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"Black Smoke Matters": Queer Truckers' Resistance in the Era of Trump
Start Date: 3/14/2019Start Time: 12:30 PM
End Date: 3/14/2019End Time: 2:00 PM

Event Description

Please join the Center for Science, Technology and Society for the next installment of the Science, Technology and Society Colloquium series for the Winter 18-19 quarter!

Our visiting guest, Anne Balay, PhD, will be joining us from Haverford College to present "Black Smoke Matters": Queer Truckers' Resistance in the Era of Trump.

Balay draws on her ethnography of gay, trans and black truckers to explore modes of working-class response to mounting economic and social inequality. Trucker pay continues to decline, regulations continue to make driving truck challenging, and queer, trans and black lives are increasingly prone to harassment, unfair termination, and violence. A national truckers strike scheduled for this April and promoted on social media is one response to this intensifying crisis.

Tellingly, it relies on co-opting the language of the Black Lives Matter movement. This talk explores the historical pattern of creating class solidarity by drawing energy from racism, and examines how queer and trans truckers imagine this current incarnation. Technology is pivotal in this analysis. Truckers protest the use of technology in their trucks even as they use social media to communicate in part because they lack a union.

This event is free and open to the public, lunch will be provided!

About Anne Balay, PhD:
Anne Balay graduated with a PhD from the University of Chicago, after which she promptly became a car mechanic. Though in subsequent years she returned to academia as a professor both at the University of Illinois and Indiana University Northwest, she never lost her interest in blue collar work environments. Balay moved to Gary, Indiana to teach, and was immediately interested in the steel industry of the region. Her co-worker and mentor, Jimbo Lane, suggested that she would be perfectly suited to meeting with and writing about the LGBT workers within the mill community, and Steel Closets: Voices of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Steel Workers was born. Anne then attended commercial truck driving school, got her CDL, and drove over the road. Oral histories of truck drivers she did in 2015/16 have led to her new book "Semi Queer: Stories of Gay, Trans and Black Truckers." Balay is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College.

Contact Information:
Name: Dorian Adams
Phone: 215.895.1314
Email: dadams@drexel.edu
Event Flyer
Location:
Mitchell Auditorium, Bossone Research Center, 3140 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Audience:
  • Everyone
  • Special Features:
  • Free Food

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