Published in 2021: Marc Dipaolo’s autobiographical novel

Southwestern Oklahoma State University Associate Professor Dr. Marc DiPaolo of Weatherford has an autobiographical novel— Fake Italian: An 83% True Autobiography with Pseudonyms and Some Tall Tales—that will soon be released online and later in print.

The book takes place in New York, 1987. In a city torn apart by racial tension, Damien Cavalieri is an adolescent without a tribe. His mother — who pines for the 1950s Brooklyn Italian community she grew up in — fears he lacks commitment to his heritage. Cavalieri’s fellow Staten Islanders agree, dubbing him a “fake Italian” and bullying him for being artistic.

Complicating matters, his efforts to make friends and date girls outside of the Italian community are thwarted time and again by circumstances beyond his control. When a tragic accident shakes Cavalieri to his core, he begins a journey of self-discovery that will lead him to Italy, where he will learn, once and for all, his true identity.

DiPaolo has written three nonfiction books: Fire and Snow: Climate
Fiction from the Inklings to 
Game of Thrones (2018); War, Politics and Superheroes (2011); and Emma Adapted: Jane Austen’s Heroine from Book to Film (2007). He has appeared in the documentary Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics (2017),and is associate professor of English at SWOSU.

The book will be published by Bordighera Press on May 11, but the book will be available for purchase online in early February, when the first print run is expected.

Announcing the 2021 wcsa conference

We are excited to announce that we have officially rescheduled the annual Working-Class Studies Association conference following last year’s cancelation!

Re-Placing Class: Community, Politics, Work, and Labor in a Changing World

The 2020 conference has been rescheduled for June 7-9, 2021. It will be hosted at Youngstown University,  but will mostly be virtual. We seek additional proposals for our on-line conference with a submission date of March 15, 2021. Check out our revised Call for Papers!

Note: If your submission for 2020 was accepted, you do NOT need to re-submit your proposal. You will receive confirmation of your acceptance by March 1st. If you would like to substantially revise your submission, please follow the above guidelines. You can note in your submission that this is a revision.

Download the 2021 Call for Papers here.

Published in 2021: The Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies

Co-editors: Michele Fazio (UNC Pembroke), Christie Launius  (Kansas State University), Tim Strangleman (University of Kent) have published The Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies.

Divided into six sections, the handbook consists of 35 essays by leading scholars and educators in our field that cover: Methods and Principles of Research in Working-Class Studies, Class and Education, Work and Community, Working-Class Cultures, Representations, and Activism and Collective Action. Editorial and supplemental materials offer a history of working-class studies, as well as an incisive assessment of the current state of the field.

Congratulations to our editors and all of our contributors!

Our Journal: The Working-Class Poetry Issue

In December 2020, we published a special issue of The Journal of Working-Class Studies: the Working-Class Poetry Issue. Featuring poems about factory working conditions, working as a garbage collector, as well as the experiences of Indigenous Australian and queer Arab working-class poets, the issue also offers several book reviews and essays about working-class art, culture, and poetry.

Editors Sarah Attfield (University of Technology Sydney), Liz Guiffre (University of Technology Sydney), and Jen Vernon (Sierra College) write of the issue:

WORKING-CLASS POETRY PLAYS WITH LANGUAGE AND OFTEN UTILISES A WORKING-CLASS VERNACULAR. THERE MIGHT BE SLANG OR CODE-SWITCHING BETWEEN LANGUAGES AND THERE WILL BE THE RHYTHM OF EVERYDAY SPEECH. TO ENHANCE OUR COMMUNICATION, WE MIGHT NEED TO DEVELOP AN UPDATEABLE GLOSSARY OF KEY-TERMS AS MANY USE VERNACULAR EXPRESSIONS TO SAY WHAT THEY MEAN, BEAUTIFULLY. AND THE EVERYDAY OFTEN DOMINATES WORKING-CLASS POETRY. POEMS ABOUT WORK, ABOUT HOME, ABOUT FAMILY REVEAL MUCH ABOUT HOW CLASS WORKS. THESE POEMS DON’T RELY ON ABSTRACT IDEAS – THEY GROUND THEM IN PALPABLE EXPERIENCE AND REVEAL THE CONCRETE, THE SPECIFIC AND THE SMALL DETAILS THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT WHAT IT IS LIKE TO REALLY BE WORKING CLASS.

Check out the poetry issue and our current call for papers!

Last call for nominations!

The Working-Class Studies Association calls for nominations for our annual awards. To be eligible, works must have been published (in the case of books or articles) or completed (in the case of films and dissertations) between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Nominations are due no later than January 31, 2021.

View the 2020 Call for Awards here.

Check out our list of previous winners here!

Reminder: Call for WCSA AWARDS

The Working-Class Studies Association calls for nominations for our annual awards. To be eligible, works must have been published (in the case of books or articles) or completed (in the case of films and dissertations) between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Nominations are due no later than January 31, 2021.

Arts Council Grant for an Archive of Working-Class Writing

At-large steering committee member, Dr. Emma Penney, has received a Literature Project Award in English from the Arts Council of Ireland. She will carry out a collaborative project with poet Sophie Meehan and digital artist Áine O’Hara. This project team will curate an online archive of community publications from the 1970s and 1980s as well as creating a living and growing archival space for work produced by community writing groups today. The aim of the project is to recover and amplify the voices of working-class writers and independent collectives whose creative output has remained uncollected, unread and unconsulted for decades. The team hope that this dynamic archive will enact a lost history and validate working-class creative futures. The archive will become an important resource for the representation and amplification of working-class voices in Ireland, with potential to inspire international comparative studies. Contact Dr. Penney for more information at <emma.penney@ucdconnect.ie>.

Reminder: Call for Annual Awards

The Working-Class Studies Association calls for nominations for our annual awards. Please consider nominating an entry, and please circulate the attached call.

Our award categories are:

  • Studs Terkel Award: for single published articles or series, broadcast media, multimedia, and film in media and journalism
  • Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing: for published books of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and other genres
  • C.L.R. James Award: for Published Books for Academic or General Audiences
  • Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Award: for books by writer(s) of working-class origins that speak to issues of the working-class academic experience
  • Russo & Linkon Award: for published article or essay for academic or general audiences
  • Constance Coiner Award: for completed dissertations
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are due no later than January 31, 2021.

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.