59th ITH Conference: Worlds of Digital Labour

26-28 September 2024, Linz


Organised by:
International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH), in co-operation with the Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria, the Chamber of Labour of Vienna, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Politische Bildung and the City of Linz

Preparatory Group:
Gleb J. Albert (University of Lucerne), Laurin Blecha (ITH, Vienna), Therese Garstenauer (ITH, Vienna), Julia Gül Erdogan (University of Stuttgart), Michael Homberg (Leibnitz Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam), Stefan Berger (Friedrich Ebert Foundation) 

The pitfalls of platform economies, struggles for unionisation in digital entertainment companies, outsourcing and exploitation in social media enterprises, fragile global commodity chains in hardware production: Topics of labour and digital industries are prominent in today’s news headlines. These themes, however, have a history that goes back several decades. Studying industrial relations at the dawn of computing, the struggles over automation and digitization, and the emergence of new forms of work can provide us with a better understanding of digital labour relations and struggles.
The 2024 ITH conference addresses the role of industrial relations, labour struggles and knowledge regimes in the history of computing and IT – both in computer-related industries (hardware and software) and the IT services sector shaping the “old”, established industries. Covering the time frame between the establishment of the commercial computer industry in the post-war era through the breakthrough of home and personal computing in the late 1970s until the commodification of digital communication in the 1990s, and aiming at a global perspective, we would like to address questions that are crucial for the history and present of labour and digitization.

AK-Bildungshaus Jägermayrhof, Römerstraße 98, 4020 Linz, Austria

Linz is an industrial town some 180 km west of Vienna and one of the historical centres of the Austrian labour movement. The Austrian Civil War between Austro-fascist militias (“Heimwehren”) and the federal army on the one hand, and the paramilitary organization of the Austrian Social Democratic Workers Party, the “Republikanischer Schutzbund” on the other, in February 1934, started in Linz. The surroundings of the Jägermayrhof were among the centres of combat.

Laurin Blecha
International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH)
c/o Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW)
Altes Rathaus, Wipplinger Str. 6/Stg., A-1010 Vienna, Austria
email: conference[at]ith.or.at

Travel information

A selection of links that may be useful for you attending the conference:


How to travel to Linz – General information

ÖBB – Direct train connections from Vienna International Airport (“Flughafen Wien”) or Vienna Main Station (“Wien Hauptbahnhof”) to Linz Main Station (“Linz Hauptbahnhof”)
Westbahn – Direct train connections from Vienna Main Station (“Wien Hauptbahnhof”) or Vienna West Station (“Wien Westbahnhof”) to Linz Main Station (“Linz Hauptbahnhof”)

Blue Danube Airport Linz – Bus, train or taxi to the city centre

Once you have arrived at “Linz Hauptbahnhof” (Linz Main Station) you can either travel to the venue by public transport or take a taxi (approx. EUR 15-20).

If you travel by public transport from “Linz Hauptbahnhof” (Linz Main Station), take tram no. 1 or 2 (direction to “Universität”) or tram no. 3 or 4 (direction to “Landgutstraße”) and travel 4 stops until “Taubenmarkt”. Change there to bus no. 26 (direction to “Stadion”), travel 5 stops and got off at “Jägermayr”. The bus station is right besides the venue.

The trams from “Linz Hauptbahnhof” (Linz Main Station) leave regularly. Bus no. 26 leaves “Taubenmarkt” every 30 min. The last bus leaves at 7:06 pm (Bus schedule).


Jägermayrhof – Cultural and Educational Centre of the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labour


City of Linz – Information by the Linz City Tourist Board
Vienna Tourism – Information by the Vienna Tourist Board