Working-Class Studies: An Interdisciplinary Conference at University College Dublin

Ireland’s first Working-Class Studies conference will take place next year (late summer 2021, date TBD) and the organisers have opened a call for papers available through the conference website: https://workingclassstudies.com/.

Working-class concerns have remained largely out of sight in Irish academia, politics, media, and popular culture. Ireland’s first working-class studies conference seeks to redress this absence. The conference will be interdisciplinary and aims to bring together methods from across the social-sciences and the humanities in order to form frameworks that can fully represent and respond to working-class culture. We invite submissions by and about working-class people and particularly encourage presentations from working-class people of their creative work, community movements and political activism. We encourage contributions in a range of forms including paper presentations, creative pieces, groups presentations and talks. The academic field of working-class studies is in an exciting phase of growth in Ireland and the organisers of this event, themselves working-class academics, believe that the involvement of working-class people outside academia will be crucial to the development and terms of engagement of working-class studies in the future. For this reason, the organising committee wishes to hear from working-class people from across the v​arious industries and worlds of work​, regardless of age, occupation, race, gender or sexuality. Submissions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Lived experiences of class
  • International perspectives on class
  • Methodologies/theories for exploring working-class intellectual history and knowledge production
  • Intersectionalities of race, class, gender and sexuality
  • Traveller/Mincéir experiences and class
  • Migration and class
  • Institutional abuse and class (eg. Magdalene Laundries, Industrial Schools)
  • Class and disability/health
  • Class across sectarian divides (in Northern Ireland for example)
  • Class and colonialism
  • Working-class literary culture and the impact of class on form: eg. poetry/prose/testimony
  • Class and genre fiction
  • Representation of working-class people (in literature and popular culture)
  • Class and Emotion/Affect
  • Community groups, how and why they started, their importance and creative output
  • Class and Pedagogy (class in the classroom)
  • Education and class
  • Representation of welfare-reliant people in politics and media
  • Social housing and social welfare campaigns/experiences
  • Academic and/or personal accounts of the water charges movement (including guarding metres, entrances to estates, protests – group or community presentations are welcome)
  • The Repeal movement and the class politics of abortion access in Ireland
  • Union activism
  • Presentations on music and song in working-class culture, including performances

Please submit either a 200-300 word abstract or description of your intended contribution to irelandworkingclass@gmail.com​ ​by ​March 12th 2021. We also seek students and staff to participate in a storytelling workshop led by working-class faculty on our experiences of ‘culture shock’, ‘crossover guilt’ and ‘survivor’s guilt’ in higher education. This event aims to create a space where stories of college and university are shared and validated. To register your interest please email ​irelandworkingclass@gmail.com​.

This event is made possible with funding from the Irish Research Council New Foundations Award.