Camille Barbagallo

Title: Sociological Review Fellow of 2017
Location: Claus Moser Research Centre: Room CM1.10
Contacting me: email

Before migrating to London in 2005, I lived and worked in Australia and was active in trade unions, student movements and in social movements that focused on ending the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and campaigns to close the refugee camps. In 2017, I will commence as one of the Sociological Review Fellows and undertake work on a monograph of feminist genealogies of motherhood and reproduction.

In 2016/2017 I was the Fisher Centre Fellow at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York where I pursued teaching and research concerning gender, slavery and constructions of domesticity and home. I also participated in the cross-departmental Afro-Pessimism Study Group. In 2016, I completed my doctoral thesis The Political Economy of Reproduction: Motherhood, Gender and the Home in Neoliberal Britain at the University of East London. In 2007, I completed my Masters in Postcolonial Studies at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths and received an award for my dissertation, Sex Work Moves: a postcolonial inquiry into ‘trafficking’ in the sex industry

My current research, situated within sociology, gender and black studies, explores how the reproduction of labour-power is valued, what it costs and who pays the bill. The question of who performs care, sex and domestic labour, where and under what conditions they do it, as well as ongoing concerns regarding its value and meaning continue to be contested subjects, not only within gender studies but also for households themselves. The inequalities and disparities in how different racialised and gendered subjects experience the reproductive labour of making and remaking people are considerable and these spaces of difference have long and complex histories. I investigate the interrelation between the political economy of reproduction and the production of subjectivity, focusing on the historical impact of feminist demands and government policies. My research examines the specific ways that gender and race are implicated in the reproductive sphere. Specifically, within the context of the governing political rationality of neoliberalism that seeks to extend an ethic of the market into all aspects of life, while at the same, depending on significant amounts of non-marketised and unwaged reproductive labour. 

My doctoral research presents a feminist genealogy of commodified childcare services in Britain. It interrogates how some women are produced as needing childcare, while others are produced as those who do the work of care. In this vein, it also considers, conversely, how looking after your own child continues to not be considered ‘real’ work. I use the relatively recent emergence of 24-hour childcare services in Britain as my departure point to investigate how dramatic increases in women’s employment have been enabled by, and have produced, a proliferation of commodified reproductive services – services that are disproportionately provided by migrant and working-class women. In addition, I analyse how, with the steady increase of women in the waged labour market, the subjectivity of motherhood has shifted to one structured by the discourse of choice. I explore how choice has been central to feminist demands for reproductive justice, while at the same time, the choice to have a child is a private matter for which individuals bear the costs and motherhood becomes a privatised consumer experience.


2012: Barbagallo, C., and Federici, S., ‘Care Work and the Commons’, The Commoner Special Edition, Vol. 15.

Peer-reviewed Book Chapters
2016:    Barbagallo, C. ‘24-hour Nurseries: The Never-ending Story of Care and Work’ IN: Jensen, T., Garrett, R., and Voela, A (eds.) We Need to Talk About Family: Essays on the family, (popular) culture and neoliberalism, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.

Academic Journal Articles
2016: Barbagallo, C. ‘Feminist Demands and the Contradictions of Choice: Work and Childcare in Neoliberal Britain’ Feminist Review, Special Edition: Women, Work and Value (accepted, forthcoming).
2015: Barbagallo, C. ‘Leaving Home: Slavery and the Politics of Reproduction’, Viewpoint, Issue 5: Nov 2015
2012:    Barbagallo, C. and Federici, S., ‘Introduction: Care Work and the Commons’, The Commoner, Vol. 15
2012:    Barbagallo, C. and Beuret, N., ‘Starting from the Social Wage’, The Commoner, Vol. 15

Book Reviews
2014:    Barbagallo, C., Alberti, G., Cruz, K., Cruz, M., and Schwartz, L., ‘Book review symposium: Kathi Weeks, The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries’, Work, Employment & Society (28) 2: 339-342

Other Publications
2017: Barbagallo, C., ‘The Impossibility of the International Women’s Strike is Exactly Why It’s So Necessary’, Novara Media
2013: Barbagallo, C., and Beuret, N. ‘Revenge of the remainder’ in Lunghi, A. and Wheeler, S. (eds.) Occupy Everything! London/New York: Minor Compositions.
2010: A Human Rights Impact Assessment of Anti-Trafficking Laws in the UK Report, Daphne Program, European Commission
2008: Barbagallo, C. and Beuret, N., ‘Bang to Rights’, Mute Vol. 2, 7.