Working-Class Studies:

An Interdisciplinary Conference


Late summer 2021 (TBC), University College Dublin

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 various 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

Conference Website