Molly Benitez (they/them) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University. Molly’s research sits at the intersections of race, gender/sexuality, and labor and utilizes ethnographic and autoethnographic methods to record and analyze the experiences of LGBTQ+ trades workers.
They are currently working on their manuscript tentatively titled, Becoming Your Labor: Identity Production and the Affects of Labor where they weave together these intersections along with theories of work and affect theory (traced through women of color) to analyze how the conditions of work (physical, social, and cultural) produce and reproduce workers’ identities, bodies, and communities, or how work works on laborers.
In 2018 Molly co-founded the Seattle-based Reckoning Trade Project and Junqtion, a virtual community space made by and for LGBTQ+ trades workers. In 2022 Molly founded the LGBTQ+ Trades Worker Archive housed at the Harry Bridges Labor Center at the University of Washington. Molly currently sits on the board of the National LGBTQ Worker’s Center.
Talk Title: This is our house and you’re coming into it”: Embodiment and the Affects of Labor
Description: “This is our house and you’re coming into it”: Embodiment and the Affects of Labor, shares the experience of Z, a young, non-binary, biracial, queer person as they navigate their first few weeks in a pre-apprenticeship construction trades program. Z shares how they negotiate their gender identity, trauma, and anxiety in a labor field that has been historically dominated by white, cis-gender, working-class men as well as the strategies they deploy for survival.
Thinking along with Z’s experience, Dr. Benitez utilizes affect theory, traced through women of color feminisms and queer of color theory, to articulate how the ‘affects of labor’—the visceral and active consequences of our working environments—produces and reproduces workers’ bodies, identities, relationships, and communities, often in small, imperceptible ways that have lifelong consequences. This talk highlights the way work— all of our work—is a dialectical process in which workers produce for labor and are in turn produced by their labor
Event Location: In-Person + Zoom
Public Talk: 10:30am-12pm
In-Person: Labor Studies Speaker Series events will take place at the Public Affairs Building 4320. Coffee and water will be served.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 923 6963 5586