Call for Papers: Rhizomes Special Issue, Working-Class Academics (Deadline July 2014)

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Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge
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Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge

Special Issue Working-Class Academics: Theories, Mythologies, Realities

Rhizomes 28, papers due by July 1st.

Calling all academics from the working class. Tired of hearing your relatives and childhood friends denigrated by implication when the more privileged assume everyone in their group is ignorant and prejudiced, of seeing people from your background misrepresented through "reality" TV minstrel shows, of being told that you are now middle-class because you have a graduate degree and a college teaching job and so you should get
over your past -- while you struggle to afford professional expenses colleagues from the bourgeoisie pay with ease? Do you resent the universalization of working-class experience across cultures and national borders, so that all our diversity is erased? When you hear academe described as a meritocracy in which one's origins don't matter, do you want to scream? Write back!

Studies of the working class abound. And numerous autobiographical books and articles have spoken back the reality of the lives of working class academics. But so far there has been little published that theorizes what our presence means to academe throughout the world, how it informs academic structures and practices, if it does so at all. And not much has been said about the inadequacy to address the problems faced by academics that come from the working class of current, contentious concepts of how social class is determined. This special issue of Rhizomes aims to address these gaps in our knowledge of working-class people in academe. While we are well aware of the class differences created by academic hierarchies, especially the increasing dependence on adjuncts and temporary faculty at many colleges, this is not the focus of this special issue. Instead we invite those with working class origins to contribute, regardless of their current academic status.

Possible general topics include, but are by no means limited to the following: historical changes, work ethic differences, family responsibilities, expressions of sexuality, epistemologies, pedagogies, race and minoritization, bourgeois
discourses as a second language, and diversity within the working class.

Essays should be between 20 and 40 pages, including notes. Please send all submissions as MSWord attachments to Carol Siegel at by July 1, 2014.