It’s Here!: June 2021 Issue of JWCS!

The June 2021 Issue of the Journal of Working-Class Studies has now been published. This issue can be found on our new hosting platform provided by the University of Wyoming, the new site for all archived and future issues of the journal!

Click here to read our current issue!

Of the move to our new platform, editors Sarah Attfield and Liz Giuffre explain:

“We would like to thank the Working-Class Studies Association past President, Scott Henkel for initiating this move, and the WCSA executive and others who have been part of the negotiations, and thank the wonderful librarians at the University of Wyoming for sharing their skills and facilitating the move. We remain committed to the open access and editorially independent nature of this Journal, and this new home will help us to maintain this commitment.”

The June 2021 issue showcases the variety of writing and scholarship within the field of working-class studies, including sociological, cultural, and artistic approaches. Articles explore contemporary issues for working-class communities, including the Green New Deal, care work and social welfare policy, working-class cultural production in a neoliberal and neo-colonial economic structure, and the treatment of class in undergraduate education. Personal essays and book reviews explore: experiences of aspiration; memories of carpentry work; deindustrialisation in Scotland; union organizing; a memoir of 1960s activism; autoethnographies of working-class women; and a novel centered around temporary workers.

Many thanks to Sarah, Liz, and book review editor Christie Launius for their work putting together this fantastic issue!

Announcing Newly Elected Leadership!

Congratulations and welcome to the newest members our of elected leadership and steering committee!

  • President-Elect: Michelle Corbin, Worcester State University
  • Treasurer: Marc DiPaolo, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Steering Committee: Rosie O’Halloran, University of Cambridge
  • Steering Committee: Elwood David Watson, East Tennessee State University
  • Election Committee: Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt University in Chicago
  • Election Committee: Jason Tanenbaum, Oregon State University
  • Working Class Academics Section Chair-Elect: Emma Penney, University College Cork

WCSA2021 Plenary Today at 1:00pm EST! Matt Brim, “The Unfashionable Line of Poor Queer Studies”

Join us at from at 1:00pm EST for a talk by Dr. Matt Brim, Associate Professor of Queer Studies in the English Department at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Brim is this year’s winner of the Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Award for books by writers of working-class origins or work that speaks to the issues of working-class academic experience. Of his book, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University, this year’s judges remark in our awards press release:

The award judges write that this is “exactly the sort of work that the Ryan & Sackrey Award was intended to honor. One of the main insights of writing by working-class academics is that class is imbricated throughout our academic institutions; that there is no ‘escape,’ there is only erasure (mostly at elite institutions that can afford this).  […] This is a book full of insights and powerful personal anecdotes and one that makes an important argument: ‘Poor Queer Studies’ can ‘galvanize interclass [anti-racist] cross-institutional queer formations that do not rely on a unidirectional, aspirational model of progress’ (3). We can remake our institutions so that they serve all of us, and this is one great example of where to start.”

We look forward to today’s plenary and encourage our members to attend! To access the zoom link, be sure to register on our conference website.

Press Release: WCSA Award Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Working-Class Studies Association Awards for work produced in 2020. See our full Press Release here!

C.L.R. James Award for Best Book for Academic or General Audiences
Sarah Attfield, Class on Screen: The Global Working Class in Contemporary Cinema.

The Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Award for books by writer(s) of working-class origins or work that speaks to issues of the working-class academic experience
Matt Brim, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University

Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing
eds. Jim Daniels and M.L. Lieber, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts

Russo & Linkon Award for Best Published Article or Essay for Academic or General Audiences
Katie Beswick, “Slaggy Mums: Class, Single Motherhood and Performing Endurance”

Studs Terkel Award for Single Published Articles or Series, Broadcast Media, Multimedia, and Film in Media and Journalism
Joseph Sciorra, “Protesta Per Sacco & Vanzetti”

Constance Coiner Award for Completed Dissertations
Lindsay Bartkowski, “Figuring Women’s Work: The Cultural Production of Care and Labor in the Industrial U.S.”
Michelle Gaffey, “Subjects of Economy: Social Documentary Poetics and Contemporary Poetry of Work”

Our award ceremony will take place today, Tuesday, June 8 at 4:30pm EDT on zoom. Join us as we celebrate all the impressive new work produced by our members during an especially difficult year. To access the zoom link, you should register for #WCSA2021 on our conference website!

Many thanks to those that served as this year’s judges. To read more about their selections, read the full Press Release!

WCSA 2021 begins TODAY!

Join us at 10:30am EDT for an opening address and welcome from our President Elect, Joseph Varga.

Today’s sessions include…

  • Methods and Methodologies in Working-Class Studies
  • Responding to Precarity
  • Working-Class Students Journeys
  • Working Bodies in Literature and Dance

…and many more!

See the full program at our conference website:

WCSA 2021 Conference Program Now Available!

The full program for the WCSA 2021 Conference: Re-Placing Class is now available on our conference website. Many thanks to all of the talented organizers and communications specialists that put this together!


We’re looking forward to convening on Zoom to hear speakers from our international community of activists, artists, and academics.

If you have completed your vaccine regime, and would like to participate in any local conference events in Youngstown, OH, please contact Joseph Varga at or see here for more information!

Check out some of this semester’s best titles! Book Notes Spring 2021 now available

Each semester, the WCSA Board puts together a list of new titles published by and of interest to our members. As you’re wrapping up with grading and need a break from end of semester stress, check out new and exciting work in the field of working-class studies!

Spring 2021 Book Notes

Update on WCSA Conference in Youngstown!

Dear Working Class Studies Members,

As you know, our 2020 conference that was to be held in Youngstown, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the launch of Working Class Studies, was cancelled due to Covid. This year, we are going virtual, but we would still like to have a physical presence in Youngstown to mark last year’s anniversary. Our plan this year is to live stream a roundtable, informal discussion on the founding of the Working Class Studies Association and on the current state of working class studies, from Youngstown at 6PM on June 9th.

We are asking any members of Working Class Studies who have completed their vaccine regime, and who are willing and available to be in Youngstown on June 9 to let us know of their intention to participate. We cannot provide any accommodations, but if you are planning to attend, can recommend places to stay close to the Youngstown Historical Center for History and Labor, where the event will take place.

Please let us know if you will attend by emailing Joseph Varga at

In solidarity,

2021 Working Class Studies Conference Organizing Committee