2019 WCSA Conference Underway

The 2019 Working-Class Studies Association conference is underway here at the University of Kent in Canterbury!

Yesterday’s opening plenary included an engaging discussion on “Why Working-Class Studies,” involving Geoff Bright (Manchester Metropolitan University), Sweta Rajan-Rankin (University of Kent), Paul Sng (Filmmaker and Writer), Valerie Walkerdine (Cardiff University), and Discussant: Sherry Linkon (Georgetown University). We have had three sets of concurrent panels covering a diverse range of engaging projects, and the public lecture by Professor Satnam Virdee on “Race, Class and the Politics of Solidarity” is ongoing.

We are looking forward to tonight’s Conference Dinner and WCSA Awards Ceremony, which will include the 2019 WCSA Lifetime Achievement Award for musician and activist Billy Bragg.

Please review the full conference programme for upcoming events, and follow @wcstudies on Twitter to see the latest Tweets about conference activities.


WCSA Lifetime Achievement Award

Please join us in congratulating Jack Metztgar, past-President of the WCSA, for receiving the WCSA Lifetime Achievement Award as well as all the other award recipients for their rich contributions to the field of working-class studies.  Awards were distributed at Friday night’s banquet held during the How Class Works conference.

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Social Haunting

Former steel and rail worker Geoff Bright, now a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, has posted a web archive of the Working with Social Haunting project based on his and others’ work investigating how conflicted pasts remain “present in the present in ways that are richly useful” for activist organizations.  Focused on South Yorkshire coal mining villages and especially on the 1984-85 Miners Strike, the archive assembles people’s remembrances in poetry and prose, photos and audio documentaries, comic strips and “Ghost Labs” – described as “semi-formal arts/political education . . . that focuses on excavating those ‘other’ histories that those in power keep telling us to forget about.”