Jean and Jorts: Feline Champions of Labor

Patricia Sawin (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

What would Archie Green think of Jean and Jorts? Would he find common cause with the tortie and orange boi who have become unofficial mascots of multiple labor unions and whose social media followers devise clever ways (virtual and IRL) to support Starbucks unionization and decry neoliberal capitalism’s particular means of exploiting workers? While classic laborlore includes pranks to initiate the greenhorn, it treats labor’s struggle against the capitalist owners as deadly serious. Jean and Jorts mobilize the revolutionary potential of the imperious independent cat and the restorative cuteness of cat videos watched on stolen time to militate humorously for a compassionate and respectful twenty-first-century workplace.

Part of 03-03 Jorts (Unbuttered, Unbothered, Unionized) [hybrid], Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm