Does Skill Make Us Human? Migrant Workers in 21st-Century Qatar and Beyond
Skill—specifically the distinction between the “skilled” and “unskilled”—is generally defined as a measure of ability and training, but Does Skill Make Us Human? shows instead that skill distinctions are used to limit freedom, narrow political rights, and even deny access to imagination and desire. Natasha Iskander takes readers into Qatar’s booming construction industry in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup, and through her unprecedented look at the experiences of migrant workers, she reveals that skill functions as a marker of social difference powerful enough to structure all aspects of social and economic life, including responses to climate change.
Natasha Iskander is a current Associate professor at NYU Wagner, whose research investigates the ways in which migrants shape the political and cultural landscapes of the spaces they occupy. Iskander will be introduced by Dean Sherry Glied, and joined by panelists Andrew Ross, Yaw Nyarko, and Miriam Ticktin, whose work and projects span from urbanism and environmental justice to alternative economics and humanitarianism.