'Spectres of Class' (15-16 July 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
English Department, University of Chester (UK)

Please note the call for papers for the interdisciplinary 'Spectres of Class' conference at the University of Chester, UK, on 15-16 July 2011 organised in association with CADAAD (Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines).

We welcome abstracts of no more than 300 words by Friday 25 March 2011. Please send attached as a word document with the sender's name, position, contact address and email.

Organised by Professor Deborah Wynne and Dr Matt Davies, University of Chester English Department.

Confirmed keynote speakers so far:

● Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics, University of
● Dr Ruth Livesey, Reader in Nineteenth Century Literature and
Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London

Call for Papers:

SPECTRES OF CLASS: Representing Social Class from the French Revolution
to the Present

University of Chester, UK, 15 - 16 July 2011

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to give a name to one of many spectres haunting the West: the spectre of class (manifested as movements, protests, identities, and inequalities). The gap between the rich and poor in the UK is currently the widest since the Second World War, according to a 2010 report by the National Equality Panel and, as the consequences of global recession deepen, the cuts imposed by governments in the West are likely to exacerbate social inequalities. In response to these forces, the Spectres of Class conference will consider the ways in which class is represented in language, literature and other cultural formations since the French Revolution, seeking to understand the historical basis of class identities and their manifestations today. Class was a central preoccupation of academic discourse in the twentieth century. In the last twenty years, however, the emphasis on class identity has become less pronounced as academics explore the power imbalances associated with gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability status and nationality. Many important studies have emerged from these investigations. However, class issues cut across all these areas and, in the current climate of economic uncertainty, the material basis of class identities may come to challenge poststructuralist notions of identity as a lifestyle 'choice'. We welcome papers on all aspects of the representation of class. Possible topics may include (but are not limited to:

● Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) studies of class, ideology,hegemony etc.
● Protest movements (e.g. Chartists, anti-Poll Tax Unions, trade union action)
● Material and cultural influences on class identities
● Rereading Marx
● Class as performative
● Social mobility/stasis
● Class cultures: bourgeois, aristocratic, gentry, working class
● Performances of class (art, music, theatre, photography, film and television)
● Corpus linguistic studies of 'class' in news media and other genres
● Representations of revolution and reform
● Humorous/satirical representations of class

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words by Friday 25 March 2011 to: matt.davies@chester.ac.uk
For further information contact Dr Matt Davies at