smell, taste and hear may touch, see, smell, taste and hear us. Elsewhere, Michel Foucault locates modern western scientia sexualis as having its origins in the earliest years of Christianity and its confessional regime which seeks to unearth “the important secrets of the flesh” (1977, 154) as the deepest truths of the human subject. In this reading, flesh is the natural body, always and irrevocably bound to sin and to death.

Cherríe Moraga (2015, 19), on the other hand, identifies a theory in the flesh as “one where the physical realities of our lives – our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longings – all fuse to create a politic born out of necessity”. In a very different feminist analysis, Judith Butler (1990, 96, 33) defines gender as the “styles of the flesh” which “congeal over time”; whereas Vicki Kirby (1997) takes her and other feminist poststructuralists to task in Telling Flesh for their overstatement of the cultural inscription of the body, and argues that “once you are seriously displacing the nature/language opposition, you have to be arguing that nature, far from being written on, and insofar as it cannot be said to ‘lack language’, ‘must be articulate’ (page 90). Elspeth Probyn (2001), on the other hand, provides a dazzling array of ways to understand skin both materially, metonymically and metaphorically – it protects and is vulnerable, it can be bruised and breached, it is porous, it expands and retracts, it devours and is devoured, it has colour, texture and sensation.

Organization studies scholars have, nonetheless, perhaps been somewhat neglectful of flesh in our various endeavours; whilst for the last three decades or so we have paid a great deal of attention to the body, we have largely overlooked flesh. Yet, as our opening epigraph implies, flesh can be connected to organization/s and organizing in manifold different ways. Possible contributions to this special issue could therefore include but are certainly not limited to:

  • The pleasures of the flesh: carnality, sensuality, excess and indulgence in, of and as provided by organizations (and their opposites).
  • ‘Fleshworkers’ – cosmetic surgeons, masseuses, cosmetic surgeons, tattooists, make-up artists, slaughterhouse workers, morticians, laboratory scientists etc. – and the markets for their services.
  • The resurging significance of the provenance of meat and fish in western eating habits and its cultural, symbolic and economic implications.
  • Vegetarianism, veganism, ‘clean’ and raw food diets, the markets around and commodification of these practices.
  • Researching the flesh, bodily, sensory, fleshly, aesthetic or sensible knowing and/ or methods, the ethics of fleshly research.  Organizing (and researching) in meatspace and virtual space, ‘in the flesh’ and online.
  • Bodily changes, wounding, scarring and dysmorphia in organizations.
  • Flesh-eaters and the undead: cannibals, vampires and zombies as organizational metaphors.
  • The organization of organ donation and the global black market in body parts.
  • The global meat industry and its manifold discontents: eg, the certification and marketing of halal meat, the UK horse meat scandal.
  • (Re)incarnation and incorporation in and of organizations.
  • Pro-ana, pro-mia and fat acceptance organizations.
  • Organizational metaphors of the flesh: eg, the ‘lean organization’, a ‘meaty question’, ‘fleshing out an argument’, a ‘meat market’, ‘dead meat’ etc.
  • The use of animal skin for clothing and furnishings and the complex global differences of necessity versus excess.
  • The ethics and politics of organizing as understood through Agamben’s zoë (bare life) and bios (qualified life) …and so on.

This list is intended to be indicative only.  Innovative interpretations of the call are encouraged.  With its long tradition of inter-disciplinary approaches, C&O invites papers that draw insights and approaches from across a range of social sciences and humanities.  In addition to scholars working in management and organization studies we welcome contributions from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, politics, art history, communication, film, gender and cultural studies. We also welcome papers from any disciplinary, paradigmatic or methodological perspective as long as they directly address the theme of flesh and organization.  

Editorial team, submission and informal enquiries

The editorial team for this special issue are: Ilaria Boncori (University of Essex), Jo Brewis (University of Leicester), Luigi Maria Sicca (University of Naples) and Charlie Smith (University of Leicester).

Please ensure that all submissions to the special issue are made via the ScholarOne Culture and Organization site at You will have to sign up for an account before you are able to submit a manuscript. Please ensure when you do submit that you select the relevant special issue (Volume 25, Issue 4) to direct your submission appropriately. If you experience any problems, please contact the editors of this issue.

