Author

Ezra Lee

Date of Award

2019

First Advisor

Asma Abbas

Second Advisor

Chris Coggins

Abstract

This thesis traces themes illuminated between work and land through narratives of how people relate to work in various contexts. Starting with economic and social theories of the extraction of work and the making of subjects, this thesis looks to these for historical narratives of relationships to land. Challenging the proposition that land is the seminal object in the formation of subjects and political structures also asks what we know about subjectivities in contemporary organizations and presumptions of land. Furthermore, it complicates an understanding of how enclosure of common land has sought to obfuscate and isolate people from land and what may be considered work. Work then is no longer confined to an originary moment where the relationship to land is necessarily cultivation. Looking at political moments allow us to see the entanglement of subjects facing expropriation, isolation, and a narrowed, exploited elaboration of what their work on/of/with land is. Interspersed are pieces of writing, memories, and frames of agricultural work in the contemporary Northeast United States.

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