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WCSA Award Winners

The Working-Class Studies Association issues a number of awards to recognize new work in the field. View the award categories and the winners awarded by year below.

Studs Terkel Award for Media and Journalism

for single published articles or series, broadcast media, multimedia, and film in media and journalism

2022 Christine Walley and Chris Boebel for the digital humanities project ‘The Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project’.

2021 Joseph Sciorra, “Protesta Per Sacco & Vanzetti”

2020 Alison Stine, “Last Days of the Appalachian Poverty Tour

2019 Rubén Vega and Irene Díaz Memorias Culturales de un Pasado Industrial / Cultural Memories of the Industrial Past

2018 Lizzie Presser, “Below Deck

2017 Gabriel Thompson, “Dark Meat

2016 Christine Walley and Chris Boebel.  Exit Zero (DVD)

2015 Michele Fazio and Jason Hutchens, Voices of the Lumbee (DVD)

2014 Monica Potts, “What’s Killing White Women?”

2013 Tony Buba and Tom Dubensky, We Are Alive: The Fight to Save Braddock Hospital (DVD)

2012 J. Malcolm Garcia, “Smoke Signals: They Survived Iraq—and Died at Home,” “Smoke Screen,” and “Breathing In”

2011 Chris Hedges (text), Joe Sacco (photography), “City of Ruins”

2010 Michael Zweig, Trish Dalton, & Mike Konopacki, “Why are we in Afghanistan?”

2008 Gabriel Thompson, “Meet the Wealth Gap”

2007 Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class (DVD)

Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing

for published books of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and other genres

Awarded in 2022: Crystal Wilkinson, 2021. Perfect BlackUniversity Press of Kentucky.

2021 eds. Jim Daniels and M.L. Lieber, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts

2020 Jodie Adams Kirshner, Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises

2019 by Theodore C. Van Alst Jr., Sacred Smokes

2019 Jeanne Bryner and Cortney Davis, editors, Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose 

2018 David Joy, The Weight of This World 

2017 David LaBounty, Workers Write: Tales From the Construction Site

2016 Mike Yarrow and Ruth Yarrow.  Photographs by Douglas Yarrow.  Voices from the Appalachian Coalfields

2015 David LaBounty, Ed. Workers Write! More Tales From the Cubicle

2014 Hakim Bellamy, Swear: Poems

2013 Paola Corso, The Laundress Catches Her Breath

2012 Mary Bucci Bush, Sweet Hope: a Novel

2011 Jeanne Bryner, No Matter How Many Windows: Poems

2010 Jenifer Rae Vernon, Rock Candy

2008 John Marsh, You Work Tomorrow: An Anthology of American Labor Poetry, 1929-41

2007 Jim Daniels and Charlee Brodsky, Street

C.L.R. James Award for Published Book for Academic or General Audiences

for published books for academic or general audiences

Awarded in 2022 to two:  Heather Berg, 2021, Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism; and Gabriel Winant, 2021, The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America

2021 Sarah Attfield, Class on Screen: The Global Working Class in Contemporary Cinema

2020 Christopher R. Martin, No Longer Newsworthy: How the Mainstream Media Abandoned the Working Class

2019 Sherry Lee Linkon, The Half-Life of Deindustrialization: Working-Class Writing about Economic Restructuring

2018 David Roediger, Class, Race, and Marxism 

2018 Scott Henkel, Direct Democracy: Collective Power, the Swarm, and the Literatures of the Americas 

2017 Angela Stuesse,  Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South

2016  Ann Folino White, Plowed Under: Food Policy Protests and Performance in New Deal America

2016 Julie M. Weise, Corazón de Dixie: Mexicans in the U.S. South Since 1910

2015 Linda Tirado, Hand to Mouth:  Living in Bootstrap America. 2014. Putnam/Penguin Press

2014 Christine Walley, Exit Zero: Family and Class in Postindustrial Chicago

2013 J.T Way, The Mayan in the Mall: Globalization, Development, and the Making of Modern Guatemala

2012 Franco Barchiesi, Precarious Liberation: Workers, the State, and Contested Social Citizenship in Postapartheid South Africa

2012 Sean Burns, Archie Green: The Making of a Working-Class Hero

2011 Jarod Roll, Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South

2010 Steven K. Ashby, C.J. Hawking, Staley: The Fight for a New American Labor Movement

2008 David Bacon, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants

2007 Nicholas de Genova, Working the Boundaries: Race, Space and ‘Illegality’ in Mexican Chicago

Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Working-Class Academics Award 

for books by writer(s) of working-class origins that speak to issues of the working-class experience in academia

Awarded in 2022 to two: Davarian L. Baldwin, 2021,  In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities. Bold Type Books; and Michele Fazio, Christie Launius, and Tim Strangleman, eds., 2021, Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies. Routledge.