Style and other instructions on manuscript preparation can be found at the journal’s website: Manuscript length should not exceed 8000 words, including appendices and supporting materials. Please also be aware that any images used in your submission must be your own, or where they are not, you must already have permission to reproduce them in an academic journal. You should make this explicit in the submitted manuscript.

Manuscripts must be submitted by 31st May 2018.

Prospective authors are invited to discuss manuscript ideas for the special issue with the guest editors before the deadline for submissions.  They can be reached via e-mail at:


Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.

Foucault, Michel. 1977. “Power and Sex.” Telos 32: 152-161.

Hart, Lynda. 1998. Between the Body and the Flesh: Performing Sadomasochism. Columbia University Press: New York.

Kirby, Vicki. 1997. Telling Flesh: The Substance of the Corporeal. New York: Routledge.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1962. Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Moraga, Cherríe. 2015. “Introduction. Entering the Lives of Others: Theory in the Flesh.” In This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, fourth edition, 19. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Probyn, Elspeth. 2001. “Eating Skin.” In Thinking Through the Skin, edited by Sara Ahmed and Jackie Stacey, 87-103. London: Routledge.

Strati, Antonio. 2007. “Sensible Knowledge and Practice-Based Learning.” Management Learning 38 (1): 61-77

Item 6: Free one-day Conference “Witches WAGS and Wideboys” at Essex Business School

Dear all,

With usual apologies for cross-posting, please see below details of a one-day conference hosted by Anglia Ruskin University and University of Essex that we hope may be of interest. The focus is on the origins and implications of regional cultural stereotypes, and is being organised in association with Essex County Council and the Essex Book Festival. Places are limited so please use the link to register if you would like to join us. And please do feel free to forward the details to anyone you think might be interested.

Best wishes,



Item 7 : CfP Affects & Collective Practices of the Undercommons

For the affect inquiry / making space conference
August 8-11, 2018 Millersville University’s Ware Center, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Stream Organizers: Jack Z. Bratich & Stevphen Shukaitis

What affects circulate within the undercommons today (Harney & Moten 2013)?

This stream proposes to inquire into the relation between affective spaces and aesthetics in the construction of forms of collective intelligence and subjectivities, particularly in the ways this relation is worked with to expand the commonly understood realm of political action. It will explore processes of affective composition through which fleeting and ephemeral relations and performance are involved in what George Katsiaficas describes as “engaging aesthetic rationality in the process of political transformation, of turning politics into art, everyday life into an aesthetically governed domain.” (2001: 310) This is what Nick Thoburn terms a “minor politics” (2003): one that is not based upon calling forth an already existing identity or position, but rather a politics based on a continual intensive and affective engagement of constant self-institution.

“Affects & Collective Practices of the Undercommons” proposes to explore the relation of affective relations and aesthetics in the construction and operation of formations of collective intelligence and subjectivity, particularly when these forms are brought about in a way intended to expand and modulate understood spaces for political action. These relations and their affectivity embody and express the movement of the social imaginary, or the constant process of becoming: what Raoul Vaneigem referred to as the revolution of everyday life. Everyday life and forms of political action residing in it, whether unseen or encoded in a hidden transcript, exists as a privileged location for political analysis and action precisely because it is where forms of collective intelligence, creativity, and social wealth are manifested.

The everyday manifestations and embodiments of collective imagination and intelligence through collective practices take part in the movement of this transformation of subjectivities. Forms of self-determining community and sociality, which have been understood and theorized as creating the possibility for exodus from relations of domination and the creation of other relations within the present, is premised upon working through, and extending these relations, intensities, and experiences.

“Affects & Aesthetics of the Undercommons” will explore the multiple fields and paths where these relations, intensities, and modulations of collective subjectivities are expressed and transformed through aesthetic expression and movement. This fleeting and ephemeral realm, one of both improvisation and ritual that Amendant Hardiker and Miekal And characterize as the space of the anartistic (1995) provides a unique and valuable entrance point for understanding and theorization of the relation of mind, culture, and collective imagination in constant movement.

Potential topics/possible intersections including but not limited to:
– Infrapolitics & creative subversion
– Black radicalism and genealogies
– Experimental education & nomadic pedagogy
– Creating spaces within and against institutions
– Autonomous spaces & protocols
– Study & Sociality, Convivial Research
– Infrastructure & Logisticality
– Performativy of/in the Commons

250-word paper abstracts can now be submitted to The final deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 15, 2018.