Working-Class Academics

In 2015, the Association of Working-Class Academics merged with the Working-Class Studies Association to form the Working-Class Academics section. Read about this in, “Organizing Working-Class Academics: A Collective History,” by Allison L. Hurst, Tery Griffin, and Alfred Vitale in the Journal of Working-Class Studies.

The Working-Class Academics (WCA) section advocates for students and faculty of poverty- and working-class origins, strives to implement reforms designed to assure greater class equity within colleges and universities, establishes relationships and connections between poverty- and working-class academics through mentoring and events, and serves as an informational resource for those interested in issues affecting poverty- and working-class people.

The WCA section of the WCSA maintains its own administrative structure and reports activities via the WCSA newsletter. The WCA section holds regular panels at the WCSA conference.

When joining and renewing membership, WCSA members may join the WCA section through the membership portal. Collected dues are earmarked for WCA activities and needs.



  • To establish a collective voice in solidarity for WCAs seeking to raise important class-related issues throughout higher education, including the improvement of working conditions for WCAs and admissions for students of poverty- or working-class backgrounds, as well as encouraging institutions of higher education to hire more poverty/working class academics.
  • To act as a clearinghouse for advice and support, assisting WCAs in navigating the formal and informal academic processes, including suggestions on tenure, dissertations, financial issues, dealing with administrators and mentoring students.


  • To network and connect with WC/PCAs.
  • To work to establish on-campus faculty WCA mentors for graduate and undergraduate students on campuses.


  • To inform WCAs about publication possibilities and upcoming conferences both for and by WCAs.
  • To encourage WCAs to engage in research and to interrogate the standpoint of current research focusing on social class issues.
  • To introduce more courses on social class and the effects of social class origins into our respective fields.

Search the Journal of Working-Class Studies for recent work in the field by inputting author names and key-words in the search field. See chair Emma Penney’s and Laura Lovejoy’s article on “Navigating Academia in the Welfare Class.”

Chair, 2023-2024

Dr. Jackie Gabriel

*Featured image, Rosie O’Halloran, at-large member, 2022.