2021 Matt Brim, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University

2020 ed. Jackie Goode, Clever Girls: Autoethnographies of Class, Gender and Ethnicity
Allison Hurst, Amplified Advantage: Going to a ‘Good College’ in an Era of Inequality

2019 Didier Eribon, Returning to Reims 

2018  Diane Reay,  MiseducationInequality, Education and the Working Classes

John Russo and Sherry Linkon Award for Published Article or Essay for Academic or General Audiences 

for published articles or essays for academic or general audiences

Awarded in 2022 to two: Purser, Gretchen and Brian Hennigan. 2020. “Both Sides of the Paycheck: Recommending Thrift to the Poor in Job Readiness Programs.” Critical Sociology 47(3): 389-406. Nichter,Matt.  2021.“’Did Emmett Till Die in Vain?  Organized Labor Says NO!’: The United Packinghouse Workers and Civil Rights Unionism in the Mid-1950.” Labor 18 (2): 8–40.

2021 Katie Beswick, “Slaggy Mums: Class, Single Motherhood and Performing Endurance”

2020 Pamela Fox, “Born to Run and Reckless: My Life as a Pretender,” from Popular Music and the Politics of Hope: Queer and Feminist Interventions

2019 Peter Cole, “Durban Dockers, Labor Internationalism, and Pan-Africanism”

2018  Liza Sapir Flood, “Instrument in Tow: Bringing Musical Skills to the Field

2017 Diana Garvin, “Singing Truth to Power: Melodic Resistance and Bodily Revolt in Italy’s Rice Fields,” Annali d’italianistica 34 (2016). Speaking Truth to Power from Medieval to Modern Italy

2016 Geoff Bright, “‘The Lady is Not Returning!’: Educational Precarity and a Social Haunting in the UK Coalfields”

2015 Patrick J. Finn, “Unrest In Grosvenor Square: Preparing for Power in Elite Boarding Schools, Working-Class Public Schools, and Socialist Sunday Schools” 

2015 Michelle M. Tokarczyk,“Toward an Imagined Solidarity in the Working-Class Epic:  Chris Llewellyn’s Fragments from the Fire and Diane Gilliam Fisher’s Kettle Bottom”  

2014 Gretchen Purser, “The Labour of Liminality”

2013 Tim Libretti, “Working the Case: The Wire and Working-Class Cops on American Television”

2012 Stephen Brier, “Italian Militants and Migrants and the Language of Solidarity in the Early-Twentieth-Century Western Coalfields”

2011 Heath W. Carter, “Scab Ministers, Striking Saints: Christianity and Class Conflict in 1894 Chicago”

2010 Elna C. Green, “Relief from Relief: The Tampa Sewing-Room Strike of 1937 and the Right to Welfare”

2008 Alan Derickson, “‘Asleep and Awake at the Same Time’: Sleep Denial among Pullman Porters”

Constance Coiner Dissertation Award

for completed dissertations

Awarded in 2022 to two: Kim McAloney, 2021, Virtual Liberatory Women of Color Mentorship.  Oregon State University; and Rhiannon Stevens, 2021, Young People’s Access to Employment in Disadvantaged Communities in Wales. Cardiff University.

2021 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”

2020 Melissa Meade, In the Shadow of ‘King Coal’: Memory, Media, Identity, and Culture in the Post-Industrial Pennsylvania Anthracite Region

2019 Alexandrea J. Ravenelle The New Entrepreneur: Worker Experiences in the Sharing Economy

2018 Steffan Blayney, Health & Efficiency: Fatigue, the Science of Work and the Working Body in Britain, c. 1870-1939

2018 Simon Lee, Working-Class Heroics: The Intersection of Class and Space in British Post- War Writing

2017 Jackie Gabriel, “Manufacturing Precarity: A Case Study of the Grain Processing Corporation (GPC)/United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 86D Lockout in Muscatine, Iowa”

2016 Gregory Rosenthal,  Hawaiians Who Left Hawaii: Work, Body, and Environment in the Pacific World, 1786-1876

2015 Jen Schradie, This is (Not) What Democracy Looks Like: How Ideology, Hierarchy and Inequality Shape Digital Activism 

2014 No Award Given

2013 Sara Appel, Football Wishes and Fashion Fair Dreams: Class and the Problem of Upward Mobility in Contemporary U.S. Literature and Culture

2012 Jamie K. McCallum, In Dubious Battle: A Case Study of the New Labor Transnationalism

2010 Tiffany Knight Raymond, Labor, Performance, and Theatre: Strike Culture and the Emergence of Organized Labor in the 1930’s

2009 Michele Fazio, Between Mothers and Sons: Narrative Performances of American Identities in Italian American Literature

2007 Terry Easton, Temporary Work, Contingent Lives: Race, Immigration, and Transformations of Atlanta’s Daily Work, Daily Pay

Lifetime Achievement Award

for significant service and contribution to the field

2022 Barbara Jensen

2020 Janet Zandy

2019 Billy Bragg

2018 Paul Lauter

2017 Felice Yeskel

2016 Jack Metzgar and Frances “Fran” Benson

2014 Michael Zweig

2013 Sherry Linkon & John Russo, “Distinguished Service Award”

*Featured image: Suad Kamardeen, Unsplash.