Research and Writing

Listen to my story, said the Bouquet Scholar. Let us share each other’s tongues. Take my story to heart, like a short and necessary kiss. Let it untie your (k)-n-o-t-s, unwind you from the rules that make your flesh afraid to move. (Frueh 1996, 19-20)

Harnessing the Power of the Co-operative Difference: stories and strategies from worker co-operators in the Connecticut River Valley, co-authored by myself, Michael Johnson and Adam Trott with contributions from the late Julie Graham is in its final stages moving on for publication with Levellers Press of Amherst, MA. In 175 pages this book introduces the history and concept of worker co-operation and relays past and present stories of worker co-operatives in the Connecticut River Valley. It offers practical and theoretical insights on co-op governance, management, communication and conflict highlighted by cautionary tales and sagas of personal transformation shared by current and former co-operators. The book addresses obstacles and opportunities for building a co-operative economy and making worker co-operatives an increasingly important part of the U.S. economy. We outline a regional vision based on strategies of worker co-operatives in the Connecticut River Valley as a guide and inspiration for co-operative development in any region. We will have a website for the book in a couple of months. In the meantime, you can learn more about the book in the Prospectus

My work on Harnessing the Power of the Co-operative Difference is currently funded by the Co-operative Foundation and the CHS Foundation with administrative support from the Ecological Democracy Institute of North America (parent organization of Grassroots Economic Organizing). This project evolved from my dissertation research and collaboration with Michael Johnson, Adam Trott and Julie Graham.

“Co-operative Economic Development Strategies: Regional Alliance Building in New England USA”. Under revision for Bolsena Retreat.

Questions of scale: Locally based and qualitative oriented, my research didn’t initially concern itself with scale until I ran into critiques of worker co-operatives that were based exclusively on “scale” and their significance (and therefore the significance of my research) was called into question with reference to “larger structures”. I observed the silencing, disciplinary affect scale discourse could have on alternatives. It situated co-operative enterprises and their members in a subordinate position that was subjected to predetermined processes. A consideration of how demands for scale (or size) bear upon the perceived significance of my research as well as my own desire for a movement “of scale” propelled me to explore practical and theoretical questions of scale. Under Revision for Bolsena Retreat.

“Who’s on the Map?” This is a short essay I wrote for Anthropology News in Beyond Capitalism, a collection organized by Boone Shear and Brian Burke.

“Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies”. This is an earlier draft of a paper published by Antipode. You can watch a “video abstract” about the paper here or here.

“Building Community Economies In Western Massachusetts: An Emerging Model of Economic Development?” Julie Graham and Janelle Cornwell (2009) This is a co-authored chapter Social Economy: International Perspectives on Solidarity Economy edited by Ash Amin.

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