Challenging Precarity : A Global Network


The Seminar, ‘Challenging Precarity’, is the result of deliberations and research activities initiated by the international organisation, ‘Challenging Precarity: A Global Network’. This network has institutional bases in India, the UK and Spain but draws its membership from across the globe.

The network was founded at the ‘The Cultures of New India’ Conference held at Sri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow in February 2017. In February 2018 the University of Cordoba (Spain) hosted ‘Precarity, Populism and Post-Truth Politics’, the second international conference, and the first convened under the network’s banner. The topics and themes of this conference and the forthcoming ‘Challenging Precarity’ conference have evolved through explorations among network members of the various interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary conditions and states of precarity and its forms and effects, in different parts of the world.

Precarity is commonly understood as a ‘politically induced condition’, caused by growing economic inequality and uneven power relations and the creation of new areas of human socio-political marginalisation. The network’s collective research enquiry is into the causes, conditions and manifestations of precarity and the modes of resilience and solidarity by which this state can be challenged and resisted. Its attempts to lay bare the global systems and induced mechanisms that foster and perpetuate this condition.

Since the 2008 financial crisis states of precariousness—that is, vulnerability and dependence due to the inequalities of race, class, gender—have been manifested in financial insecurity, debt and asset-loss, diminished longevity, homelessness, refugeeism and human trafficking, racism and xenophobia, far right populism, and short termism. Precarity impacts contemporary lifestyles, pervades key areas of society such as penal and welfare systems, education, housing, and health, and affects long term planning. Planetary precarity is the focus of the new field of energy humanities, which is addressed in terms of a crisis of resources: the reduction of fossil fuels and carbon reserves, the depletion of ecological systems and environmental degradation.

The network aims to identify, analyse and understand the assumptions and imaginaries that operate in the precarity or ‘risk’ society, which in most parts of the world are being normalised as part of everyday life; for example, being often rhetorically incorporated into public discourses that respond to the rapid pace of globalization. These include an affective dimension, or a structure of feeling, stemming from the stresses and insecurities of lives lived in precarious conditions.

Addressing these interrelated issues is the network’s major aim as it formulates research questions to encourage discussion and debate through workshops and conferences. The network is open to scholars from a range of disciplines who may wish to address these global problems collectively as well as singly, and it invites offers of international, collaborative research projects drawing on interdisciplinary methodologies, that may be incorporated into its activities.

Core Partners of the network


  • Ms. Pooja Agarwal

    Pro Chancellor
    Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow, India

  • Prof. Avadhesh Kumar Singh

    Vice Chancellor
    AURO University, Gujarat, India


  • Janet M. Wilson

    Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies
    University of Northampton, UK

Vice Chair

  • Om Dwivedi

    (Associate Professor of English)
    AURO University, Gujarat, India

Network Members

Ana Maria Fraile Marcos (University of Salamanca, Spain)
Binayak Roy (North Bengal University, Kolkata)
Bootheina Majoul (University of Carthage, Tunisia)
Cheryl Stobie (University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)
Claire Chambers (University of York, UK)
Claudia Egerer (Stockholm University, Sweden)
Cristina A. Huertas Abril (University of Cordoba, Spain)
Cristina Gamez Fernandez (University of Cordoba, Spain)
Diana Brydon (University of Manitoba, Canada)
Dieter Riemenschneider (ret.), (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
Dolores Herrero (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
Elisabetta Marino (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy)
Emmanouil Aretoulakis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)
Esther Sanchez-Pardo (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)
Gurumurthy Neelakantan (IIT Kanpur, India)
Halina Marlewicz (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Imre Szeman (University of Waterloo, USA)
Jorge Diego Sanchez (University of Salamanca, Spain)
Kata Gyuris (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
Lisa Lau (University of Keele, UK)
Lidia de Michelis (University of Milan, Italy)
María González Navarro (University of Salamanca, Spain)
Miranda Imperial (London School of Economics)
Mrinalini Chakravorty (University of Virginia, USA)
Nancy Batty (College of the North Atlantic, Qatar)
Pavan Malreddy (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
Johan Höglund (University of Linnaeus)
Peter Arnds (Trinity College, Dublin)
Pilar Royo-Grasa(University of Zaragoza, Spain)
Richard Brown (University of Leeds, UK)
Syed Haider (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Veronica Thompson(Athabasca University, Canada)

Previous Activities of the Research Network

• The Cultures of New India: a two-day international Conference organised by Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow, India, 17-18 February, 2017
• Precarity, Populism and Post-Truth Politics: a three-day international Conference organised by the University of Cordoba, Spain, 1st – 3rd Feb., 2018

Publications - Forthcoming

Proceedings of the Precarity, Populism and Post-Truth Politics Conference will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing in 2020.
An essay collection on precarity in Indian Writing in English is currently in process, and contributions are invited by the editors, Om Dwivedi and Dieter Riemenschneider.

Om Dwivedi
Associate Professor of English
AURO University, Surat, India

Professor Dr. Dieter Riemenschneider
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany