*Paper Session: *Interrogating Amazon: Profit, Power and Space
*Session Organizers: *Spencer Cox and Kyle Loewen

The rapid growth of e-commerce as a mode of retail and capital accumulation
has led to tremendous growth in key areas of employment in the new
economy.  On one hand, Amazon is a tech company, depending on the labor of
over 50,000 software engineers, data scientists, and project managers.
These jobs are concentrated in technopoles - cities which have seen
tremendous investment alongside economic and urban displacement. On the
other hand, Amazon is a logistics company investing heavily in fulfillment
centers; retail factories that pick, pack, sort and deliver commodities,
often under inhumane and grueling conditions.  Located predominantly in
suburban and exurban logistics clusters, fulfillment centers are situated
within massive demographic upheavals pushing working class people into the
urban periphery. These investment strategies have positioned Amazon as a
retail and technology monopsonist, consolidating both profit and power to
reshape space for its own interest.

At the same time these processes of capital accumulation also produce new
political formations, each making claims to the right to life, the city, a
future, and human dignity.  These forms of resistance include worker rights
in the warehouse, climate justice, anti-surveillance, the right to
transport, the right to housing, abolishing corporate welfare, and breaking
up/nationalizing monopoly power. Linking together, these new political
formations are forming new social movements with an increasing class

This session aims to bring together academics studying Amazon’s pursuit of
profit and power.  We hope to begin building a research program that links
the resources of the academy to the needs of activists and organizers on
the ground by developing research questions and funding to aid political
organization. We seek papers that study Amazon along a broad array of
fronts, including:


   The sociology or geography of work in e-commerce logistics

   The suburbanization of poverty, and political formations in suburban
   working class communities

   The sociology or geography of work in software

   The geography of technopoles

   Monopoly, monopsony, and market concentration

   Automation, robotics, and impacts of technology

   The gender, racial, ethnic, and sexual division of labor in tech or the

   Reproducing gender, race, ethnicity and sexuality in the technopole or

   Corporate power and the climate

   Surveillance, facial recognition, and the relationship between
   technology corporations and the state

   Tax evasion, tax subsidization, and corporate welfare

   Transportation, automation, and the future of transit

Please email abstracts (max 250 words) to Spencer Cox (scox0...@umn.edu)
and Kyle Loewen (kyle.loe...@geog.ubc.ca) by October 31, 2019.  Please
direct any question to the organizers.

Spencer Cox
Ph.D. Candidate in Geography, Environment and Society
University of Minnesota
310-913-5133 | <scox0...@umn.edu>

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