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Kevin Matthews

Union Power, Neoliberalism, Left-Progressive Cultural Work & the Informalization of Labour.

Degrees:GDip Work and Labour (In Progress)

Before beginning your studies at the Institute of Political Economy where did you study and what program(s) were you enrolled in?

I studied in the Faculty of Architecture and then the School of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba, finishing with a BED (fka BES) and a BFA (honours- Art History). I’ve also had years of work experience in the labour movement since then.

What is it specifically that attracted you to study Political Economy at Carleton?

I live and work in Ottawa, which helped bring the school to my attention, but I think the main driver was the creation of this new graduate diploma program in Work and Labour. Part-time study complements my full-time work, and some of the faculty are Canadian labour research superstars.

My areas of research interest include…

I’m starting the diploma with the Union Power under Neoliberalism course, but I’m also interested in left-progressive cultural work, and the challenges posed by creeping informalization of labour.

What activities have you been involved in lately? (work placement, work experience, Undergraduate research, research positions, volunteer work, awards, travel, favourite books)

A lot of the campaigns I work on at CUPW are pretty inspiring. A recent highlight for me has been working on the Justice for Foodora Couriers campaign.

What advice would you give to a prospective Political Economy diploma student?

I find my practical work experience adds a lot of depth and applicability to the things we’re reading. Try to build up some first-hand experience – employment or volunteer – to bring a grounded perspective to your studies. I also look for lessons in the practical experiences of fellow students when we can share them.