Reviving and Revisioning Work: Examining Class

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Second Annual University of Houston Graduate Literature Conference March 31, 2012

Between the recession, partisan rhetoric about class war, and the current Occupy movement, class has moved to the forefront of American political consciousness. Class is also something we can't avoid in the academy--whether we're talking about the relative place of men and women (Schell); WPAs, professors, and TAs (Bousquet, Scott); literature and composition (Miller); the university and the community (Mathieu); undergraduate students; or the literary canon and authors that we study. This is a kairotic moment to reexamine our assumptions about class and look more deeply at the class implications in our literature, our languages, our classrooms, and our communities.

Plaza: Dialogues in Language and Literature is sponsoring its second annual graduate student conference at the University of Houston to showcase student-written critical research and creative non-fiction works that enter a scholarly conversation and examine the role of socio-economic class structures in literature, rhetoric, composition studies, folklore and ethnography, linguistic studies, language and culture studies, and gender studies.

Proposals are due January 30, 2012, should be a maximum of 250 words for individual presenters, 1000 words for panels of 2-3. Individual conference presentations should be 15-18 minutes; panels will have 75 minutes including time for questions. Abstracts submitted individually will be placed on a panel of 3 by theme. Please note in the proposal whether the presentation will require AV equipment. Contact and submission information can be found at You may also email with your questions.

Some possible topics might include:
-Class and the Western Canon
-Folklore and representing "Folk"
-Freirian approaches to teaching
-Rhetoric of the Occupiers
-Class in the Literary Marketplace
-Post-Katrina rhetoric
-Houston/Community Literacies
-Class and the Public Sphere
-Class in author's oeuvre

Proposals are due by 30 January 2012; selected panelists will be notified by 15 February and also invited to submit a finished paper for publication in Plaza's Spring 2012 issue.