A More Stable Stance: Privileging the Working Class in the Academy

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

What does it mean to be working class? How do languages spoken, values held, and cultural representations vary given one’s class position? Though 62% of the country is working class (Zweig), the answers to these questions are left largely unclear and unspoken. Among others, these questions will be addressed via reflection and exploration from individuals from the working class, or who many call “working-class academics.”

This roundtable grows out of a lively discussion during a roundtable at NeMLA 2016 focused on stories from all areas of life that led to growth and development for the panelists; however, this proposed roundtable centers specifically on the experiences and insight offered by individuals from the working class. As demonstrated by Alfred Lubrano in Blue Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams and various contributors in C.L. Barney Dews and Carolyn Leste Law’s This Fine Place So Far From Home, among others (Villanueva, Rodriguez, Rose), class position and socioeconomic background have significant short- and long-term impacts on individuals in relation to professional and economic success as well as personal relationships.

Though class is an important identity construction, it is rarely privileged within academic institutions. This roundtable offers a space for panelists and attendees to reflect on and discuss their working-class backgrounds, including their trials, tribulations, and successes. With this working class insight, attendees, regardless of their class position, will be well-informed of the experiences of those from the working class as well as better equipped to be more inclusive of all students in their courses and course design as they learn about the variations in language, culture, and social structure that exist within every classroom.


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

Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2016.