Revaluing Care in the Global Economy is an ongoing international, interdisciplinary collaboration that started from a recognition that we’ve been talking about the maldistribution of carework for over a century.  For at least half a century there has been a robust body of research and critical thinking across disciplines, including extensive data collection, various metrics and indices, and reams of essays decrying the fact that — around the world — carework remains badly undervalued in all senses and falls overwhelmingly to women, particularly racially or ethnically marginalized women.  The standard repertoire of solutions — state-, market-, and technology-based approaches — have barely made a dent in the problem, and even modest legislative reforms are a very heavy lift.

We launched this project in 2018 to see if we could find ways to open up this question of valuing care to think about it from new perspectives.  Following a two-day brainstorming workshop in April 2019, we decided to focus on three principal research areas:

1) metrics (how to measure care, how it affects care when we try to measure it)
2) governance (how laws and policies both foster and reflect normative values of care)
3)  social practices (how various practices and social formations inform attention to care).

We also have started from two fundamental premises that have become even more evident since we started:

1) that social, cultural, and ecological care are all interdependent and imbricate and
2) that innovative solutions to the “crisis of care” can be found in many corners the world, particularly those that have been most suspicious of the standard repertoire of solutions

The Revaluing Care in the Global Economy project has enjoyed broad support at Duke.  We particularly want to thank Eve Duffy in the Duke Office for Global Affairs, who has been the fairy godmother for this project from its inception. The Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies and the Mellon-funded Humanities Unbounded program have provided both financial and administrative support. Duke’s Bass Connections program supported a parallel project that focused on questions of metrics and creating a resource hub for community partners.   We have also received support from the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Duke in Africa Initiative, and the Duke in India Initiative.


April 2019

“Value of Love” brainstorming workshop brought together 22 scholars from various social science disciplines and from around the world to Duke University.  The group produced a basic research framework:  that we would focus on metrics, governance, and social practices with particular attention to the imbrication of social, cultural, and ecological care.


Bass Connections grant

December 2019

“Epistemologies of Care:  Rethinking Global Political Economy” presentation of research at the University of Amsterdam Law School

April 2020

Planned conference canceled


Humanities Unbounded grant

Summer & Fall 2020

Series of online virtual workshops that we converted into a podcast series

Spring 2021

Vaccine Equity Project

June 2021

Contesting Care virtual conference based on collaboration between Duke and the University of Exeter.


Second Bass Connections grant

Spring & Fall 2021

Series of virtual workshops supported by the Humanities Unbounded grant.

Fall 2021

launched working papers seminars, which have continued this year in a more structured way

Fall 2021-Spring 2022

Visualizing Care series of virtual workshops and art exhibitions, culminating in the Visualizing Care online conference.

Fall 2022-Spring 2023

Created a series of work-in-progress seminars that allows authors to receive critical feedback on an article- or chapter-length piece of writing before submitting it for publication and launched an open-access. Developed a Zotero-based bibliography that allows people to add entries for work that contributes to the conversation about revaluing social, cultural, or ecological care. We are offering course development mini-grants to work with instructors to incorporate bibliography entries into their teaching so that we can expand the bibliography. We are interested in collaborating with instructors from around the world who can expand beyond the Euro-North American and English-language emphasis we currently have.

Who we are