Disclosing Class: Pedagogy and the Working Class

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Katelynn DeLuca/ NeMLA
contact email: 

Researcher and social activist Jean Anyon, in her investigations of social class reproduction in education, suggests "there is a ‘hidden curriculum’ in school work that has profound implication for theory—and practice—in education” (“Social Class” 67). By making class unhidden in the curriculum, students no longer feel they must "hide" themselves, and allows faculty to foster more honest conversations and writing about such issues.

Given the working-class positions held by many students, instructors and scholars must consider how this impacts and determines student success in schools and community relations as well as how it further shapes their views of themselves and their identity formation, including their worth and value, affect and performativity.

This session focuses on the influence that a student’s social and socioeconomic class position has on their navigation of expectations within higher education and their home community, particularly in the writing and literature classroom, and the ways in which instructors respond successfully via curricular and other means. Teaching through the lens of class can increase the valuing of students’ identities and the work students and instructors envision and create.

The overwhelming call for working-class people to “go for more” and “move into” a middle-class position has been shown to cause identity stratification—estrangement, alienation, marginalization—within higher education. Scholar Nancy Mack argues that in classes where more traditional assignments are given, working-class students are not provided “assignments in which they can occupy an authoritarian position in relation to their topic” and their survival at the university hinges on constructing “a position that is not discounted as underprepared or limited to an acceptable imitation of the elite original but a respected, working-class-academic identity” (54). Drawing attention to valuable experiential knowledge that all students have, presenters will focus on specific methods and approaches they have incorporated into their courses.

Please submit all abstracts via: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16273

All submissions are due by September 30, 2016.