Class Matters:

Working Class Studies Association Conference Pittsburgh, PA June 3 - 6,


The Working Class Studies Association (WCSA) is pleased to announce that its biennial Conference will be held at the University of Pittsburgh, June 3 - 6, 2009.

Proposals are invited for presentations, panels, workshops, and performances, according to the guidelines below. Proposals must be received by January 4, 2009.

The Working Class Studies Association.

The WCSA promotes models of working-class studies, both inside and outside of the academy, that serve the interests of working-class people. These include critical discussions of relationships among class, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and other structures of inequality. WCSA is a multidisciplinary and international association; its members and conference participants include economists, sociologists, social workers, documentary filmmakers, writers, labor educators and cultural workers, as well as historians, teachers and literary scholars.

The 2009 conference builds on the tradition of conferences that took place at Youngstown State University, sponsored by its Center for Working-Class Studies. The event will be hosted by Pitt's English Department, with co-sponsors from departments, campuses, and working-class organizations in and around Pittsburgh.

WCSA Conference 2009.

Featuring panels, plenaries, workshops, performances, screenings, site visits, and social gatherings, the conference provides an opportunity for academics, artists, activists, workers, independent scholars, teachers and students to present their projects, make connections, and learn about resources for the work we hold in common.

The conference theme, Class Matters, is intended to encompass the broad range of fields of study and forms of work promoted by the WCSA, and proposals may reflect this diversity. (See below for a listing of topics addressed at previous conferences.) Planners of the 2009 conference also have a particular interest in topics connected to "place" and location, including the local and global sites and environments of working-class lives and struggles.

Proposal guidelines.

Proposals will be accepted in three categories:

  • a) Individual presentation, paper or talk. The program committee may group these into panel sessions.
  • b) Panel session, featuring three or four presenters, proposing jointly. Typically 1.5 hours long, sessions may take the form of a workshop, round-table, or panel, and must provide time for response and interaction. Workshops of longer duration will also be considered. *c) Performance, reading, or screening of creative work. Proposal must include a request for necessary space and/or technology.

Proposal format:

  • Proposed title
  • Category of proposal (see above)
  • Description, in fewer than 250 words, of the session
  • Names and institutional affiliation (where appropriate) of all presenters
  • Name, address, email, and phone numbers of the person making the proposal

Submit proposals either as hard copy by mail to Class Matters Conference, English Department, 526 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, or as an email attachment to

Proposals must be received by January 4, 2009. Notifications of acceptance will be made by February 1, 2009. Closer to the event a web-site will be available for posting of changes and updates, travel and lodging details, and the conference program.

We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!

Conference co-chairs:

Nick Coles, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh

Charlie McCollester, Pennsylvania Labor Center, Indiana University of Pennsylvania