Society for the Study of Working Class Literature Panel at ALA 2013 (1/18/2013; ALA 05/23-26/2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Society for the Study of Working Class Literature


In The Problem with Work (2011), Kathi Weeks hails labor as an important "site of interpellation," observing that "the workplace is where, as Marx described it, the seller of labor power becomes 'labour-power in action, a worker'" (9). Besides the compulsory subjectification of the workplace pronounced by Marx, working class writers have had complicated relationships with sites of work. Workplaces evoke the degradation of the factory line, ghostly presences of abandoned mills or forced migrations from scorched farmland. Yet places of work also act as spaces of self-constitution; they are places where communities form in solidarity, they act as empowering spaces of strikes and resistance, and function as the very site where the agency of cultural creation takes place.

The Society for the Study of Working-Class Literature invites proposals for our session(s) on "Workplaces" at the annual conference of the American Literature Association. The conference will be held May 23-26, 2013 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA. For further information about the conference, please consult the ALA website at

We are interested in proposals that interrogate "workplaces" or ruminate on "place of work" in general. We welcome proposals examining texts by working-class writers, works addressed to working-class audiences, and/or representations of the working class in literature. We especially welcome proposals that draw attention to lesser-known writings.

Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes to accommodate 3 or 4 presenters per panel.
For more information, and to join the Society's electronic mailing list, go to:
Deadline: January 18, 2013

Please send a one-page abstract and a brief C.V. to:
Timothy Robbins
University of Iowa
Timothy Robbins, Doctoral Candidate
English Department
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52245