Call for Papers

Work in the West: Implications for Land and Labour 

October 18, 19, and 20th, 2019

Regina, Saskatchewan

Please find a link for submissions at the bottom of the page. 


This conference centers on the future of work and labour in the West with the primary goal of examining i) changing dimensions of workplaces in a range of industries throughout the region, ii) changing characteristics and locations of labour markets and their interface with public policy, and iii) institutional responses to globalization of both labour and commodity markets defining this region. Our second goal is to generate a sustainable network of scholars across Canada working in these thematic areas. The geographic focal point is important for two reasons: the economic basis of Western Canada is different from central and Eastern Canada, and offers unique perspectives on political economic, social, and business research themes that are often on the periphery of many national academic conferences. Yet, from a practitioner and academic perspective, it has been the home to critical developments shaping labour policy and the world of work in Canada. From landmark Supreme Court of Canada cases to oil-industry induced changes to the country’s migrant labour regime, Western Canadian provinces have spurred important discussions. The conference has a community focus specific to building capacity in our region and includes one morning dedicated to engaging local stakeholders on the issues and themes of the conference. The conference also addresses internationalization and the role of Indigenous peoples in terms of labour market participation and on broader issues related to land, traditions, and indigenous-settler relations.


Our Keynote will be delivered by Dr. Peter Fairbrother of RMIT, Melbourne Australia. Dr. Fairbrother is Professor of International Employment Relations and Deputy Director of the Centre for People Organization and Work. Author of numerous studies on labour markets, social networks, ‘green jobs’ and regional development, his recent work includes When politics meets economic complexity: Doing things differently in the Gippsland Region in Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, and Governments matter for capitalist economies: Regeneration and transition to green and decent jobs' in Economic and Industrial Democracy.


The Opening Plenary features Dr. Emily Eaton (University of Regina) and Dr. Laurie Adkin (University of Alberta), who will address the conference theme. Further information about our speakers can be found on the conference website.


This conference provides an opportunity to gather together the scholars working across interdisciplinary fields related to the regional economy and its impact on the people, landscape and public policy of the region. We encourage colleagues to participate from fields as wide ranging as geography, history, sociology, labour studies, business, political science, indigenous studies, public policy, international studies, gender studies, and law to represent a wide range of worldviews. The conference also invites practitioners to be part of this conversation.

Travel subsidies

A limited amount of funding is available to help offset the cost of travel for students, according to the University travel policy. Please contact the organizers at for further information.

Host institution

The University of Regina campus is located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 land and the traditional homelands of the Metis. The University of Regina’s main campus and historic original College Avenue campus provide an attractive study and work environment for more than 14,500 full-time and part-time students, more than 1,400 permanent and term employees and approximately 1,200 casual employees. Both the main and College Avenue campus are located in Wascana Centre, the largest urban park in North America, the first in Canada to be created by a tri-level government/ education partnership, now governed by the Capital Commission.


Please find information below on the submission of papers, conference workshops/roundtables or graduate student poster submissions. Note the final call date of July 15, 2019

Papers are encouraged on the following potential topics, or other topics areas that relate to the general conference theme:

  • Sustainable development and “just transition”
  • Indigenous-union solidarity
  • An examination of automation in the resource extraction economy
  • Corporate mapping and metropoles in the resource sector
  • The Fight for $15 and living wage campaigns
  • Indigenous rights and the law
  • Immigration policy, rights, and the global division of migrant labour across Canada
  • Pipeline resistance
  • The impact of court decisions on strikes and collective bargaining, and the framework of industrial relations
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Labour history in the resource sector
  • Case studies in community unionism
  • Case studies in Indigenous economic development
  • Developments in care work
  • Law of (the) Land
  • Gender and agriculture
  • Attempts at regulating “platform” capitalism at the provincial and municipal levels
  • Sustainability and energy production
  • Training, skills development, and regional labour markets
  • Economics, indigenous rights, and municipal regulation of land use
  • Financialization of agriculture

Submission guidelines

Deadline is July 15th, 2019 for submissions of abstracts of up to 500 words. Please submit below.

Workshops and roundtables are also encouraged. Space will be made in the program for group discussions on specific themes, particularly if these include industry, community, and academic participants. Suggested thematic roundtables might include:

  • Unions, migrant work and Indigenous peoples
  • Unions and Indigenous activism
  • Labour and the law
  • Living wage and Fight for $15 organizing
  • Organizing ride sharing platforms
  • Environmental activism in a resource economy

Other workshop or roundtable proposals that fit the general theme of the conference are also welcome. Submissions for roundtables should clearly identify the theme in up to 500 words, and should also identify the participants accompanied by a 300 word (maximum) description of each participant and their contribution to the thematic discussion. (

Students are welcome and encouraged to submit their work to the conference; please follow the regular submission process for papers. A poster session included in the program will also be of specific interest to graduate students. Submissions of a 500 word abstract for inclusion in the poster session should be made here (

Click the button below to make a submission