Precarious Creativity
Michael Curtin (editor)
Precarious Creativity

Precarious Creativity examines the seismic changes confronting media workers in an age of globalization and corporate conglomeration. This pathbreaking anthology peeks behind the hype and supposed glamor of screen media industries to reveal the intensifying pressures and challenges workers face. The authors take on crucial issues and provide insightful case studies of workplace dynamics regarding creativity, collaboration, exploitation, and cultural difference. Furthermore, they investigate working conditions and organizing efforts on all six continents, offering comprehensive analysis of contemporary screen media labor in places such as Lagos, Prague, Hollywood, and Hyderabad, across a range of job categories that includes visual effects, production services, and adult entertainment. With contributions from John Caldwell, Vicki Mayer, Herman Gray, Tejaswini Ganti, and others, this collection offers timely critiques of media globalization and broader debates about labor, creativity, and precarity.

“Every case study is an eye-opener, and no other book comes close in assessing the plight of creative workers in the era of global conglomerate Hollywood.” THOMAS SCHATZ, University of Texas at Austin

“A corrective to previous, U.S.-centric attempts to understand the global media economy by offering a bracing look at the dark underbelly of life for most media workers today.” DENISE MANN, University of California, Los Angeles

“A balanced and comprehensive portrayal of the reshaping of the contours of work and industry organization under the twin circumstances of digital disruption and a globalizing media system.” TOM O’REGAN, The University of Queensland

MICHAEL CURTIN is a professor of Film and Media Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. KEVIN SANSON is a Lecturer in Entertainment Industries at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

List of Illustrations
1.    Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor
Michael Curtin and Kevin Sanson
2.    Cybertarian Flexibility—When Prosumers Join the Cognitariat, All That Is Scholarship Melts into Air
Toby Miller
3.    Spec World, Craft World, Brand World
John T. Caldwell
4.    Film/City: Cinema, Affect, and Immaterial Labor in Urban India
Shanti Kumar
5.    The Production of Extras in a Precarious Creative Economy
Vicki Mayer
6.    Talent Agenting in the Age of Conglomerates
Violaine Roussel
7.    Transnational Crews and Postsocialist Precarity: Globalizing Screen Media Labor in Prague
Petr Szczepanik
8.    The Cost of Business: Gender Dynamics of Media Labor in Afghanistan
Matt Sienkiewicz
9.    “No One Thinks in Hindi Here”: Language Hierarchies in Bollywood
Tejaswini Ganti
10.   Complex Labor Relations in Latin American Television Industries
Juan Piñón
11.   Labor in Lagos: Alternative Global Networks
Jade Miller
12.   Creative Precarity in the Adult Film Industry
Heather Berg and Constance Penley
13.   Strategies for Success? Navigating Hollywood’s “Postracial” Labor Practices
Kristen J. Warner
14.   Games Production in Australia: Adapting to Precariousness
John Banks and Stuart Cunningham
15.   Redefining Creative Labor: East Asian Comparisons
Anthony Fung
16.   Unbundling Precarious Creativity in China: “Knowing-How” and “Knowing-To”
Michael Keane
17.   Revolutionary Creative Labor
Marwan M. Kraidy
18.   Precarious Diversity: Representation and Demography
Herman Gray
19.   The Precarity and Politics of Media Advocacy Work
Allison Perlman
20.   Internationalizing Labor Activism: Building Solidarity among Writers’ Guilds
Miranda Banks and David Hesmondhalgh
Notes on Contributors
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