Higher education has always mirrored, perpetuated, and even exacerbated inequality in the US, and the pandemic is making things even worse. College enrollments have declined significantly, especially at community colleges and private for-profit schools, leading to program and faculty cuts at many institutions. As Sherry Linkon writes in Working-Class Perspectives this week, that undermines the quality of education, especially at the public institutions where most poor and working-class students attend college.
We are excited to announce the WCSA2020CFP with dates for the 2020 Working-Class Studies Association Conference to be held at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH May 20-23, 2020.
Re-Placing Class: Community, Politics, Work, and Labor in a Changing World
Twenty-five years ago, the academic discipline of Working-Class Studies in the US was born in Youngstown, Ohio, as a group of scholars, activists, artists, workers, and practitioners converged around common goals of celebrating the working class in its diversity and complexity, and to advocate for a politics of social justice and equity. This year the Working-Class Studies Association returns to the place the discipline began for the 2020 conference at Youngstown State University, at a time of rising social tribalism, class conflict, and politically calculated populisms. As WCSA re-convenes in a place synonymous with working-class life, we hope to explore the following:
How can Working-Class Studies offer models for understanding the ways in which myriad local and global working classes intersect, cooperate, compete or are co-opted by other interests? What is the place of class as an instrument of either division or unification, both historically and now? How do global, national, and local politics and policies exploit, ignore, or alternately, empower and enable workers? What potentials exist for solidarity amongst and within migrant, global, regional and local working classes? How is diversity within the working class essentialized, fragmented, or, alternately, harnessed and maximized for social and political agendas? How can we reposition, or “re-Place” class in our current global politics as a site for effective action?
Further, what is the role of “Place” as geographical, social, psychic, and economic formation? How does “Place” defined by social, political and economic attributes, define community, which is underpinned by identity, ethnicity, status and power relationships? How does “Place” in these broad definitions provoke ways of thinking about the locations, spaces and places of the working class and Working-Class studies today?
We welcome proposals from multiple disciplines and perspectives: pedagogical, theoretical, creative, and professional. Themes and topics for papers, panels and presentations might include—but are not limited to:
- Populisms, Diasporas, and Nationalisms
- Race, Capitalism, and Empire
- Environmental Justice
- Critical Race Studies
- Policies and Politics
- Global, Regional or Migrant Working Classes
- Urban/Rural Working-Class life
- The Cultural Politics of Class
- Place and/or displacement of working-class communities
- Labor now—Locally, Regionally and/or Globally
- Class, Education, and Equity
- Resilience, Resistance, and “Class Warfare”
The CWCS at Youngstown State welcomes proposals from academics and practitioners across disciplines, community activists and organizers, and public scholars. Proposal abstracts for papers, creative works/exhibitions, and roundtables of no more approximately 350 words are due by Feb.20, 2020. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org